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Work assistance system for the individualisation of work design and method training

Use of Smart Devices for context-sensitive work support as a new component of occupational health management

(Project duration: June 2016 to Mai 2019)


Problem definition

The increasing dynamics and digitization of the working world in combination with current megatrends, such as short product life cycles, volatile customer requirements and an increasing product variety result in work processes with a high complexity and a low repetitiveness. In order to ensure reaction and competitiveness, the use of human resources remains of central importance for manufacturing companies and also indispensable in the context of a technology-driven industry. This leads to ambivalent demands on employees.

The employee will increasingly act as conductor and controller on the one hand, on the other hand a considerable part of his spectrum of activities still consists of manual, repetitive and partly monotonous activities, which can lead to high demands. An essential feature of these activities is the increased variability of work contents and conditions due to work organisational measures (e.g. job rotation, job enrichment). In this context, the current demographic development and the associated inter- and intraindividual scattering of sensory, motor and cognitive employee skills have a strengthening effect.



The aim of the research project is the development of a new component of occupational health management for the permanent maintenance of the adaptability and employability of employees. Of essential importance here is the targeted sensory, cognitive employee support through a work assistance system at an already designed workplace. A central aspect of the new health management component is the linking of ergonomic and structural work design with competence and personnel development. 

The employee is supported by the use of Smart Devices and by the development of an innovative training concept taking into account individual requirement profiles and operational framework conditions. With the help of the assistance system, both general (e.g. safety instructions) and specific information (e.g. work tasks and procedures) are individually provided to the employee in a context-sensitive manner, which contribute to an increase in human perception and individual situational awareness and at the same time facilitate decision-making in strongly varying work situations. In addition, work assistance serves to record and process relevant movement and process parameters in order to create an individual training concept. The training, which is used both for learning ergonomically favourable movements and for targeted load changes and balancing, also enables situation-dependent visualisation during operation by using 3D simulations including digital human models.



Abb.1: Projektidee


Procedure and Division of Labour

The development of the project contents is divided into five work packages (analysis and requirement specification, concept, implementation and realisation, validation and optimisation, project management and public relations). First, the relevant basics for the development of work assistance for the individualization of work design and method training are developed and compiled in a catalogue of requirements. Based on this, the comprehensive conception of the work assistance takes place before the developed detailed concepts are to be technically implemented and realized in the form of an individual work assistance. Of essential importance here is the digital validation of the ergonomic work design using a simulation environment. Finally, the developed concepts must be validated and optimised in representative application cases. The basis for this are the organisational and structural working conditions developed in the context of new forms of industrial work as well as the resulting physical and psychological stresses.



Abb. 2: Arbeitsteilung im Konsortium


Research and Development Partners

  • Deutsche MTM-Vereinigung e.V.
  • Continental Automotive GmbH
  • Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin (BAuA)
  • Technische Universität Dortmund
    • Institut für Produktionssysteme (IPS)
    • Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft (ISSW)

Eine besondere Stärke des interdisziplinären Vorhabens ist die Einbindung der Industriegewerkschaft Metall (IG-Metall), des Arbeitgeberverbands der Metall- und Elektroindustrie Baden-Württemberg e.V. (SWM) sowie der Berufsgenossenschaft Holz und Metall (BGHM).

Sub content


Sekretariat IPS
Tel.: 0231 755-2652



promotional note

This project is funded by the „Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung“ (BMBF) within the framework of the programme "Arbeiten - Lernen – Kompetenzen entwickeln, Präventive Maßnahmen für die sichere und gesunde Arbeit von morgen" (funding code 02L14A160) and supervised by the project management agency PTKA.


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