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Teaser, summary, work performed and final results

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MANUWORK (Balancing Human and Automation Levels for the Manufacturing Workplaces of the Future)


Manufacturing in the context of Industry4.0 is characterized by the complementarity between humans and automation, especially regarding the production of highly customizable products. This requires new methods and tools for the design and operation of optimized manufacturing...


Manufacturing in the context of Industry4.0 is characterized by the complementarity between humans and automation, especially regarding the production of highly customizable products. This requires new methods and tools for the design and operation of optimized manufacturing workplaces in terms of ergonomics, safety, efficiency, complexity management and work satisfaction. MANUWORK supports the design and operation of human-centered manufacturing that is based on the human-automation symbiosis. In this paradigm the operators feel empowered and in control of their workstation while at the same time the system adapts in order to compensate for operators’ limitations (skills, knowledge, disabilities), thus ensuring a socially sustainable working environment without compromising production targets. This will be done through development, implementation, integration and testing of the following technological components:
1. A tool for determining optimal human-automation levels for load balancing, based on methods for the assessment of physical, sensorial and cognitive capabilities of humans, the prediction of evolution of human skills/capabilities and the modelling of automation skills.
2. A framework for the evaluation of worker satisfaction, safety and health, based on methods for evaluating psychometrics and socio-organizational parameters and the safe human-automation symbiosis.
3. An Industrial Social Networking (ISN) platform and methods for knowledge capturing and social analytics which will be used for knowledge capturing, networking, guidance and decision support.
4. Augmented Reality (AR) technology to support operators through training and instructions visualization in the shop-floor.
MANUWORK tests and validates the research and technological developments in three industrial pilot demonstrators, following an industrial pre-pilot validation (in machine tool sector).
1. Automotive (VOLVO): The automotive use case focuses on the assembly of car engines targeting at optimal manual/automation load balancing with consideration of the real-time status and knowledge extracted from shop-floor.
2. Aerospace (SAFRAN): The aerospace use-focuses on the final assembly of civil aircraft engines and the focus will be on feedback/ information sharing, workers’ training and satisfaction
3. Disabilities (LANTEGI BATUAK): This pilot case uses the human-machine symbiosis paradigm for supporting people with different disabilities to perform complex assembly tasks.

Work performed

The MANUWORK project has started on the 1st of October 2016. By the end of its first project period (month 18) MANUWORK has finished the first project phase that includes the definition of the requirements has is going through the second phase in which individual modules development as well as integration is taking place. The main results of the project are listed hereafter:
• MANUWORK pilot cases: MANUWORK plans to deliver results that have been verified by the pre-commercial demonstration, testing and validation of the developed methodology and platform in 3 industrial pilot cases namely: automotive (VOLVO), aerospace (SAFRAN) and a pilot case focusing on people with disabilities (LANTEGI BATUAK). The industrial partners identified the as-is situation, potential for improvement and the to-be scenarios incorporating MANUWORK results
• MANUWORK platform design and architecture: A common approach has been conceived to address all project industrial pilots that will among others demonstrate the generic applicability of the MANUWORK solution. The MANUWORK architecture is designed in a way that allows for modularity and configurability thus facilitating the application of the MANUWROK platform in different industrial environments.
• MANUWORK first prototypes: A series of first prototypes have been developed in order to better understand the requirements, gather end-user feedback and facilitate the development of the MANUWORK platform. These include the following:
1. Automation Skills Management: A tool that evaluates task execution time in different types of automation. It uses MTM-like analysis to produce time execution estimation for each task.
2. Human Skills Management and Simulation tool that manages the skills of employees.
3. MANUWORK console: A tool to facilitate data entry to load balancing algorithm developed in task2.4
4. Augmented reality apps: A number of AR apps to facilitate information delivery. Up to now focusing on VOLVO, PRIMA and LANTEGI BATUAK pilot
a. In PRIMA Case, an Augmented Reality tool will to provide detailed visual instructions to guide, step by step, complex machine operator activities (such as press brake machine operation), adjusted to the operator’s level of experience, securing correct completion of the job while training his skills.
b. In VOLVO case Augmented Reality will be used for advanced assembly line visualization to support decision making in production line design and for process simulation visualization, securing high level of ergonomics for the operators.
c. In LANTEGI BATUAK an advanced interface for authoring projector- based Augmented Reality instructions will be developed, that will support the operator for assembling and testing electrical cabinets, considering different levels of skills and disabilities.
5. Task scheduling app: A tool that re-schedules task execution based on operator skills, production requirements and equipment constraints.
6. Industrial Social Network (ISN) application: A tool for facilitating knowledge exchange and communication between the employees of a company.

Final results

MANUWORK expected results will provide a set of functionalities that contribute to the following industrial benefits:
- +10% increase in throughput by better balancing between the human and automation tasks. The Load Balancing solution together with the Human Skills Management and Automation skills management contribute to this expected benefit.
- -20% to -30% decrease in time spent by engineers for long and mid term re-balancing of the production lines through using the Load Balancing solution of MANUWORK that keeps up-to-date data regarding the skills of automation and human.
- -50% reduction of ergonomics issues though the use of AR and IoT MANUWORK technologies.
- +40% to +50% improvement of worker satisfaction for selected, pilot workplaces that utilize the MANUWORK solution.
- +50% improvement of quality (for selected industrial pilot cases) though clearer and standardized work instructions that are superimposed virtual information. The Augmented Reality solution will contribute to that direction.
- Improved feedback on work organization and processes through a) transversal communication (between employees) and b) upward / downward communication (between managers and employees). The ISN solution will contribute for achieving this benefit.
- Improved sharing of information and knowledge of general interest for the work process. The ISN and MANUWORK analytics solution will contribute to this benefit.
- Improved training of operators by adapting training to operators needs and by anticipating of skills evolution with respect to evolving production needs. The Skills Evolution Module will be used to achieve this
- Increase inclusion in the manufacturing workplaces by widening the profile of people adequate for executing an assembly task. This will be achieved with advanced Human and Automation symbiosis, in the form of Human Robot Collaboration.

Website & more info

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