Future Work Lab: Innovation Partnership of DEKRA and Fraunhofer Institutes

In the new Future Work Lab of the Fraunhofer Institute, DEKRA promotes innovative concepts for occupational safety in the age of Industry 4.0.

Opening ceremony for the Future Work Lab of the Fraunhofer Institute with Federal Minister of Education and Research, Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka. In future, DEKRA will support here new developments for the prevention of work accidents. Picture. DEKRA

The most important things at a glance:

  • Mastermind opinion on active accident prevention for Industry 4.0
  • Preventing work accidents in relation to the interaction of man and machine
  • DEKRA presents an exhibit in the “Future Work Lab” in Stuttgart

Within the framework of an innovation partnership, initiated by DEKRA, with the Fraunhofer Institutes IAO and IPA, new processes are being developed for preventing work accidents in the collaboration between man and machine. A first exhibit has now been presented during the opening ceremony of the “Future Work Lab” in Stuttgart, in the presence of Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka, Federal Minister of Education and Research.

“Humans are still the biggest source of danger in the industry, including automated production”, says DEKRA’s board member Ivo Rauh, who is responsible for the Business Unit DEKRA Industrial. “We want to promote new concepts, for making the collaboration of men and machine as safe as possible. Digitalization provides new unimagined possibilities for the sustainable improvement of active accident prevention.”

Innovation partnership

The exhibit has been developed at the initiative of DEKRA, in an innovation partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute IPA for production and automation technology in Stuttgart. Using the example of a band saw, it is illustrated how the machine detects in real-time how the user behaves and how far away he is from the source of danger – which is the saw blade in this case. In case of uncontrollable movements or approaches, the machine comes to a halt, before an accident occurs. The hand of the operator is equipped with a sensor.

This principle can be applied with all kinds of machines where humans supply work pieces or material manually. The goal is that also more complicated machines are able to recognize from the behaviour of human beings, if they are authorized and trained to run the machine. In automated production environments, also the maintenance crew would be protected against their own mistakes.

The Future Work Lab was established as an innovation lab for work, men and technology under the leadership of the Fraunhofer Institute for Labor Economics and Organization (IAO) on the research campus in Stuttgart-Vaihingen. The Fraunhofer IAO and IPA are combining their competencies there for the challenges of Industry 4.0 and for making the future of production work come alive.

Read more: 2017: New dangerous goods regulations (DGR)

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