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Applied Computer Science Lab (ACSL) : project R-12004

Title : Flanders Make ICON SBO project: Operator Assist (A digital Assistant for assembly and manufacturing operators) (R-12004)
Abstract: Over the last years, manufacturing companies have experienced an ever increasing demand for more complex products with an increasing amount of product variants. As a result, the amount of tasks assembly operators need to master is growing accordingly. On top of that, operators in an industry 4.0 environment will need to acquire new skills (e.g. robot programming, data analysis) and cope with extra responsibilities. Currently, operator support is often limited to a set of generic procedural (in the best case digital) work instructions. When issues arise, the operator has to rely on his/her own knowledge and experience, information that can be retrieved from various separate manufacturing information systems (e.g. instruction platform, MES, quality systems) or he/she needs to call for help from team leaders or other experts (e.g. method engineer, quality engineer). The knowledge that is required to overcome these issues is hardly ever formalized and captured, let alone being exploited to better support (other) operators in the future. In this project we aim to better support the operator by laying the foundation for a Digital Assistant for assembly operators. This Digital Assistant will interact with the operator in an intuitive way and serve as the single-point-of-contact between the operator and various support systems. The Digital Assistant will leverage on assembly knowledge obtained through the integration of various information sources. Feedback from the operator obtained through the multi-modal intuitive user interface, will be used to refine and consolidate the resulting knowledge base. Based on accurate state tracking, the digital assistant will be able to offer context-based (operator experience, task, potential issues) support to the operator in both a reactive (on-demand) and proactive (pushed information) way.
Period of project : 1/07/2021to30/06/2025

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