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Human-Centred Factories Exhibition: Morning Presentations

On the 23rd May 2019, Factory2Fit and the ACE-Factories Cluster were in Brussels for the Human-Centred Factories Exhibition!

Factory2Fit and the other members of the ACE-Factories Cluster (Inclusive, HuMan, ManuWork and A4BLUE) collaborated to gave a series of presentations at EFFRA’s “Factories of the Future Community Days 2019: Connected Factories” event. The presentations focussed on five key areas of interest in Human-Centred Factories and each included content from at least 2 projects. The full agenda can be downloaded here. These presentations began with a brief overview of the concepts that have shaped the projects and human-centred factories design, and moved on to discuss some of the practical use-cases conducted by the industrial partners of the 5 projects.

The session began with an interesting presentation by Erastos Filos, a Project Officer from the Directorate General of Research and Innovation at the European Commission. His presentation explored the general concepts that have shaped the development of human-centred factories, and the significant changes that have occurred in the manufacturing industry in recent years. He explored the innovations that have been developed for the factories of the future and the extensive work and funding that has been provided by the European Commission to assist the innovations for the factories of the future.

Following this we moved on to an interesting presentation on Co-design in Human Centred Manufacturing which was given in collaboration between Factory2Fit and the HuMan project. Thomas Walter, the representative from Continental’s CPT Group explored the participatory design tool we have been designing. Using the Virtual Factory tools developed in the Factory2Fit project, we are able to quickly and cheaply model the factory floor and simplify the design and validation stages of production process design. This reduced cost and increased speed allows us to include input from factory workers. These workers are experts in what they do and understand the minor flaws in factory design which can stack up to create significant delays and inefficiencies. It therefore benefits everyone to include them in the design process and ensure that the production line is set up in an ergonomically friendly and efficient manner. This allows the factory to improve efficiency, increase productivity, and reduces the inconveniences and additional effort needed from workers when there is a flaw in factory design.

Following this, the other projects of the ACE-Factories Cluster (Inclusive, HuMan, ManuWork and A4BLUE) discussed their work and industrial use-cases in presentations on Manufacturing Technologies for Human and Automation CooperationAutomation Mechanisms for Reduced Physical Demand at Manufacturing Workplaces; and Human-Machine Interaction. The presentation slides will soon be uploaded to the ACE-Factories website to be made available to the public.

Eija Kaasinen from VTT then explored our work on Training, Learning and Knowledge Sharing in collaboration with John Angelopoulos from the ManuWork project. The Factory2Fit section of the presentation explored the development of our Offline Pre-training solution, our Social Media Platform for improving knowledge sharing, and our Onsite Video Training tool. The off-site training tool has been piloted at Prima Power, and uses VR tools to begin training workers before the production line has been completed. This significantly reduces the learning curve of employees after the startup of the production line and leads to a notable increase in productivity in the stages shortly after the implementation of a new assembly line. Our Social Media Platform was also piloted by Prima Power customers. The platform is integrated to the manufacturing environment, allowing workers to share good practices, tips and comments related to different manufacturing tasks.

This presentation was followed by our keynote speaker Anu-Hanna Anttila, head of research at the Finnish Industrial Union, who discussed Worker Expectations. Her presentation explored her personal impressions and thoughts on the concepts discussed in the previous presentations, as well as giving an overview of the feedback our Worker Feedback Dashboard received from the Finnish Industrial Union. In December, impact assessment was conducted by the 118 representatives of the Finnish Industrial Union, and overall the first impressions were positive. A significant majority were interested in trying our solutions at work and seeing the extent to which they benefit workers in the factory. We will soon be releasing the full video of the presentation on our YouTube channel, so stay tuned for all the latest updates!

This concluded our morning session, and after lunch we moved on to our demo showcase where each of the ACE-Factories projects exhibited their solutions to attendees from research, industry, policy and many other backgrounds.

Follow us on LinkedIn @Factory2Fit_EU to receive the latest updates and articles from the project! An article about our demos will be coming soon!