Safety, Ergonomics and Human Factors in Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems

  • M. BortoliniEmail author
  • L. Botti
  • F. G. Galizia
  • C. Mora
Part of the Springer Series in Advanced Manufacturing book series (SSAM)


In the recent years, the adoption of reconfigurable systems represents a primary strategy to improving flexibility, elasticity and efficiency in both manufacturing and assembly. Global markets, the increasing need for customization, high-quality standards, dynamic batches and short life cycles are the key factors driving the transition from traditional to reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMSs). Despite their automation level, such systems still require actions by human operators, e.g. material handling, WIP load/unload, tool setup, etc. These operations rise safety issues because of the human–machine interaction and cooperation. Particularly, RMSs require changes of auxiliary modules and tools, based on the manual intervention, to achieve effective system configurations enlarging the produced mix. In this field, embracing the emerging Industry 4.0 technology, a lack of procedures and reference approaches exists to supporting companies and practitioners in analysing the impact on safety and ergonomics coming from the switch from standard to RMSs. This chapter, after revising the literature, standards and reference guidelines, converges to an innovative methodological and operative framework supporting and spreading the integration of safety, ergonomics and human factors in the emerging reconfigurable systems. Deep attention is paid to best-in-class examples, from industry, to strengthen the industrial perspective and applicability.


Reconfigurable manufacturing systems Human factors Ergonomics Safety Methodological framework Industry 4.0 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Bortolini
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. Botti
    • 1
  • F. G. Galizia
    • 1
  • C. Mora
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Industrial Engineering (DIN)University of BolognaBolognaItaly

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