Analyzing manual work processes using sensors and machine learning
Optimize manual work processes in terms of efficiency and ergonomics
Using the Motion Mining® technology, manual processes of employees are recorded anonymously using mobile sensors (wearables) and mapped using machine learning algorithms. Based on the knowledge gained, an optimization (manual work processes) can be carried out with regard to efficiency and ergonomics.
Different areas or departments should be considered individually in order to analyze work behavior and the time schedule; optimization is carried out on the basis of the knowledge gained. Manual work processes are the focus of weak point identification. A process analysis and optimization (manual work processes) is particularly worthwhile in essential areas of activity, ie daily processes should be the focus. The need for optimization often increases with new areas. Correctly optimize manual work processes, it is also advisable to ask employees about their satisfaction with the process, does the team get results in a reasonable time and is it optimally passed on to colleagues?
Through this comprehensive restructuring and digitization of the company’s own work processes, the company structure can be changed in such a way that a significantly higher level of production can be achieved.
How manual work processes are analyzed and optimized on the basis of machine learning
Analyzing manual work processes with Motion-Mining® technology
MotionMiners GmbH has been supporting companies in analysis and optimization (manual work processes) since 2017. Based on our experience from projects in the field of process analysis and the data obtained, optimization measures are developed for the determined initial situations, which lead to an improvement of these processes.
The movements and activities of employees in the warehouse are recorded completely anonymously with the help of mobile sensors (wearables). Furthermore, the surrounding area is equipped with micro-radio transmitters (beacons). The so-called beacons provide context information. Using AI processes, the individual operations in the manual processes are reproduced from this data. These are automatically analyzed in terms of efficiency and ergonomic key figures.
The process enables optimization and manual work processes to be recorded automatically in the warehouse. Manual processes are recorded automatically and anonymously over an observation period of 1-2 weeks. For this measurement, employees carry non-personal measurement sets (sensors) with them, which record all employee movements. The data is then automatically evaluated. More than 50 movements can now be distinguished, including running, driving, but also unhealthy or healthy stooping. The results are presented in the form of key figures (process indicators) and visualizations. On this basis, measures are developed and specifically derived in order to remedy the identified inefficiencies and to carry out ergonomic optimizations. Based on the findings of the analysis of the actual processes, we identify weak points and bottlenecks in order to derive starting points for their optimization (manual work processes).
Optimization – manual work processes: Advantages of analyzing manual work processes with the Motion-Mining® technology
Analyzing manual processes automatically, with specific starting points for route optimization, is a good example of optimization (manual work processes). Even today, process analyzes are mostly still carried out manually, and optimization is correspondingly complex. Manual work processes cannot be analyzed anonymously in this way; in many cases this leads to a conflict with the respective works council, so that manual process analyzes are only rarely carried out, also due to the high manual effort.
Another advantage of optimization (manual work processes) with Motion-Mining® is the stand-alone solution. The Motion-Mining® technology does not need to be integrated into the company’s own IT infrastructure. This favors the simple and uncomplicated assembly and disassembly of the measuring equipment.
The successful development of a company is largely dependent on its structure: Optimization (manual processes) and efficient organization of work processes are the secret of success. To a large extent, good self-organization and an orderly process organization prevent time losses and increase productivity. By optimizing processes, errors can be avoided in everyday life, but costs can also be saved and, if necessary, your own service can be improved.
Data protection in the context of a Motion-Mining® process analysis
A one-to-one relationship in an analysis/optimization (manual work process) with stopwatch and clipboard
Currently, analyzes for optimization (manual work processes) are often carried out manually. A process engineer uses a stopwatch and clipboard to observe processes while they are running. There must be a one-to-one relationship between the process engineer and the employee in the process. The anonymity of the employees can often not be guaranteed during the analysis and optimization. Manual work processes can often not be analyzed without the factor of anonymity and the protection of employees, as this is one of the most important factors and often a reason why a works council speaks out against an analysis. Analysis and optimization (manual work processes) are therefore carried out far too seldom and potentials often remain undiscovered.
The data collection as part of a Motion-Mining® process analysis and optimization (manual work processes) takes place anonymously, so that the rights of the employees are protected at all times.
Ergonomics analyses within the scope of a Motion-Mining® process analysis
Evaluation of the load situation to protect the employees
Manual processes are characterized by uniform, repetitive sequences of movements and exertion of force.
The differentiation from other forms of stress is not always obvious. Under certain circumstances it can be helpful to assign the stress type “lifting, holding, carrying”, “pulling, pushing” or “whole body forces” as an alternative. Such a situation exists, for example, when the loads to be moved or the forces to be applied are large loads. The repetition rate of an activity also has a great influence on the stress situation. The focus is on the number of repetitions and the way in which the force is exerted. How long the exposure lasts is another crucial aspect. In addition, there are other conditions specific to the type of load, such as body posture, load distribution over the shift period and execution conditions, which also have an influence on the level of load. The spatial conditions, for example, go hand in hand with these conditions.
Manual processes put a lot of strain on the smaller muscles in the hand-arm system. The result is damage to the joints, muscles and tendons. Some clinical pictures such as carpal tunnel syndrome can be clearly identified. The musculoskeletal system, the supporting apparatus of the human body, is made up of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and connective tissue. It can be stressed both through overuse and underuse. The unhealthy stressful situations are recognized in ergonomics analyzes and remedied accordingly.
As part of an ergonomics analysis using Motion-Mining® technology, stressful situations for employees can be uncovered. With the technology, more than 60 different motion sequences can currently be distinguished. Critical movements such as bending over from the back, carrying, lifting, holding, overhead activities are considered in the ergonomics analysis. These movements are recorded at movement intervals during the ergonomics analysis. In addition to the typical movements, vibrations and repetitions can also be specifically recognized. On the basis of the data from the ergonomics analysis, excessive and permanent loads can be identified and measures to avoid them can be derived.