A new Smart Industry project is funded by NWO and coordinated by the University of Twente. The name of the project is “Human Centered Smart Factories: design for wellbeing for future manufacturing”. Manual labour is an important cornerstone in manufacturing and will also be in the future smart factories.
Digitalisation is a strong change driver in industry nowadays which also leads to new opportunities for workplace design. The goal of the project is to develop smart, shape-changing workstations that self-adapt to the unique physical and cognitive needs of a worker. The workstations are responsive, they interact in real-time, and promote dynamic activities and varying physical exertion through understanding the context of work.
In the new NWO project, innovative workplace designs for wellbeing are investigated that provide positive contributions to the physiological and mental health of workers. To achieve that, a human centered approach is taken while utilising advanced opportunities of smart industry technologies and methods.
The project follows a clear interdisciplinary approach and brings together the University of Twente, Hogeschool Saxion and Hogeschool Utrecht and involves different disciplines like manufacturing systems engineering (Sebastian Thiede/UT), human interaction design (Daniel Saakes/UT), co-design/creative design techniques (Remko van der Lugt/HU), and human resource management (Stephan Corporaal/Saxion).
Developments take place in an industrial scale testbed at the University of Twente but also within the factory of Van Raam Reha Bikes B.V. as industrial implementation partner. The consortium is complemented with Ergos Human Factors Engineering and Ergo-Design -Industrial Engineering, they will ensure feasibility and broader transferability of developed approaches.