A cyber-physical system for production monitoring of manual manufacturing processes
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The computerization of manufacturing is one of the major challenges of the so-called fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0. Virtualization of the smart factory should provide real-time vision, control and monitoring of production through interactive dashboards and synchronization of data coming from different factory functions. The latter characteristics are particularly difficult to implement when the manufacturing core relies on traditional manual labour rather than on automation, as in the case of manual assembly. Monitoring or even controlling the manual work in real-time is extremely difficult to put into practice. Therefore, realizing the principles of Industry 4.0 in manual or semi-automatic labour contexts means developing new production control systems that involve the worker in the monitoring process without negatively affecting the production times or the psychological status of the workers. In particular, the authors propose a computer-aided production control framework based upon multimedia manuals and smart completeness control systems that can be used to implement the principles of Industry 4.0 in manual or semi-automatic work environments. This technology has been successfully tested in laboratory on the basis of a real industrial case study. The response of the testers has been positive and the outcomes in terms of increased product quality are promising.
KeywordsIndustry 4.0 Cyber-physical systems Interactive electronic technical manuals Smart manufacturing Production monitoring
The authors deeply thank the company Sannio Plastic srl for its support in the research activity, having provided the sample products for the case study.
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