SENSE AND REACT | Sense&React - The context-aware and user-centric information distribution system for manufacturing

Nowadays manufacturing ICT platforms provide a number of useful tools, including sensors', wireless networks, mobile devices, MES, ERP and information management systems, support shop-floor and back-office personnel in a series of activities. However, there is a long way to go before the huge amount of information gathered and generated by such ICT systems is presented in a manner that can truly speed up production processes, enable immediate reaction to issues and shortcomings. - Information distribution usually neglects different user roles in a typical production facility. The information source is not aware of the role of the information receiver and thus fails at delivering the required subset. - In many cases information infrastructure fails to successfully aggregate and manage data from factory-wide sensor networks as well as from various data sources such as MES or ERP, analyse such data and deliver it in a context-based manner to different users. - Cognitive load, especially of shop-floor operators working under harsh conditions, is not properly addressed during information distributing. - User Interfaces are often too complex and require much too effort to follow and use effectively either in harsh shop-floor environment or in back-office. Sense&React project envisages overcoming the above mentioned issues via: - The use of customised, role-specific user interfaces provided through mobile devices in order to support the shop-floor personnel with the adequate amount of information also considering the cognitive load when performing certain operations. - The development of new information structures and information flow approaches so as to optimise the load of information presented to the different users at the shop-floor. - Development and application of factory-wide optimization methods that utilize real-time data, such as personnel, asset or part location data in order to optimize production performance, energy efficiency and safety.
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Start date: 01-10-2012
End date: 29-02-2016
Total budget - Public funding: 8 959 218,00 Euro - 5 822 723,00 Euro
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The number of sensors and the amount of data gathered on the factory floor constantly increases. This opens the vision of truly connected production processes where information is exchanged seamlessly and in real time between humans, machines and the produced goods.However, it is a long way before the huge amount of information gathered and generated in separate disconnected sub-systems is presented in a manner that can truly speed up production processes, enable immediate reaction to issues and shortcomings. Current Information and Communication Technology (ICT) installations in many cases fail at providing the right information, to the right people, on the appropriate time and in appropriate format while using the appropriate device. This is mainly due to fact that these systems neglect their users' role, the context in which the users are acting and the user interfaces are often too complex and fail to adapt to user current context.Sense&React considers context awareness to be a fundamental property of ICT systems installed in modern production facilities. Context awareness is the property for the provision of suitable services to a user through the analysis of his/her context. Therefore, driven by industrial pilot cases, Sense&React will:•\tImplement and validate ICT reference architecture for enabling intelligent management of manufacturing information in real-time and that can be used to develop context-aware applications for the industrial factory-floor. Sense&React will develop the necessary hardware and software modules required to gather and process data from different date sources such as sensor networks, MES and ERP in order to build the current context.•\tDefine a factory wide sensing and ICT end-to-end infrastructure for sensing and aggregating data from the manufacturing environment, such as tool and asset localization, production status or environmental parameters.•\tDevelop concepts for context-based automated adaptation of graphical user interfaces in factory-floor environments. This will simplify the interaction with the system. Reducing the amount of presented information in parallel with reducing the number of needed interactions (clicks) will lead to a reduction of the cognitive load of the user. This in turn might increase the effectiveness of the worker and the quality of the products. The Sense&React prototypes will be available on a wide range of devices, such as mobile phones, tables, large (touch) screens or PCs. .•\tDevelop methods and tools that assess cognitive load and consider cognitive load when delivering information especially for operators working on complex tasks.•\tDevelop real time optimization methods that utilize real-time data, such as sensor data in order to optimize production performance, energy efficiency and safety.The generic Sense&React approach based on services and apps allows cost-efficient adaptation to a wide variety of industries. The project results are tested and validated in real manufacturing environment in four industrial pilot cases stemming from automotive, shipbuilding and white goods sector. Sense&React solution contributes to the following industrial driven objectives:- Reduction of errors for wrong component selection, for missing components, for low quality assembly- Faster identification of problems occurring in factory-floor- Reduced solving time for line stoppages or machine breakdowns- Reduce searching time for equipment and personnel- Reduce work



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Comment: Sense&React information distribution system will support the operators/workers with delivering work instructions at the working station. This will help operators coping with high product variance and customization.