User-Centric Workflow Ergonomics in Industrial Environments: Concept and Architecture of an Assistance System
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Changes in demographic developments come along with an ageing workforce and a higher retirement age. Particularly in the industrial working environment, poor workplace ergonomics can limit the workers‘ quality of health and thus their ability to work until they reach their statutory retirement age. This paper presents the conceptual design of an assistance system that captures information from workers‘ bearings based on on-body sensors. A real-time analysis of the captured sensor data enables giving feedback to workers at the assembly site as soon as they get into an ergonomic unhealthy position during workflow execution. Workflow managers benefit from a holistic evaluation of the captured ergonomic data. By this means, critical workflow activities that are characterized by a high degree of malpositions can be identified. Based on this information, workflow managers have the possibility to optimize workflows in an ergonomic-friendly way. Furthermore, the presented approach enables a differentiated evaluation of established methods of ergonomic feedback like OWAS or EAWS.