Human factors research to increase manufacturing productivity and innovation
Book chapter, 2007
It is essential that Europe have a flourishing manufacturing industry to keep employment and to be economically healthy. However, the wages of citizens in the European Union are higher than in other regions of the world and the European Union is not able to compete on high volumes with much manual work. In this paper a project is described in which 20 experts in human factors defined the most promising way of using the European workforce in manufacturing. Based on this, the research needs for the coming 10 years with regard to human factors in manufacturing, are described. To identify what research is needed to have an optimal functioning staff in future manufacturing, literature on the important current problems was gathered and discussed with experts and manufacturing companies. Based on these data in the coming years research attention is needed on: – optimal functioning of humans; – participatory simulation; and – systems that support flexibility in manufacturing.