Manual work processes

In logistics, manual work processes are often associated with core tasks such as picking, packing and quality control. To ensure that logistics processes run smoothly, delivery times are minimized and customer satisfaction is maximized through error-free execution, the continuous improvement of these manual activities is of crucial importance.

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Optimization - Manual Work Processes: Optimization - Analyzing Manual Work Processes Using Sensors and Machine Learning

Using Motion Mining® technology, manual processes of employees are anonymously recorded by means of mobile sensors (wearables) and mapped using machine learning algorithms. Based on the knowledge gained, optimization (manual work processes) can be carried out in terms of efficiency and ergonomics.

Different areas or departments should be considered individually in order to analyze work behavior and timing, and optimization is carried out on the basis of the knowledge gained. Manual work processes are the focus of the identification of weaknesses. A process analysis and optimization (manual work processes) is particularly worthwhile for essential areas of activity, i.e. daily processes should be the focus. New areas often increase the need for optimization. Optimizing manual work processes correctly, it is also advisable to ask employees about their satisfaction with regard to the process, does the team achieve results in a reasonable time and are work colleagues optimally fed?

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 production level can be achieved.


How analysis and optimization (manual work processes) based on machine learning can become possible

Since 2017, MotionMiners GmbH has been supporting companies in analyzing and optimizing manual work processes. Based on our experience from projects in the field of process analysis and the data obtained, optimization measures are developed for the initial situations identified, which lead to an improvement of these processes.

The movements and activities of employees in the warehouse are recorded completely anonymously using mobile sensors (wearables). Furthermore, the environment is equipped with micro radio transmitters (beacons). The so-called beacons provide contextual 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 procedure enables manual work processes to be recorded automatically in the warehouse. Manual work processes are recorded automatically and anonymously over an observation period of 1-2 weeks. The employees carry non-personal measuring sets (sensors) with them for this measurement, which record all of the employees' movements. The data is then automatically analyzed. Meanwhile, more than 60 movements can be distinguished, including walking, driving, but also unhealthy or healthy bending. The results are presented in the form of key figures (process indicators) and visualizations. On this basis, measures are developed and specifically derived to eliminate the inefficiencies identified and to make 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.

Optimization - Manual Work Processes: Advantages of analyzing manual work processes with Motion Mining® technology.

Optimization - Analyzing manual work processes automatically, with concrete starting points for route optimization, is a good example of optimization (manual work processes). Even today, manual work processes are mostly still analyzed manually. However, 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 analyses are rarely carried out, also due to the high manual effort involved.

Another advantage of optimization (manual work processes) with Motion-Mining® is the stand-alone solution. Motion-Mining® technology does not require integration into the company's own It infrastructure. This favors simple and uncomplicated setup and dismantling of the measuring equipment.

The successful development of a company is largely dependent on its structure: The optimization (manual work processes) of the processes and an efficient organization of the work processes are the secret of success. To a large extent, good self-organization and orderly process organization prevent time losses and increase productivity. Process optimization helps to avoid mistakes in everyday life, but also to save costs and possibly to improve the own service.


Data protection in the context of a Motion Mining® process analysis

Currently, manual work processes are often analyzed manually. A process engineer uses a stopwatch and a clipboard to observe manual work processes as they run. There must be a one-to-one relationship between the process engineer and the employee in the process. Employee anonymity often cannot be granted in this way. The factor of anonymity and protection of employees is often one of the most important factors why a works council opposes manual work process analysis. The analysis of manual work processes is therefore carried out far too rarely and optimization potential often remains undiscovered.

Data collection in the context of a Motion-Mining® process analysis is anonymous, so that the rights of the employees are protected at all times.


Ergonomics analyses in the context of a Motion-Mining® process analysis

Optimization - Manual work processes are characterized by uniform, repetitive motion sequences and force exertion.

In this context, the differentiation from other forms of strain is not always obvious. Under certain circumstances, it can be helpful to alternatively assign the stress type "lifting, holding, carrying", "pulling, pushing" or "whole-body forces". Such a situation exists, for example, if the loads to be moved or the forces to be applied are large loads. The repetition rate of an activity additionally has a great influence on the load situation. The focus is on the number of repetitions and the manner in which the force is applied. How long the load lasts is another crucial aspect. In addition, there are other load type-specific conditions, such as body posture, load distribution over the shift period and execution conditions, which also have an influence on the load level. These conditions are accompanied, for example, by the spatial conditions.

Optimization - Manual work processes primarily strain the smaller muscle parts of the hand-arm system. The result is damage to the joints, muscles and tendons. Some clinical disease patterns, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, can be clearly determined. The musculoskeletal system, the supporting apparatus of the human body, is composed of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and connective tissue. It can be stressed by both overuse and underuse. Unhealthy stress situations are identified in ergonomics analyses and corrected accordingly.

An ergonomics analysis using Motion-Mining® technology can reveal stress situations among employees. The technology can currently distinguish between more than 60 different movement sequences. Critical movements such as bending from the back, carrying, lifting, holding, and overhead activities are considered in the ergonomics analysis. These movements are recorded in movement intervals, during the ergonomics analysis. In addition to the typical movements, vibrations and repetitions in particular can also be detected. Based on the data from the ergonomics analysis, overloads and permanent stresses can be detected and measures to avoid them can be derived.

Motion-mining® at a glance

Measure | Evaluate | Optimize

Seamlessly integrate our Motion-Mining® hardware into your work processes to capture activity and motion data from your employees and vehicles. Evaluate them visually with our AI-powered MPI software.

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