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Identifying Human Factors in Production & Maintenance Processes

Stemming from a user-centered design approach, this service focuses on how technologies shape the human-machine interaction in the factory, and how to re-design the HMIs and production lines to improve efficiency whilst reducing costs.

Consulting related to Business Consultancy in the context of Manufacturing

Provided by Deep Blue Srl 2 years, 2 months ago (last modified 1 year, 9 months ago); viewed 799 times and licensed 0 times

Scope:

The introduction of innovative technologies and automation in manufacturing requires defining the new tasks assigned to the operators, and thus the new experience of the workforce, making emerge and anticipate possible strengths and weaknesses of the new solutions (e.g., this is true when designing digital interactions via multi-sensory HMIs and the physical ergonomy of the shop floors and production lines).


Approach:

This consultancy service could focus on one or more of the following areas of investigation:

1. Individual/collaborative interaction (humans as single users or humans collaborating with machines). This aspect refers to new forms of human enhancement and augmented capabilities to reduce mental workload and physical ergonomics. Deep Blue can support the monitoring of the neuro-physiological status of the operators/technicians allowing them to design personalised experiences and adapt the interaction according to the users’ skills, abilities, roles, and tasks, in order to guarantee the right level of workload to achieve better performance.

2. Multi-user interactions and cooperation between humans, co-workers, and interactive technologies and AI. This aspect refers to the study of multi-user interactions with different HMIs and interactive systems that provide both multiple views of an HMI and coordinate the user actions in groups.

3. Working environment focuses on the physical factory, looking at designs that are resilient to environmental risks as well as sustainable in their construction, operation and end of life disassembly. This refers to studying how digital transformation will affect the operator/technician, its workspace and the nature of work in general by creating new interactions not only between humans and machines, but also between digital and physical worlds.

Outcome:

Investigating the current interactions carried out in the workforce population can inform innovative design decisions for future equipment. Analysing how the workforce currently interacts with technology, their social values, and the changing personal expectations of workers, in particular Millennials, in respect to future innovation, will produce guidelines with a large impact both on the talent landscape, and on the evolution of new business models. How will job profiles evolve? And what types of skills will be in demand? Deep Blue will examine critical drivers and challenges, to suggest design considerations for meeting the challenges of the new roles and jobs that could be needed in the future.

Phases
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1. Desk research study

Study of the expectations and needs of the future workforce about interaction and cooperation between humans and machines.

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2. Scenario-based envisioning

 Stemming from the technological progresses of the Manufacturing Setting analysed, description of how the workforce operates/maintains current quipment, will help Deep Blue envisioning future scenarios exploring what and how it will change from current production, generating new revenue growth.

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3. Scenarios and Personas

Analyse how future production scenarios will foster significant changes in how workers perform their jobs, and which new roles will be created or become obsolete. Define the skills required for future roles of: operators, technicians, and production management. A segmentation of the users will contribute to define the identity of homogeneous groups of users and potential new roles which will allow the definition of personas. 

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Contextual interviews (video/phone)

The Interviews with key experts will help contextualize the current environment and the above mentioned scenarios and personas. Experts will include people with key roles in Manufacturing Setting that have practical experience and might engage with future technologies and, parallely, Human-Machine interaction experts (e.g., professors in European universities and excellence centers, researchers from European joint research centers). 

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Definition of Human Machine interaction/integration models

Through the analysis of new perspectives on future production scenarios within similar industrial sectors, Deep Blue will identify possible models that can be borrowed from other sectors or industries or design new frameworks that consider Human Factors in production and maintenance processes of future technologies.