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Developing and implementing human-centered information services in a modular production environment

Max Birtel; Martin Ruskowski
In: Procedia Manufacturing, Vol. 51, Pages 592-597, Elsevier, 2020.


New production concepts, like modularization, enable producers to react to customer demands in a more flexible way. With modularization, it is possible to break up production lines into decentralized production modules with individual functionalities. To support human workers on the shop floor of decentralized, modular production environments, they need self-determined access to information. Each worker has his/her own tasks and a specific role within the company. For these tasks, they need information about the production modules and the production process. This paper presents a software architecture, which allows workers to choose the information they need in connection with an interaction that they prefer. An interaction describes, in what way and how often the information is represented to the worker. We define an information service as a triplet of a specific worker, a chosen information and the combined interaction. This paper highlights the development of the software architecture, including its components. The implementation process of the software architecture in (brownfield) modular production environments is shown and validated by showing the process of generating information services to a user's profile. We use OPC UA as communication protocol for the information of the production modules, NoSQL databases to sort the information within the software architecture and JavaScript for the development of the human-centered, web-based frontend. The approach delivers the possibility for a new paradigm of self-determination for shop floor workers in a modular production.