Factory work gets an upgrade

by Deanna Maria R. & Emmy Hikins

If you’ve ever worked in a factory, it can be a mind-numbing experience but, not to worry, a tech upgrade is infusing new life into today’s production line. To make factory work more engaging for the worker, knowledge platforms, ‘one of seven measures’, upgrade the production line ‘putting Europe at the forefront of global manufacturing’. ‘The Factory to fit’ project is being utilized at Prima Power, a laser and sheet metal plant, in Seinajok.

‘Nobody knows the work better than the one doing it’, is the philosophy behind the project. A study was conducted to explore new ways ‘to make machines and people work together’. The idea is to put the factory worker in the center, making decisions such as designing work environment and organization and allowing them to communicate and share their knowledge from the ‘practical experience’ they gain from the job. As part of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’, globally changing the industry, automation and robotics, plays a giant role.

Changing from the still existing manual work to knowledge work, virtual components meet to compliment the typical factory work in a real-world environment. The project consists of 3D models as part of the pre-training solution along with Cloud-based virtual tutorials. Next, the knowledge base is where the workers share information they have accrued running the machines especially if something goes awry. They can also use the knowledge base to find out information on a particular situation to help solve problems.