The kick-off for this research project on planning and flexible distribution of work among operators in aeronautical assembly lines took place on October 2nd on the ISAE-SUPAERO premises.
This project launch meeting, organized by Olga Battaïa, professor at ISAE-SUPAERO’s Department of Complex Systems Engineering (DISC), was an opportunity for twenty collaborators from various institutions to undertake discussions in their work groups and to plan the first actions to be carried out.
The aeronautics sector is changing in a context of increasing competition (globalization of logistics chains, market volatility, pressure on the key cost-deadline-quality performance indicators, arrival of new players, etc.). The complexity of the products, processes and production systems make resource planning and management increasingly difficult while requiring improved responsiveness to more and more frequent uncertainties.
To meet this challenge, the project teams will work together during 4 years to develop an innovative systemic approach to manage the ergonomic and economic risks in aircraft assembly lines.
The technical and ergonomic constraints connected with the physical difficulty of the work and the specific features of the workstations will be integrated into the planning process. The project will make use of methods from industrial engineering, operational research and artificial intelligence, but also from physical and cognitive ergonomics.
The PER4MANCE project proposes an interdisciplinary view of the organization of the industrial process in aircraft assembly lines through collaboration between researchers in ergonomics and neurosciences and researchers in combinatorial optimization.
Laboratory experiments will be carried out by researchers at INU Champollion and ISAE-SUPAERO to quantify the physical difficulty of a sequence of tasks in real time in order to take it into account while scheduling workflows.
The stress felt by managers during planning when they have to address uncertainty will be also assessed, as well as the impact of the decision support tool developed within the project.
This decision support tool, developed jointly by researchers at LAAS, IRIT and ISAE-SUPAERO in collaboration with the Universidad Politécnica of Madrid, should ensure an optimized management of production uncertainties. It will anticipate the most common disturbances using robust approaches.
Efficient corrective actions will be prepared and stored for less frequent disturbances and the methods of artificial intelligence will be used to retrieve them easily when a correction is needed. It will also offer reconfiguration solutions in case of a totally unpredictable event. The approaches developed will be validated at final assembly lines of Airbus and Dassault Aviation, the project’s industrial partners.
Hélène Beteille, head of the performance team on the A330 assembly line at Airbus, reports that their goal is to create a cohabitation space in FAL for researchers and practioners. “We are going to create case studies so that the research project definition can be as close as possible to the situation on the shop floor to highlight the problems encountered –we are going to immerse the researchers of the project in the FAL (Final Assembly Line).”
Karine Vergnes-Davezac, an ergonomist at Dassault Aviation, and Philippe Walter, head of optimization software development at the same company, emphasize the importance of the project’s goals for their company. “We fully share the project’s approach to integrate ergonomic constraints in production schedules in order to improve working conditions and the performances of our industrial systems.”
The ANR grant will fund the recruitment of two PhD students and two postdoctoral researchers who will be co-supervised by the project’s academic partners.
Keep up with the latest news on the project at https://websites.isae-supaero.fr/anr-per4mance