The digital transformation in industry impacts the areas of business, academia, politics, and society. The interfaces between all actors involved are increasing through global value chains and growing digital networks. Partnership-based cooperation is needed to successfully shape Industry 4.0.
Technicians, trained and untrained, no longer work on machines as pure operators, but as coordinators, experienced experts, and decision-makers. This requires self-organization competencies and the expert handling of human-machine interfaces. Industrial SMEs frequently do not have appropriate qualification concepts for this nor the resources to develop these themselves.
In three industrial SMEs, sample qualification fields are investigated that will change through digitalization:
1. Optimization of machine utilization in plant engineering and construction
2. Warehouse logistics in a laser-technology company
3. Documentation of maintenance and machine conditions in a machine building company.
Through interviews and workplace observations, the required competencies for self-organization and use of human-machine interfaces are determined and qualification requirements derived. The findings flow into development of an app, a production demonstrator, and related training concepts. The results are practice-oriented activity profiles, concrete action recommendations, and compilation of success factors that SMEs can adopt and modify as needed.
SME employees should be enabled to independently fulfill the changing requirements for self-organization and machine coordination. To be developed are an app-supported instrument for company-specific determination of competency and qualification requirements and a realistic production environment as a demonstrator for handling relevant human-machine interfaces.With it, SMEs can derive target-group-specific qualification measures, implement them efficiently, and enable their employees to act as coordinators in an increasingly digitalized work environment.
Social value added:
The project results will be used in the three SMEs of the consortium, validated prototypically, and will support the companies on the path of digital transformation. The demonstrator will be available for information, education, and training purposes beyond the life of the project. The app and the qualification concepts will be passed on perspectively to interested companies as consulting, training, and coaching offerings and also flow into academic instruction. The results improve the everyday work of local SMEs, secure workplaces, and strengthen the competitiveness of the German economy.