Sensors worn on arms can measure various assembly worker movements and motion sequences to improve performance.
Sleeves embedded with matchbox-sized sensors can help employers monitor the efficiency of workers in a noninvasive manner. The innovative tool was designed by German engineering firm DR. GRUENDLER, under project contract from research organization Fraunhofer. The sensor sleeves can be utilized in factory environments when it’s important to know how long it takes for someone finish a task, such as assembly.
At the moment, most factories measure efficiency by having a supervisor using a stopwatch to time the employee. Fraunhofer points out that this method is flawed as workers tend to be more nervous when being monitored and are more prone to making mistakes. In addition, with this new technology, supervisors can utilize their time doing other tasks rather than manually timing workers.
Each sleeve includes three sensors, which measure the acceleration and angular velocities of the arms and hands. The data gathered is then reconstructed by computer software that breaks down the motions into precisely timed sequences.
The sensor sleeves are currently applicable in factory assembly jobs, but Fraunhofer hopes to adapt the technology in the future where it can track standing and moving employees and will also be able to detect posture.