Should people change their behavior to conform to the needs of industrial automation, or should automation take shape based on the needs of human beings? For most of the history of automation, people have adjusted to the needs of the machinery. For modern factories, that mindset often carries on, but it doesn’t have to.
The assumption here is not that people should be subservient to machines but that there are costs or limitations that make it necessary.
Active Assist changes that. This Rexroth software allows workpieces to communicate with machinery for the benefit of the operators.
A workpiece is tagged with RFID information. The workpiece approaches the machine workstation and the workstation reads the RFID tag. The correct tool moves into place, and lights identify the worker’s next move. Instructions are shown in the worker’s native language on a kiosk. Instead of showing multiple screens in order, demanding extra cognitive effort from the worker’s short term memory to remember information from one screen to the next, the screen uses an interface with moving images or lights that highlight the entire process.
When the task is complete, the worker uses a hand gesture — maybe even just moving out of range — to let the machinery know that the task is finished. The workpiece moves on to the next workstation.
As additional workpieces move into place, the worker has the option of checking the task and can see when a task changes, but the machine is not intrusive. 3D cameras track the worker’s movements, alerting operators if there is an error.
Active Assist can be configured with data glasses, touchscreens, virtual surfaces, and other appropriate hardware. It can be connected with Active Cockpit. It also respects the operator’s expertise with ergonomic and intuitive design that creates a smooth workflow.
In short, Active Assist uses Industry 4.0 tools to make the machinery more collaborative and more helpful to the human operators. Web-based software makes it flexible and will keep it relevant far into the future.
Rexroth has been bringing the best of electric industrial motion control to all kinds of factories and facilities for decades. With thoughtful innovation, Rexroth will continue to do so for many decades into the future. When you need service, for legacy parts or the newest iterations, give us a call. We minimize downtime by taking care of your Rexroth support needs with the speed and expertise you require.