OPERATOR: the project set to create a digital platform to support the well-being of industry professionals


OPERATOR will guarantee job quality and mental health metrics

OPERATOR is the new PT2020-funded project led by Zenithwings, that counts with the collaboration of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at MIT, Fraunhofer Portugal, Volkswagen Autoeuropa, NST Apparel, the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences at the University of Porto, University of Minho, LIBPhys and Controconsul to approach Industry 4.0 workplace holistically. 

OPERATOR is an independent initiative of all these involved partners that identified the market needs on which the project was based and produced, taking into consideration the specific skills and market experience required for its relevant and remarkable implementation. Supporting the workers’ point of view, OPERATOR is entirely aligned with the R&I and business strategy of its promoting companies, namely in the field of Industry 4.0. 

Partners will jointly develop a set of useful tools for risk exposure data analysis in the workplace, building on the concepts of Positive Ergonomics, Operator 4.0 and the Job Quality Indices by the Eurofound. 

The goal is to create a framework that will collect and monitor data regarding workers’ activity and wellbeing. Monitoring details and information on the worker’s needs, through this digital platform, will make it possible to avoid a set of injuries, diseases or accidents at work and also to increase and develop productivity, competitiveness and industrial modernisation. The framework will provide important metrics, offering the means to digitalise the assessment of job quality aspects through self-reporting and personal and ubiquitous technologies designed for the worker. 

Furthermore, the project will gather and cross quantitative and qualitative data, creating a strong picture of the worker’s well-being and empowering higher-quality models of work. Current solutions tend to place a strong focus on productivity, a slight effort on ergonomics and virtually none on mental and cognitive issues. OPERATOR innovatively seeks to balance the three aspects. The project combines ubiquitous human movement tracking with worker self-reported endpoints for a holistic Digital Twin representation of shop floors. 

The framework will also collect data regarding workers’ activity and well-being on two different levels: individual and environmental. On the Individual level, it will gather automatic and self-reported data of ergonomics and cognition (workload, skills and discretion, career prospects and earnings) through wearable and personal technologies. On the Environmental Level, it will organise information as the vibration, temperature, humidity and pressure: essential elements for any worker in the world.

OPERATOR will oversee tasks execution and implement adequate strategies to prevent workers from performing incorrect movements or sitting for long periods, reducing potential health issues and improving job efficiency. 

Zenithwings will be responsible for the overall coordination of the project, with a particular focus on the network architecture and its features and infrastructure definition.

OPERATOR is supported by MIT Portugal under the 2019 Open Call (04/SI/2019) for Flagship Projects for the research of Digital Transformation in Manufacturing.