Companies of the meat processing industry have experienced a continuing skilled labour shortage for a number of years, especially in the area of fine cutting. In contrast to primal cutting, which largely takes place in automated systems, fine cutting continues to be carried out in manual labour. Due to a lack of skilled labour, companies increasingly rely on the employment of unskilled personnel. However, the training generally proves to be difficult: The cultural diversity of the employees in training result in large language barriers, which complicates the communication between employees, and thereby the transfer of necessary knowledge.
In the long term, this creates a need for digital solutions at companies, providing support for the training of new employees and transcending language barriers. Digital assistance systems that were developed to support industrial montage and maintenance tasks offer a promising approach for the realization of such training systems. These systems based on stationary and mobile Augmented-Reality (AR) Technologies make it possible to display relevant text or image-based information as well as virtual markers directly to the field of view and working area, in order to generate interactive instructions.
In the Exploration Project 3, these assistance systems should be evaluated concerning their transferability and application for training and continuing education of workers in the field of fine cutting. The project aims to implement an assistance system, which enables the interactive mediation of incisions of various levels of difficulty and at the same time reduce current problems like linguistic or cultural barriers. Through this, the training of new staff in the field of fine cutting should be ensured.
Benefit for OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts
The cooperation between the ILT.NRW and inIT strengthens and further expands the interdisciplinary research competence of the OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Simultaneously, the transfer of research and development performances into the region is intensified through the cooperation with the company Tönnies and contributes to the profile of the research location Lemgo in a positive way. Furthermore, the development of a new field of research that incurs from the described cooperation, presents a strategically important goal.
Benefit for the practice partners and other parties
The envisioned assistance system should be utilized for personnel in training as well as advance training courses for experienced workers. The savings of unnecessary scrap is just as decisive as shortened and resource-friendly education and training periods. The systems can be expanded to additional training scenarios and other areas of activity with little effort, which enables a cross-industry implementation.