Objective 1: Subject-oriented modelling of production workplaces to increase workers’ autonomy
Subject-oriented modelling, through its focus on interactions, allows better adaptation of
machines, processes and context to the human worker. This Objective includes augmenting the coverage of subject-oriented modelling to explicitly represent interactions with machines and context, and subsequent implementation and evaluation through a case study. This case study will address a scenario similar to the one shown in Figure 1, involving flexible job assignments through communication between workers and machines. This case study will be implemented on the shopfloor at TC Contact. This Objective relates to increasing decision autonomy and motivation of workers.
Objective 2: Subject-oriented re-design of production workplaces to empower workers and stimulate teamwork
This Objective includes developing subject-oriented methods for workplace re-design
according to business and human values, borrowing from and extending methods for value stream design (VSD), contextual design, analysis of change propagation, and wiki-based re-design collaboration. The methods will be usable by those with the deepest insight into human needs at work: the workers themselves. The methods and tools developed will be implemented and evaluated through a case study at Fimap. This Objective relates to the workers’ empowerment by involving them in the responsible development of their workplaces, and the stimulation of teamwork.
Objective 3: Seamless integration of production and business processes as enabling technology for holistic workplace designs
This Objective targets the development of enabling technologies through seamlessly
integrating production and business processes across all levels of control. It is based on the subject-oriented modelling approach establishing a uniform representation for control systems in any area of application. Existing industry standards, including OPC UA (IEC 62541), will be used for implementing the interfaces between subject-oriented models and the specific control systems including human and environmental sensor data. In addition, Metasonic’s workflow engine will be extended to provide the necessary real-time support for production control. For creating an integration solution ready to be evaluated in a real shopfloor environment, the development effort required would be too large for the scope of this project.
Therefore, the technologies developed for this Objective will be preliminary only, and will be developed and tested in a laboratory setting within JKU’s premises involving student
volunteers. This Objective addresses a cross-thematic topic of NMP and ICT themes in the Work Programme 2013 (p. 43): the development of enabling technologies for adaptable machines and industrial processes. This also supports Objectives 1 and 2, as the implementation of enhanced workplaces can be directly mapped onto changes in real time production processes.