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Adaptive assistance to support and promote performance-impaired people in manual assembly processes.

Manuel Koelz, Darrell Jordon, Peter Kurtz and Thomas Hörz

The 17th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility - Posters and Demos (ASSETS 2015)
Lisbon, Portugal, October 26-28, 2015


Current trends show, that industrial markets are more and more driven by the purchasing power of the buyers. In course of these circumstances the provider market is developing into a buyer market. Due to an increasing demand of individualized product, requirements concerning the production and assembly processes are changing. Mass production is increasingly being replaced by small series productions with quantities up to lot sizes of one piece with an ever-increasing number of variants. Especially in Germany the manual assembly will gain more importance due to its high flexibility. The high wage and non-wage labor costs in Germany as well as the demographic change [1] and the social responsibility for the integration of performance-impaired people, are particular challenges with high potential [2]. Motivating even higher qualified assembly operators will be more difficult in the future, because of the simplistic and short cyclically repeating work activities. The requirement will be an appropriate work task with appropriate identification character and appreciation of the work force, like the spirit of One Piece Flow. Due to the highly developed technological expertise of Germany, problems are being primarily solved under consideration of technical and economic aspects. In the future, however, it is essential to concentrate on the necessities of the work force in terms of designing the work content and workplace. Doing so provides the possibility of using their skills more efficiently and allows it to support them with technical systems. The current state of the art focuses primarily on assistive systems, which support the user within the process execution [3]. The consideration focuses less on assistive systems, which promote and develop the skills of a worker. Therefore, the work presented here concerns mainly the development, with respect to the REFA six step method [4], of adaptive assistance systems, to optimize manual assembly by creating the conditions for self-motivation.

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