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08 March 2021
IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors
Special Issue Editor(s)
Dr. Gunther Paul,
James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia
Dr. James Yang,
Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA
Dr. Xuguang Wang,
Université Gustave Eiffel, Lyon, France
Digital Human Modelling in Ergonomics 4.0
The fourth industrial revolution, also named Industry 4.0, is affecting almost every industry worldwide. It is rapidly transforming how businesses operate. Industry 4.0 uses transformative technologies to connect the physical world with the digital world. Current trends include: advanced automation and robotics; machine-to-machine and human-to-machine communication; artificial intelligence and machine learning; and sensor technology and data analytics. Four key drivers enable this trend: 1) rising data volumes, computational power, and connectivity; 2) emerging analytics and business-intelligence capabilities; 3) new forms of human-machine interaction, augmented, and virtual reality systems; 4) improvements in transferring digital instructions to the physical world and 3D printing. Industry 4.0 technologies have the potential to provide a substantial boost to economic competitiveness and could substantially offset traditional challenges such as high labor costs and distance to markets. Benefits and opportunities of Industry 4.0 include: better connectivity between customers and supply chains through real-time access to production information, logistics, and monitoring; greater flexibility for businesses to produce differentiated products and services to tap unmet consumer demands, compete in global markets, and capture emerging opportunities; and enhanced workplace safety, production, and improvements across the entire value chain.
Ergonomics 4.0 is the technology driven and virtualized implementation of advanced ergonomic tools that enable Industry 4.0 concepts. Ergonomics 4.0 is a necessity to assure a Human Factors centered approach in Industry 4.0, which is based on cyber-physical systems, a “complicated network of machines, physical contacts, virtual items, computing facilities and storage, communication devices that interact with each other and exploit the enormous potential of new technologies” (Lim Lay Hsuan, leaderonomics.com, 10/27/2017).
Digital Human Modelling (DHM) and Digital Twin are advanced methods in Ergonomics, which by their very nature lend themselves to Ergonomics 4.0. DHM has matured over the last three decades to become an important area within Ergonomics (Scataglini, S., & Paul, G., 2019, DHM and Posturography. Academic Press). Further, as virtual tool based on information and communication technology, DHM is developing alongside technological advances, and DHMs are rapidly evolving in their abilities and applications.
This special issue aims to provide a snapshot of the recent advances in DHM, and a vision of how DHM contributes to Ergonomics 4.0 as a critical element in the framework of Industry 4.0.
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