More than 750 participants from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland came together for four days to share their ideas, knowledge and experiences at the Mensch und Computer 2015 (MuC15). MuC15 is the largest annual German-speaking conference for Human-Computer/Machine-Interaction which this year took place at Stuttgart University from Sep 6 to Sep 9.
The FACTS4WORKERS project had the opportunity to organize a one-day Workshop on the topic “Smart Factories” at MuC15. We dedicated this workshop to the discussion of theories, models, technologies, demonstrators, case studies, and practical experiences on worker-centric information systems for collaboration in factories of the future.
The reactions on our call for papers was very positive and at the end we accepted 16 submissions for presentation at the workshop.
The workshop took place at 8/9 and was facilitated by Alexander Richter from the University of Zurich and Alexander Stocker from Virtual Vehicle. It was organized in three sessions:
Session 1 started with an introduction giving about 30 curious workshop-participants the opportunity to brainstorm one important aspect of Smart Factories, which was then documented on a flip-chart. In the ‘main event’ of session 1 four 20 minute presentations provided valuable insights into the Smart Factory projects AMBIWISE (from DE), ASSIST40 (from AT), and SO-PC-PRO (a FP7 Factory of the Future project) sharing many commonalities with FACTS4WORKERS and into a fascinating demonstrator of a ‘control station of the future’.
Session 2 included eleven three minute talks on various topics relevant for Smart Factories, including useable assistance systems, PLM/PDM systems, knowledge sharing in Web 2.0 communities, secure and safe networks of smart machines, maintenance process documentation with smart glasses, OSLC and linked engineering data, competency management, federated recommender systems, interactive engineering labs, job-based usability testing and information integration. After these twelve initial talks, all participants had the opportunity to experience the presented research and conduct fruitful discussions in an open poster and demo area.
Session 3 was an interactive session which gave four groups of workshop participants the opportunity to actively work on four dedicated Smart Factory Challenges. These four challenges, (1) digital assistance systems, (2) motivation and incentive systems for content creation, (3) information integration across the product lifecycle, and (4) prototype evaluation through data analytics have been developed by clustering all Smart Factory aspects provided by the participants at the start of the first session.
The workshop has provided innumerable fruitful discussions and fully met the expectancy of both, the workshop providers, and the workshop organizers Alexander Stocker, Andrea Denger, Martin Wifling, Johannes Fritz, Christian Kaiser (all Virtual Vehicle), Christian Kittl (evolaris), and Alexander Richter (University of Zurich). It is therefore planned to continue this success and to submit another Smart Factory workshop proposal to the Mensch und Computer 2016, which will be held in Aachen.