Thu, 23 March, 2023
TWI has joined a consortium of partners in the Up-Skill project to develop a greater understanding of how business can benefit from improved machine/human integration in the workplace.
Businesses are already adapting to the benefits offered by automation, artificial intelligence, big data, real-time data processing, the Internet of Things, and machine learning, but being able to integrate them with human capabilities will be the next step towards Industry 5.0.
Industry 5.0 is the next phase of industrial revolution and is also known as the ‘human-centred industry’ or "cooperative industry." Where Industry 4.0 focussed on automation and digital technologies, 5.0 emphasises the importance of human beings and their skills in the manufacturing process, creating a collaborative working environment where humans and machines can cooperate to deliver to their strengths.
Machines can continue to deliver routine and repetitive tasks precisely, allowing humans to focus on more complex decision-making and creative problem-solving. Technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics enhance human capabilities rather than replacing them as manufacturing becomes more personalised and customisable, with a focus on quality, sustainability, and social responsibility.
As we begin to move towards a more harmonious relationship between human beings and machines, with greater productivity, efficiency, and innovation alongside the promotion of human well-being and societal progress, we need to examine the implications of the transition.
Past automation projects have often failed due to the omission of the critical human skills needed for business success. Full automation is perhaps only appropriate where the objectives centre around production efficiency, accessibility and cost reduction.
Automation cannot adapt in contexts where innovation, flexibility and the application of craft and artisanal skills to create added value is important to customers. In such contexts, leveraging effective operations between human workers and technology becomes the key managerial and research concern.
The Up-Skill project is working to better understand the implications of the transition to Industry 5.0 on the workforce and, in particular, the relationship between automation choices and the maintenance of skilled work, which have not been properly explored until now.
You can find out more about this exciting and ground-breaking new work for industry by visiting the project’s website, HERE, and following the Up-Skill project LinkedIn channel, HERE.