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Interactive assistance systems (IAS) are mobile devices (e.g. smartphones or tablets) or wearables (e.g. data glasses or data gloves) that provide the user with visual, acoustic or haptic information without compromising flexibility and attention.
The digital availability of all required information and its real time processing is the central requirement for this. In this process, data is recorded via sensors, converted into electrical signals, and provided to the user as instructions or recommended actions via integrated microcomputers.
Worldwide, production is changing from mass production with long product lifetimes to the manufacture of individual and small series with customized products and a resulting increase in number of variants, which in turn requires a high degree of flexibility with short assembly time, picking time, setup time and training times for employees. The number of repetitive tasks is decreasing and automated solutions are less flexible and therefore less economical. Humans are better qualified for varying process steps due to their cognitive abilities and have a more varied workplace at the same time. However, the demands in terms of concentration, endurance and error-proneness are also increasing in order to master the ever more complex and constantly changing production and logistics processes. IAS help to reduce these stresses by providing the relevant information.
The associated support for the employee is one of the essential steps in the development toward the self-managing factory. Thus, IAS are considered a central component of the 4th stage of the industrial revolution.
Typical industrial application fields of IAS include logistics (e.g. picking, shipping, in-house transport), assembly (e.g. assembly instructions, sequence of work steps, localization of required parts, documentation support), maintenance (e.g. condition monitoring, repair, service, support) as well as various possibilities for employee training, but also numerous applications for production monitoring.
The trend in production and logistics is increasingly moving in the direction of smart factories and also in the direction of interactive assistance systems. The resulting digital provision of information in production and logistics promises great potential for making industrial processes more efficient and thus significantly improving the profitability of companies. When implementing these systems technical, personnel-related and data security aspects must be taken into consideration.
Optical assistance systems
Acoustic assistance systems
Haptic assistance systems