Assessment of the potential benefit of Industry 4.0-applications to employees in the production
The increasing digitalisation of business and production processes as well as the closer connection of people, products and machines in the “Industry 4.0” will change the working conditions in the future. The question arises as to how employees can benefit from these complex changes or to what extent they will be affected negatively. To answer this question, an “evaluation model” was developed within this master thesis to thoroughly analyse Industry 4.0-applications with regard to the benefit to employees. For this purpose, application can be examined systematically in a multi-stage process for perceptible effects that affect production workers. Based on expert discussions, scientific studies and personal assessments, statements are made about potential positive or negative effects which could result from these changes. Finally, the usability of this model is validated by the benefit evaluation of a pilot application and further developed iteratively from the findings obtained from it. The validation proves that the evaluation model is suitable for the application in medium-sized companies and furthermore, can be used to determine the potential benefit of Industry 4.0 applications to employees. With this evaluation model, the assessment of potential effects of Industry 4.0-applications to employees can be made at a very early stage and thus, manage the implementation of innovative technologies more closely to the needs of employees.