Despite high automation levels in factories today, humans remain central to manufacturing operations.
In the past, and due to human flexibility, workers were expected to adapt to machine requirements. However, today's machines increasingly allow these roles to be reversed with automation systems becoming ever more adaptable to the capabilities of workers, and work organisation becomes more flexible in terms of time and place. Furthermore, higher levels of product customisation and variable requirements, call for new adaptive human-centred automation approaches, complementing the cognitive capabilities of humans by advanced sensing and the higher precision of machines.
Modern manufacturing system design builds on an optimal and continuous distribution of tasks between humans and machines for higher performance, adaptability and quality.Scope:
Research activities should address all of the following areas:
This topic requires a a user-driven approach through a collaborative effort between social scientists and engineers to (a) come to an adequate understanding of "worker satisfaction" and the relevant quantitative indicators, and to (b) introduce the concept of "usability" of machines by the worker on the shop floor (particularly concerning elderly, disabled or other target groups with special needs) thus contributing to improving worker safety and health. Age and gender aspects should be taken into account.
Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 4 to 6.
This topic addresses cross-KET activities.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 3 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.Expected Impact:
: The developed new technologies should lead to a remarkable impact in the following terms:
Proposals should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of this Work Programme.