The teams at the Electronics activity of LACROIX work in a profoundly changing environment. Demands for flexibility and responsiveness against a backdrop of an exponentially increasing flow of information makes day-to-day management evermore complex.
Faced with these problems, the Smart Industry provides solutions based on the concept of the augmented operator. Promoting well-being at work as well as industrial performance are the essential prerequisites for making the electronics industry of the future a reality.
The concept of the augmented operator is driven by several objectives: to simplify the day-to-day work of our teams and boost their efficiency and autonomy while maintaining focus on missions that contribute high levels of added value, all in a more comfortable working environment.
In the end, it is about getting the right information to the right person at the right time, in a simple and intuitive fashion. These systems have been widely used in our personal environment for some years now.
Dominique Maisonneuve, Smart Industry Project Manager
Going from several dozen production units per year to several dozen complex products to assemble every day, the production environment is quite variable and complex.
The learning process is extremely long. Therefore, augmented reality will assist operators, for example in the manual placement of components. Real-time validation of their actions will allow operators to progress with greater confidence. These solutions reduce the risk of error and render the staff member more efficient thanks to an automatic control function.
In contrast to augmented reality, virtual reality immerses the staff member in a digital interface. In particular, it will allow him or her to envision a future work environment in order to better optimise its layout. This will further involve our teams in change management and therefore encourage collaborative work. This system will also contribute to the construction of the plant’s digital clone, which will be useful in the product development phase to optimise production.
Artificial intelligence will make automatically analysed information available to staff in order to clear the path for decision-making. The tools will also suggest actions according the employee’s practices and habits.
In concrete terms, copying and pasting information and the everyday use of paper will no longer exist in the factory of the future. The digitalisation of checklists and production reports is underway to relieve teams of some of their daily activity.
Thanks to applications that bring together as many requirements as possible, the production processes will be simplified. We will take full advantage of this digitalised production data, which is suitable for archiving and analysis.
Collaborative robots are also a part of LACROIX’s Smart Industry, with the goal of making work less arduous. Performing repetitive tasks and/or carrying heavy objects are missions well-suited to a cobot. This assistance with their work provides a boost to the staff member’s comfort and performance.
Cobots are programmed via highly intuitive interfaces so that they can be used flexibly to assist with different tasks throughout the same day.
This technology gives our teams the freedom to meet their needs with the aid of technical solutions. Who knows better than the operator in charge of a mission what is necessary to optimise his work station? With this in mind, the Electronics activity of LACROIX has for example made a 3D printer available to operators at its French factory so that they may make their own tools according to their needs. Gone are the days of needing to submit a request to technical services or to conduct project monitoring meetings. Now our staff are equipped to swiftly and inexpensively create the solutions they need themselves. An adaptable solution by definition.