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FACTS4WORKERS Report Summary

Project ID: 636778
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FACTS4WORKERS (Worker-Centric Workplaces in Smart Factories)

Reporting period: 2014-12-01 to 2015-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Worker-Centric Workplaces in Smart Factories (FACTS4WORKERS) is a project coordinated by VIRTUAL VEHICLE in the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission within the Factory of the Future PPP. The vision of FACTS4WORKERS is to leverage the large potential added value of manufacturing data, information and knowledge in a worker-centred way to achieve worker empowerment, resulting in higher worker satisfaction and increased worker productivity.

It is the high ambition of our project to create “FACTorieS for WORKERS” (FACTS4WORKERS), therefore a serious effort will be put into integrating already available IT enablers into a seamless & flexible Smart Factory infrastructure based on worker-centric and data-driven technology building blocks. As FACTS4WORKERS is underpinned by a clear human-centric approach: usability, user experience and technology acceptance are of the utmost project interest.

FACTS4WORKERS will develop and demonstrate workplace solutions that support the inclusion of increasing elements of knowledge work on the factory floor. These solutions will empower workers on the shop floor with smart factory ICT infrastructure. Advancement will be gained through integrating several building blocks from a flexible smart factory infrastructure, focusing on workers’ needs, expectations and requirements, and being supported by organisational measures and change management. In line with our assumptions on impacts on productivity we therefore estimate that that we can increase job satisfaction for 800,000 European workers by the year 2025.

These solutions will be developed according to the following four industrial challenges which are generalise-able to manufacturing in general: personalised augmented operator, worked-centric rich-media knowledge sharing/management, self-learning manufacturing workplaces and in-situ mobile learning in the production.

Moreover, FACT4WORKER‘s objectives in terms of measureable indicators are:

To increase problem-solving and innovation skills of workers;

To increase cognitive job satisfaction of workers participating in the pilots;

To increase average worker productivity by 10% for workers participating in pilots;

To achieve TRL 5-7 on a number of worker-centric solutions through which workers become the smart element in smart factories.

The smart factory demonstrator will be run within the automotive supply chain. The consortium is composed by 15 partners from 7 different EU member states including tier-1, -2 and -3 suppliers, large production enterprises and individual factories that are representative of many medium-sized manufacturing operations, manufacturing SMEs, universities and excellent research institutes.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

FACTS4WORKERS started with capturing workers´ and organisations´ needs and requirements for information and knowledge-based support in manufacturing (WP1). The general approach taken in FACTS4WORKERS was inspired by well-known and widely accepted process models, such as the ISO9241-210 standard for the human-centred design of interactive systems and Design Research’s process model. WP1 immediately started to explore the practices of workers and the contexts of organisations at the six industrial partners with more than 100,000 employees in more than 50 countries. WP1 conducted 10h of focus group sessions, 44 interviews and took more than 100 photos and recorded 20 videos during the 12 visits at the six industrial partners. In total WP1 created the following artefacts: 23 problem scenarios (how do workers currently perform their work), 23 activity scenarios (what are problems and suggestions how to support workers), 23 personas (fictional worker role models in order to better understand their requirements), 8 mockups & demonstrator (screen illustrations), 25 collaboration patterns (high level interactions with intended smart factory solutions). And these artefacts were embedded in 8 contexts-of-use (characteristics of the intended smart factory solution) at six industrial partners. WP1 also developed a framework with seven impact dimensions and took a closer look at each of this 8 context-of-use as well as at the intended impacts on individuals (autonomy, variety, competence, relatedness, protection) and organisations (quality, time efficiency). The four industrial challenges defined at proposal stage (Personalised augmented operator, Worked-centric rich-media knowledge sharing/management, Self-learning manufacturing workplaces, In-situ mobile learning in the production) have been elaborated by WP1 and complemented with production models in manufacturing.
In close cooperation with WP1, WP2 started to develop building block specifications for the smart factory solution addressing worker needs and requirements elicited in WP1 in a best possible way. As parallel guiding work a technology monitoring report capturing the state-of-the-art regarding current technologies (devices, software developments and tools etc.) within the very dynamic field of today´s HCI technology (smart glasses, smart textiles etc.) was delivered, e.g. comparing 32 key characteristics of 71 different models of smart glasses. WP2 is currently working on a general HMI guideline. As a first proof-of-concept, parts of the THO industrial case have been developed as a demonstrator (responsive Android application).
In close cooperation with WP2 and WP1, WP3 has provided a preliminary definition of each context-of-use in terms of information requested by the workers to support their empowerment and a technical concept needed to provide such information. WP3 has also provided a first set of specifications for the development of the service building blocks. WP3 also developed preliminary workflow descriptions for the contexts-of-use for the industrial cases. WP3 has also defined detailed definition of the input and output expected from the building block and the technical concept to be used for each building block. For some contexts-of-use a scheme of the workflow of the building block has been provided.WP3 has already started the process to program the RestDESC API that will constitute the backend services of the smart factory infrastructure.
WP4 developed the preliminary architecture for smart factory worker-centered and data-centered building blocks and established a demonstration system. Humans and machines can perform different tasks in the factory setting wich have to be organized. RESTdesc is a method to describe functionalities of machines and capabilities of humans in a machine readable way. The Semantic Workflow Engine uses these descriptions to make a plan and either performs (machine task) or recommends (human work).
After defining a corporate identity of the project for external communication (including project website, project folder, project templates, ..) and dissemination activities, WP7 conducted an analysis about the dissemination achievements in the first project year. These include 4.064 website visitors between April and November 2015, 15.674 website page views between April and November 2015, 2 peer-reviewed journals, 4 non-reviewed journals, 26 other publications, 6 conference papers, Additionally information about FACTS4WORKERS has been published in 26 other channels, Twitter: 160 tweets, 70 followers, 20 likes, 101 followings, 24 Website blog posts, 19 tumblr blog posts, 36 facebook posts, 27 likes, 45 LinkedIn connections.
WP8 focused on the maintenance and improvement of the communication within the project team and executed regular project team and steering board meetings. The coordination of milestones, deadlines, financial issues and deliverables regarding the fulfillment of project targets is empowered by using and introducing project guidelines, rules and a new collaboration platform.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

FACTS4WORKERS expects impacts on job satisfaction, problem-solving and innovation skills, productivity, employment, factory floor working conditions and perception of factory work which will result in a significant impact on a whole European manufacturing industry. FACTS4WORKERS impacts will be achieved when the worker-centred smart factory solutions connecting workforce, organisation, management technologies is adopted within factories. The project has outlined the route to market consisting of four phases in development and diffusion of solutions. The first phase is the project execution phase from 2015 – 2018: FACTS4WORKERS has already identified 8 contexts-of-use for smart factory solutions which were gained through interviewing 44 workers and intensively involving them in solution design. Those 44 workers will spread the visions of smart factory solutions horizontally and vertically in their own organisations acting as multipliers. The project has already started developing methods and metrics and defining KPIs for measuring the expected impacts described before. The project has also dedicated numerous efforts to maximize impact, including e.g. a very popular project website (we have on an average value not only achieved the communication targets as defined in the proposal but have exceeded it by 169%), more than 15 talks at industrial conferences (~1500 audience) and a radio interview on a public national broadcaster (~30.000 listeners).

From today´s point of view no aspects have been identified which indicate the necessity of updating the expected impact as described in the DoA. During the first project year it has become evident that FACTS4WORKERS has described both the state-of-the-art and the desired advancement above the state-of-the-art in a realistic way. In the first project year FACTS4WORKERs has already made advancement in establishing a human-centred design approach for smart factory solution design (bringing back the worker into the loop) and defined the first worker-centred building blocks. It has shown to be a feasible approach (which we already expected during the proposal stage), which we will further pursue in the project.

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