Empowerment in tomorrow's production: Mixed skill factories and collaborative robot systems
In the project "Empowerment in tomorrow's production: Rethinking mixed skill factories and collaborative robot systems (EmPReSs)", we explore novel concepts for factories that can effectively and efficiently utilize different capabilities of humans and robot systems. The central question is how these new technical systems can contribute to the empowerment of employees and the humanization of work in production processes. The most important scientific challenges in EmPReSs are the uniform and formal modelling of process step requirements and the qualifications and abilities of humans and robots. It is essential how a process planning in production can be designed in such a way that the modelled skills can be used efficiently and complementarily. The development of these "mixed skill factories" opens up new possibilities for making production planning in industry more flexible and varied, while at the same time meeting the needs of employees and thus increasing their ability to act and extending their control over their work processes and working conditions.
The basic idea of this research project is an interdisciplinary and conceptual feasibility study for the design of "mixed skill factories" based on a new quality of collaboration between humans and robots. On the one hand, the necessary technologies and tools are analyzed from a technical-scientific perspective. Particular focus will be placed on new possibilities for flexible production planning and intuitive robot control. On the other hand, the resulting scope for technology, organization and work will be examined from a work sociological perspective. The question is how these new systems can contribute to the empowerment of employees and thus lay the foundation for a new direction of a humanization of work. The interdisciplinary entanglement of the two perspectives and the resulting focus on the question of humanization forms the basis of the project and promises a fundamental gain in knowledge.