MTM – Work design productive and safe

Standards in working world 4.0 are essential – highlights, opinions and what’s next?

What is necessary to meet the requirements in an age of automation and digitalization? The participants at the 2017 MTM Users’ Conference received a clear answer to this question: standards! Even Working World 4.0 will not function properly without the use of standards. And MTM supplies these standards – in terms of the methodology, ergonomics and standard performance. That was the result of the final survey of the more than 170 people who attended the conference. It was possible to read the terms, which the participants believed were particularly important with reference to Working World 4.0, in the cloud – which was generated by interaction (see photo) – and the participants were able to take these with them as topics for their own areas of responsibility too.

What`s next: from e-learning to the MTM cloud
Knuth Jasker, the MTM Executive Director and chairman of the event, made the connection between the requirements for contemporary industrial engineering and the benefits of MTM standards. They include MTM-HWD®, the new standard for process description, and the “standard times for robot movements,” i.e. the prospective planning work for human-machine collaboration. Jasker also said that the link with new technologies like virtual reality or motion capturing increased the efficiency levels when using the standards. He believed that MTM faced another major task in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in organizing the process of digital transformation. The major focus here is an MTM cloud for calculating and assessing TARGET/ACTUAL figures in real time and making available MTM process data in the MTM TiCon software, regardless of which sector is involved. The third major area of focus involves internationalization. The key elements here involve setting up standard Instructor training courses internationally and establishing e-learning facilities, which will enable all interested parties to gain access to a certified MTM training course anywhere around the world.

Planning more efficiently with VR technology
According to a survey, the greatest benefits of MTM standards are found in the efficient organization of the planning process, according to those who attended the Users’ Conference. Andreas Rüdenauer, Managing Director of Rüdenauer 3D Technology GmbH, also focused on the end-to-end digital planning process with the help of virtual reality software, which visualizes complex products or work systems three-dimensionally and makes them assessable. The value added in comparison with traditional approaches is that the employee can directly and realistically act in the CAD data world of a work system by interaction with his or her bare hand. “By combining MTM as the assessment standard tool, the efficiency of the whole product creation process can be significantly improved in this way,” Rüdenauer declared.

From data supplier to process designer
“The employees are the crucial success factor at a smart factory,” said Dr. Mathias Keil, Head of IE Methods at Audi. His lecture was devoted to the opportunities and challenges for industrial engineers within the context of digitalization – a subject, which is on the minds of many of those attending the Users’ Conference. “The industrial engineer (IE) is no longer a pure supplier of data, but an all-round process designer for productive and humane work systems. The IE’s aspiration must also be to manage new tools with process reliability as a productivity expert. Anybody who believes that a variety of products can just be balanced in the best possible way with the help of experience gained in the past no longer fits in this world,” Keil emphasized. “Digitalization, however, doesn’t make work managers obsolete, but, in fact, creates capacities within industrial engineering, which we can use for future issues.”

Managing product data centrally
According to a survey, View2Connect, the software tool developed by Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG to centrally manage product data with a 3D reference, was one of the topics at the Users’ Conference, which those attending were best able to remember. Design, production, service and purchasing departments can gain access to image-based documentation. “This has enabled the corporation to significantly reduce the internal complexity and the related costs,” Karl-Heinz Wollscheidt explained; he is the Head of the Complexity Management program at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG and he presented the tool one day before the conference at the MTM Software Center’s information seminar. “The fact that View2Connect is coupled to MTM’s TiCon software and the SAP corporate software used at Heidelberger is also a major precondition for efficiently drawing up and managing the standard time. With the help of the documentation or the illustrated work instructions, which are generated, the familiarization time for assembly work, for example – particularly for rare options with a high throughput time – can be significantly reduced,” Wollscheidt said.

Place the intelligence into the system
Total networking? “All of this will only work if we don’t forget the humans involved. They need to determine what the processes look like,” said Dennis Barrier from the sales product management department at Bosch Rexroth AG, explaining his approach. What can corporations do? Support people in their tasks – e.g. with digital assistance systems or interactive communications platforms directly on the shop floor. Barrier advised those attending the conference to involve the works council at an early stage – “as a result, you also support the rollout. IEs should arouse interest in new tools in employees to ensure that they gain better acceptance. Do not reinvent the wheel. Take a look at what your corporation already has in terms of resources and combine them in a new way.”

The lectures by André Piel, Head of Production at BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, and Alexander Buck, Production Planner at Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, focused on the benefits of MTM standards in Working World 4.0. BSH Hausgeräte in Bad Neustadt started to introduce MTM in 2016 – and has also been making use of solutions from Industry 4.0. “This means, for example, that we remove faults and error sources from employees and place the intelligence into the system behind them,” said Piel. “As a result, it has been easier to implement or impose standards.” “Introducing MTM as the global standard,” Alexander Buck said, “was the most important precondition in order to meet the requirements of Process Industry 4.0 at Henkel and increase the efficiency levels in the production networks around the globe.”

Standards set a precedent around the globe
Having standards is one thing – using them properly is a very different matter. The high degree of variance in gearbox assembly work at the Mercedes-Benz factory at Gaggenau places high demands on human resources planning on the shop floor. Thomas Dannhauser, Head of IE, described the benefits of using a tool jointly developed with MTM to determine and control the ideal operating condition based on the MTM standard performance. “The solution takes into account the relevant product option, ensures the efficient use of employees, enables a more precise definition of quantities of items and is particularly easy to handle.” By the way, the standards introduced at Gaggenau are setting a precedent around the world, for the factory is the “lead plant” in the production of gearboxes.

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