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013
Publications

2021

Immersive Systems in Human-Centered Manufacturing: The Informational Dimension

Authors
Ramalho, FR; Soares, AL; Almeida, AH;

Publication
IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology

Abstract
The rise of smart manufacturing environments, characterized by high quantity of data/information available, contributes to a growing interest and research towards the use of immersive technologies not only in factories but also across entire value chains. New immersive technologies and devices are being developed to improve cooperation within Collaborative Networks (CNs), especially in the human-machine hybrid networks context. The application of these technologies in such complex environments expands substantially the modes how information is delivered and used, which may exacerbate one of the oldest problems of cognitive ergonomics: information overload. Therefore, this work presents applications of immersive technologies in manufacturing into the perspective of “information work” and “immersive human-centered manufacturing systems”. A framework is proposed to be developed in a FabLab to understand the worker needs and interactions. This FabLab aims to demonstrate the potential/real application of immersive technologies, towards the enhancement of the human worker cognitive capabilities. © 2020, IFIP International Federation for Information Processing.

2021

Grasp the Challenge of Digital Transition in SMEs—A Training Course Geared towards Decision-Makers

Authors
Azevedo, A; Almeida, AH;

Publication
Education Sciences

Abstract
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe risk their competitiveness if they fail to embrace digitalization. Indeed, SMEs are aware of the need to digitalize—more than one in two SMEs are concerned that they may lose competitiveness if they do not adopt new digital technologies. However, a key obstacle is related with decision-makers’ lack of awareness concerning digital technologies potential and implications. Some decision-makers renounce digital transition simply because they do not understand how it can be incorporated into the business. Take into account this common reality, especially among SMEs, this research project intends to identify the skills and subjects that need to be addressed and suggests the educational methodology and implementation strategy capable of maximizing its success. Therefore, and supported by a focused group research methodology, an innovative training program, oriented to decision-makers, was designed and implemented. The program was conceived based on a self-directed learning methodology, combining both asynchronous lecture/expositive and active training methodologies, strongly based on state-of-the-art knowledge and supported by reference cases and real applications. It is intended that the trainees/participants become familiar with a comprehensive set of concepts, principles, methodologies, and tools, capable of significantly enhancing decision-making capability at both strategic and tactical level. The proposed programme with a multidisciplinary scope explores different thematic chapters (self-contained) as well as cross-cutting thematic disciplines, oriented to the Industry 4.0 and digital transformation paradigm. Topics related with Digital Maturity Assessment, Smart Factories and Flexible Production Systems, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence for Smarter Decision-Making in Industry and Smart Materials and Products, as well as new production processes for new business models. Each thematic chapter in turn is structured around a variable set of elementary modules and includes examples and case studies to illustrate the selected topics. A teaching-learning methodology centered on an online platform is proposed, having as a central element, a collection of videos complemented by a set of handouts that organize the set of key messages and take-ways associated with each module. In this paper, we present the design and practice of this training course specifically oriented to decision-makers in SME.

2020

Architecture Model for a Holistic and Interoperable Digital Energy Management Platform

Authors
Senna, PP; Almeida, AH; Barros, AC; Bessa, RJ; Azevedo, AL;

Publication
Procedia Manufacturing

Abstract

2016

Sustainability assessment framework for proactive supply chain management

Authors
Almeida, A; Bastos, J; Francisco, RDP; Azevedo, A; Ávila, P;

Publication
International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Abstract
Nowadays, it has been observed an increasing awareness and understanding on the subject of sustainable companies and business models, addressing multi-disciplinary approaches that cover not only economical problems, but also social and environmental challenges. Supply chains and especially collaborative networks managers are increasingly aware of these sustainability issues, continuously seeking to meet current human needs while preserving environmental safety. Only this way, focusing on its sustainable growing, it is possible to preserve companies' steadiness. In order to achieve this goal, sustainable networks must ensure that each partner is fully aligned and committed with economic, environmental and social axes that rule the network operational behaviour. Nevertheless, in order to achieve this level of maturity within such complex and turbulent environments, organisations need to improve the quality of their performance assessment approaches, integrating the different sustainability perspectives. To accomplish this, it is critical to establish specific indicators responsible to formalise and evaluate partners' behaviour, according to well-identified objectives, as well as fuse this information in a comprehensive and user-friendly way. This paper presents a new approach, based on a fuzzy logic-based algorithm, for sustainable network performance and risk assessment. © 2016 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

2016

A Multi-Perspective Performance Approach for Complex Manufacturing Environments

Authors
Almeida, A; Azevedo, A;

Publication
Journal of Innovation Management

Abstract
Complexity in manufacturing systems appears under a variety of aspects, namely product, processes and operations and systems. Considering that the manufacturing environment is rapidly and constantly changing, with higher levels of customization and complexity, there is higher demand for flexibility and adaptability from companies. In this context, it seems essential to explore new approaches that can support decision-makers to take better decisions concerning the action plans that they need to launch to achieve the expected strategic and operational performance and alignment goals. Companies should become able to analyse their performance drivers, understand their meaning and the feedback loops that affect them. Therefore, decision makers can look into the future, and act even before these causes affect the transformation systems efficiency and effectiveness. This paper presents an approach oriented to multi-performance measurement in complex manufacturing environments. With this approach it is expected to overcome the gap between the operational and strategic layers of a manufacturing system, in order to reduce time when measuring performance and reacting to unexpected behaviours, as well as reduce errors when taking decisions. Moreover, it is expected to decrease the time necessary to calculate an indicator or to introduce a new one into performance management process, reducing the operational costs.