Industry 5.0: how the human-machine interface attracts attention

Industry 4.0 is moving towards Industry 5.0, putting more emphasis on how workers and machines interact. Learn how this AI trend has brought improvements to industrial environments.

Image: iStockphoto/PJ66431470

When Industry 4.0 hit the scene in 2015, it promised seamless connectivity and business processes between machines at production sites, as well as point-to-point automation between remote facilities and different functions throughout. the supply chain.

The original goal of Industry 4.0 was the automation of business processes, but as the technology matured, a new goal emerged: the need to better perfect the human-machine interface so that humans and machines can work more effectively together. This marked the start of Industry 5.0.

“Industry 5.0 is where we’re starting to see a balance of choreography between humans and machines, and the increasingly intelligent dialogue between them,” said Rinus Strydom, chief revenue officer of the IoT company. PaaS Particle. “Humans and machines also help each other make decisions.”

SEE: Successful AI implementation depends on how companies define human-machine interactions (TechRepublic)

This is how it works.

In the factory and other noisy work environments, OSHA requires employers to take appropriate steps to protect employees. This includes monitoring auditory noise to ensure that employees do not suffer hearing damage.

In the past, employers had to manually record time-weighted averages and review historical sound data. It was a tedious process. Now, with the help of automation and artificial intelligence, machines can perform auditory monitoring. Businesses save time and resources because the process has been automated. Automated monitoring and artificial intelligence issue alerts when auditory noise exceeds what the human ear can comfortably tolerate, and human operator-managers take action to eliminate the problem.

The results are a reduced incidence of hearing damage among workers and a reduced risk of workers’ compensation cases for hearing damage.

“Companies are capable of solving high-risk human tasks – like volatile material leak monitoring, as well as high-cost/low-return activities – like long travel times to remote monitoring sites, as well as than mundane tasks like reading a meter or identifying data anomalies,” Strydom said. “This is by no means an exhaustive list, but from what we’ve seen, they are some of the most rewarding process improvements for workers, and often have corollary environmental and cost-saving benefits.

TO SEE: Cheat Sheet: Artificial Intelligence (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

On the other hand, there are also challenges for Industry 5.0 automation and AI — precisely because of the man-machine interface. One such challenge is employees’ natural fear that robots and automation will take their jobs away.

This is what happened at Mullerblaustein, a German timber construction company that wanted to integrate Industry 5.0 robotics and automation. The company’s chief executive, Reinhold Muller, admitted that at first employees were wary of the new Industry 5.0 technology. They felt their jobs were in jeopardy. It was only after seeing firsthand the benefits of the new work processes and seeing that they still had a vital role to play that they relaxed. They saw the advantage of robotics and automation that relieved them of many tedious tasks so that they could do more advanced work. Getting employees on board is likely to be an initial challenge in other companies as well.

What steps can companies take to ensure a smooth transition to new types of automation and AI in business processes?

1. Identify the business processes that can benefit the most from automation and AI

“A company used remote monitoring and AI and avoided an oil spill because remote monitoring triggered an alarm in the middle of the night,” Strydom said. “Beyond the physical cleaning and remediation work, the emotional toll of the leak on the business would have been immense.”

2. Actively involve employees in the design of business processes

No one knows the ins and outs of a business process better than the employees who participate in it. These employees should be actively involved in identifying how automation and AI can improve their tasks and work processes. If employees are engaged in designing business processes from the start, they will be more accepting of new processes being implemented.

3. Devote training time to learning new technologies and processes

Companies that focus on the well-being and preparation of their workforce and the IT that supports their technologies fare better. This means making time to learn new work processes and technologies so that employees can perform them and IT can support them.