Inclusion 4.0 Creates Jobs for People with Disabilities
Digital assistant simplifies control cabinet assembly
The increased use of digitisation and robotics is generally assumed to destroy jobs. A practical example now demonstrates that the opposite can be true: a project by the 4.0 competence centre Hannover at LUH and the Schubs GmbH in Hameln aims at creating jobs through digitisation.
In collaboration with the competence centre „Mit uns digital!“ („Go digital with us!“) in Hannover, the German control cabinet manufacturer Schubs has developed a digital assistant. By using a beamer during the assembly process, the device projects every component on the exact place where it needs to be fixed. Subsequently, the device checks whether the part has been assembled correctly. Prior to that, the assembly of control cabinets by using bills of materials, assembly plans, and label sheets as instruction manuals or for documentation purposes was rather complex and could only be performed by specialised staff. Due to the digital assistant, control cabinets can now be assembled by people with disabilities. The Schubs GmbH hired 14 new employees with disabilities. By this, the new system counteracts skills shortages, as trained electricians are currently rare.
The beamer of the digital assistant projects the construction plan directly onto the mounting plate of the control cabinet. One by one, each component is placed under a scanner, whereupon the beamer indicates where it needs to be fixed. Neither previous technical knowledge nor an extensive training period is required for these tasks. Furthermore, employees no longer have to compare and check off bills of materials – the digital assistant takes care of that. This means that even untrained staff can assemble control cabinets.
The 4.0 competence centre in Hannover supported the Schubs GmbH during the development phase of the assistant. The centre is based at LUH and supports SMEs on their way into the digital future by organising trainings or talks, as well as by facilitating projects. All offers are free of charge, since the centre is sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
Some time ago, Axel Schulz, director of the Schubs GmbH, planned to facilitate assembly processes by using digital technology. The competence centre implemented his vision: “We couldn’t have done it alone. Above all, we lacked the necessary time and experience in dealing with programming systems.” The centre developed a software demonstrator that is intuitive to use and put together the necessary hardware. “We try to find practical solutions for SMEs that are easy to implement – without huge investments or IT expertise in the companies”, says Doctor Michael Rehe, director of “Mit uns digital!”.
Note to editors:
For further information, please contact Gerold Kuiper, 4.0 competence centre Hannover at LUH (Tel. +49 511 762 18325, email ).