BF-SCOLA (Smart Collaboration for Industrial Applications)


The ever-increasing digitalization of production (“Industry 4.0”) leads to new challenges at monitoring and controlling technical production processes. Employees observe half-automated machinery in great quantities and complexity, while these machines are often interconnected and even act autonomously. The main task of employees is the identification and swift elimination of quality issues and malfunctions. This shift in the working environment leads to an increased demand for Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI) interfaces with high usability (ISO 9241-11) and a positive user experience (ISO 9241-210) to achieve well operable and visualized process data and parameters. Ideally, HCI should thereby adapt to individual users’ knowledge and needs, e.g., an operation manager should immediately be able to view key figures about the production process of some plant while a shift supervisor should see all relevant events or malfunctions of the production process.

Additionally, a collaboration between several employees is decisive, e.g. to help out each other in the event of a malfunction, to learn and teach new solutions, or to combine different views of some matter. Therefore, the interaction with machinery and according visualization should not only be more user-friendly on an individual level but also support groups through collaborative interaction. E.g., in a training situation it should be made possible for two or more persons to interact with a touch sensitive user interface (UI) or visualization; another example would be mentors, experienced colleagues or shift supervisors that are consulted when some problem occurs. However, current HCI and usage concepts in the industrial context are primarily concerned with single-user UIs which leaves out a lot of potential for collaboration.

This is where SCOLA comes in and aims at the creation of innovative HCI concepts in the areas interaction/collaboration as well as visualization by starting two pilot projects in these areas.