Development update: FELICE Adaptive Workstation (AWS)
The Institute of Human Factors and Ergonomics (IAD) of the Technical University Darmstadt has completed the Adaptive Workstation Phase II prototype for integration into the Campus Manufacturing Line of the Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF) in Melfi, Italy in September 2023.
In current production systems, the assembly of larger work objects, such as car doors, can require awkward postures because the dimensions of these objects exceed the range in which humans can work ergonomically. Production systems can mitigate these effects by repositioning the work item during the process. However, in most systems, the position of the work object is static and may not be a perfect fit for all users or for all tasks to be performed.
The FELICE system takes a different approach. The FELICE Adaptive Workstation (AWS) uses automation to change the height and tilt of the work object based on individual characteristics, such as the user’s body proportions, during the assembly process. Such requests can be scheduled globally and automatically by the intelligent execution system or, alternatively, in manual mode using the station’s HMI or the on-board voice control system developed by the University of Salerno (UNISA).
The aim is to make assembly more accessible to all users and to further reduce physical strain on the neck, back and shoulders. These effects will be evaluated during FELICE to measure the potential impact and identify relevant use cases for this technology.