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Methodology of employing exoskeleton technology in manufacturing by considering time-related and ergonomics influences

: Dahmen, C.; Constantinescu, C.

Fulltext ()

Applied Sciences 10 (2020), No.5, Art. 1591, 13 pp.
ISSN: 2076-3417
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IAO ()

This article presents a holistic methodology for planning, optimization and integration of exoskeletons for human-centered workplaces, with a focus on the automotive industry. Parts of current and future challenges in this industry (i.e., need of flexible manufacturing but as well having demographic change) are the motivation for this article. This challenges should be transformed in positive effectiveness by integrating of exoskeletons regarding this article. Already published research work from authors are combined in a form of summary, to get all relevant knowledge, and especially results, in a coherent and final context. This article gives interested newcomers, as well as experienced users, planners and researchers, in exoskeleton technology an overview and guideline of all relevant parts: from absolute basics beginning until operative usage. After fixing the motivation with resulting three relevant research questions, an introduction to the exoskeleton technology and to the current challenges in planning and optimizing the ergonomics and efficiency in manufacturing are given. A first preselection method (called ExoMatch) is presented to find the most suitable exoskeleton for workplacesm by filtering and matching all the important analyzed attributes and characteristics under consideration to all relevant aspects from environments. The next section treats results regarding an analysis of influencing factors by integrating exoskeletons in manufacturing. In particular, ergonomic-related and production-process-related (especially time-management) influences identified and researched in already published works are discussed. The next important step is to present a roadmap as a guideline for integration exoskeleton. This article gives relevant knowledge, methodologies and guidelines for optimized integrating exoskeleton for human-centered workplaces, under consideration of ergonomics- and process-related influences, in a coherent context, as a result and summary from several already published research work.