Safe manufacturing work

Workplace safety, accident prevention and workers’ health are not the first thoughts that come to mind when we hear the term Industry 4.0.

By Federal Ministry of Education and Research

A sharp-dressed strongman (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research

But that is going to change with digitalization. Sensors will prevent many types of accidents, and if a mishap does occur, cameras will quickly identify the injured worker. Smart systems can also give workers a heads-up when their posture, technique or fatigue is putting them at risk of a musculoskeletal problem. And strength-boosting exoskeletons can help workers in situations where they cannot adjust their posture or technique, for example, when working overhead. 

Heads up: Accident! (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Heads up: Accident!

Help needs to come in a hurry if you’ve had an accident. A smart camera system sends in the responders. It detects when someone hits the deck, and sounds the alarm after five seconds.

Rapid response (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research


Rapid
response

Rarely are there so many people to be found in a factory as in this staged scenario. Some warehouses are practically devoid of human life, so it may be hours before an injured person is found. Automatic accident detection solves that problem.

Optical scanning (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Optical scanning

The camera system constantly scans the human body’s axes and registers when a person is lying on the ground.

Gentle giant (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Gentle
giant

This
robot lifts heavy metal parts onto a workbench. An optical system makes sure
it does not injure people in the process. The robot slows down when a person
approaches and stops when they come near.

Big help (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Big help

The robot is easily programmed with this tablet.

People first (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research

People first

The optical monitoring system divides the space around the robot into two danger zones. The robot slows down when a human enters the outer zone. It stops when the danger gets acute.

Wie gefährlich sind Roboter?Federal Ministry of Education and Research

A finger guardian (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research


Hazard
averted

Heads up or thumb’s off! A sensor in the glove prevents accidents. It detects when a hand gets too close to the saw blade and stops the machine.

Hazard averted (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research

A finger guardian

One false move could cost a finger. Gloves with integrated sensors prevent that.

Proper form and technique (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Proper form and technique

Working overhead like this gentleman can be a health risk, especially if you make a wrong move. Body sensors track movements and sound the alarm if a joint is subjected to too much stress.

Better safe than sorry (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Better safe than sorry

Four cameras watch over this ‘wired’ woman. An app shows if a joint is subjected to undue strain on the job that could pose a long-term risk of musculoskeletal damage.

A sharp-dressed strongman (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research


A
sharp-dressed strongman

The Exo-Jacket’s small electric motors enhance arm strength. Lifting and working overhead is a lot easier with this exoskeleton.

Iron-ish Man (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Iron-ish Man

This strength-booster doesn’t aim to turn workers into superheroes; it merely goes to make routine and strenuous chores easier.

No load too heavy (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research

No load too heavy

Hauling cases is a piece of cake with reinforced arms.

Break time (2017)Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Break time

The Exo-Jacket makes a quick meal of work, but you don’t need it to enjoy a meal.

Credits: Story

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
Projektträger Karlsruhe PTKA
Fraunhofer IAO
Fraunhofer IPA
Universität Stuttgart IFF
Universität Stuttgart IAT

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Google apps