ACE Factories: humAn CEntred Factories Cluster
ACE Factories: humAn CEntred Factories Cluster is a networking Cluster of five FoF-4 projects funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme – A4BLUE, Factory2Fit, HUMAN, INCLUSIVE, and MANUWORK. Based on the common goals they are working towards, the cluster is a forum for sharing projects’ knowledge, progress, and results. Those projects are developing solutions for manufacturing work environments that adapt to each individual worker. By combining their efforts, the projects hope to achieve greater impact and wider adoption of these new developments in advanced manufacturing systems.
The vision and mission
Smart and connected technologies are not only transforming how parts and products are designed, produced, used, and maintained, but also workplaces and workers, transforming organisations themselves in human-centred factories. Consequently, now, by introducing new technologies, industrial work is increasingly mediated; i.e. the work is not related to the physical objects but to their counterparts in the virtual world. But people remain central to operations. In the past, people were expected to adapt to machine requirements. Now, automation systems are being developed that can recognise the users, remember their capabilities, skills and preferences, and adapt accordingly. Adaptation can also make work organisation more flexible so that individual preferences are taken into account in task distribution. New automation approaches, with workers at the centre, will complement people’s capabilities and ensure higher performance, adaptability and quality.
Humans and automation are therefore taking advantage of each other’s strengths, having a symbiotic relationship for enhancing capabilities, skills and quality of their work. The result is more flexible, inclusive and safe workplaces, as well as better work conditions and increased productivity and improved quality. But, above all, this means increased worker satisfaction and work well-being, more empowered and engaged workers and increased interest towards factory work as a career, attracting young talented people.
On the June 27th, 2018, The ACE Factories Cluster has been officially presented during the Factories of the Future Community Day, Brussels, illustrating the vision and the development paths. See the presentation given by Factory2Fit Coordinator Dr. Eija Kaasinen at this link.
To learn more about the ACE Factories Cluster, joint activities and the projects involved, please visit http://ace-factories.eu/
On the 14th November 2018, ACE Factories Cluster organized a webinar focused on worker satisfaction evaluation methods in manufacturing. Each project participating in ACE Factories presented how they approach this matter in the unique use cases that each project has. The presentation given by A4BLUE is available here.
A4BLUE project and the ACE Factories Cluster members organised the Human-Centred Factories Event that took place on the 23rd of May 2019 in the framework of the Factories of the Future Community Days-Connected Factories Event, organised by the European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA). The event will take place in Brussels, Belgium, at the Thon Hotel (75 Rue De La Loi).
The event consisted of two different sessions: during the morning session (10 am- 1pm) the 5 projects composing the ACE factories Cluster (A4BLUE, Factory2Fit, HUMAN, INCLUSIVE, and MANUWORK) presented the latest Human- Centred industrial innovations and the results obtained in the framework of their activities, focusing on the experience of the industrial partners involved in the relative consortia. A4BLUE Coordinator gave a speech focused on “Automation mechanisms for reduced physical demand at manufacturing workplaces”. Download it here.
The afternoon session Human-Centred Factories Exhibition (2 pm -4pm) will allow you to take part in interactive exhibitions and demo sessions, where the ACE-Factory Tools and solutions for the Factories of the Future will be showcased.
In November 2019, the ACE Factories Cluster released the White Paper “Human-centred factories from theory to industrial practice. Lessons learned and recommendations”. The purpose of this white paper is to share the ACE Factories cluster understanding of future human-centred factories and to provide recommendations on how to get this vision into industrial practice. This is a key report of the ACE Factories cluster, which aims to support the replication of successful innovative technologies tested through the end-users of the ACE Factories cluster projects. The core target groups of this report are people in academia, industry practitioners and policy makers at the local, national and EU levels. Download it here.