A 4.0 industrial revolution is underway with the introduction of new digital technologies within smart factories enabling efficiency, flexibility and productivity gains.
In January 2015, Sigma Orionis and a European consortium of researchers and industrialists launched the SatisFactory project, which aims to demonstrate and promote the potential of 4.0 industry to improve the work environment in factories. SatisFactory is a three-year research project funded by the European Commission under its Horizon 2020 programme. It will create a collaborative and augmented-enabled ecosystem for increasing satisfaction and knowledge sharing in smart factory environments.
The project proposes to incorporate a set of cutting-edge technologies in industrial assembly lines to provide labourers with real-time informational support for incident management, maintenance and training. Data will be collected by a sensor network, processed by a centralized analysis system and ultimately redistributed to the concerned operatives via augmented reality glasses and other connected interfaces.
SatisFactory is part of current technology trends in dissemination of connected terminals (including wearable tech) and a diversification of human-machine interfaces (such as augmented reality). A better understanding of operators’ working environment and the opportunity to enrich it thanks to augmented reality glasses are paving the way towards a global revolution in factory lines.
Sigma Orionis (France) is part of a consortium led by the Center for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH, Italy) and composed of Fraunhofer FIT (Germany), the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), the Instituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB, Italy), as well as SMEs, Atlantis Engineering (ABE, Greece), Regola (Italy), GlassUp (Italy), and two large industry partners, Comau (Italy) and Systems Sunlight (Greece).
After a test phase in pilot plants in Italy and Greece belonging to the automotive and energy fields, the project is expected to widely spread its solutions in Europe. Between pragmatism and gamification approaches, the aim is to harness technological innovation for employee safety and welfare, while improving industrial efficiency and productivity. Factories of the future could boost growth and job creation in Europe.