Industry 4.0 Showroom: Professional Advancement Agency and University Occupational Safety and Health get ideas

On 18 February, the Center of Excellence Logistics and IT received the Dortmund Professional Advancement Agency and the Department of Occupational, Environmental and Health Protection of the TU Dortmund University at the Fraunhofer IML. The Professional Advancement Agency in Dortmund is a supra-regional service company for the vocational rehabilitation of adult disabled people. It has a socio-political mandate and offers information and advice on prevention, preparation, qualification and integration into the general labour market. The Department of Occupational, Environmental and Health Protection at the TU Dortmund University pursues the goal of establishing sustainably safe and health-promoting jobs. Its tasks range from advising on questions of occupational safety and environmental protection to training courses on safety and fire protection and processing employees’ accident reports.

The visit came about as a result of the planning of an Industry 4.0 showroom in the professional advancement agency, in which teaching and further training using suitable, modern technologies will play a central role. Thus the focus of the tour was on Virtual Reality (VR) technologies. Nowadays logistics centres have to react flexibly to changes in the market, products and new services. At the same time, the working environment must always be adapted to the needs of the employees. This is the common point of contact between the logistics experts of the service centre and the career promoters. The Virtual Reality Lab of Fraunhofer IML builds a connection between requirements and adaptations. First of all, the VR packaging game was tested, in which you immerse yourself in a virtual world with data glasses and get to know the routine of a packaging logistician. According to instructions, packages are to be scanned and filled with different products and filling materials for protection. Dr. Oliver Hinz from the Professional Advancement Agency in Dortmund: “That’s amazing! Almost better than reality”. Afterwards the forklift demonstrator was presented. Here, the forklift truck covers hundreds of meters in the simulated warehouse, loads pallets and learns about the safety precautions in a playful way. Christoph Schlüter, specialist for VR at the Fraunhofer IML, gave comprehensive information about technological challenges and successful pilot implementations to the Professional Advancement Agency in an interview, not without reporting on the benefits of the forklift demonstrator with regarding to his own successfully completed forklift license test. The fact that the virtual world is perceived as real is due in particular to the use of a movement platform that allows the user to physically feel the movements of the forklift truck.

We would like to thank the Professional Advancement Agency Dortmund and the Department of Occupational Safety and Health of the TU Dortmund University for their visit and look forward to future cooperation, for example in the planning and establishment of the showroom.

Photo: Center of Excellence Logistics and IT