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MARGHERITA PERUZZINI

DIPENDENTE ALTRA UNIVERSITA
Dipartimento di Ingegneria "Enzo Ferrari"


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Pubblicazioni

2024 - A method for the assessment and compensation of positioning errors in industrial robots [Articolo su rivista]
Ferrarini, S.; Bilancia, P.; Raffaeli, R.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Industrial Robots (IR) are currently employed in several production areas as they enable flexible automation and high productivity on a wide range of operations. The IR low positioning performance, however, has limited their use in high precision applications, namely where positioning errors assume importance for the process and directly affect the quality of the final products. Common approaches to increase the IR accuracy rely on empirical relations which are valid for a single IR model. Also, existing works show no uniformity regarding the experimental procedures followed during the IR performance assessment and identification phases. With the aim to overcome these restrictions and further extend the IR usability, this paper presents a general method for the evaluation of IR pose and path accuracy, primarily focusing on instrumentation and testing procedures. After a detailed description of the experimental campaign carried out on a KUKA KR210 R2700 Prime robot under different operating conditions (speed, payload and temperature state), a novel online compensation approach is presented and validated. The position corrections are processed with an industrial PC by means of a purposely developed application which receives as input the position feedback from a laser tracker. Experiments conducted on straight paths confirmed the validity of the proposed approach, which allows remarkable reductions (in the order of 90%) of the orthogonal deviations and in-line errors during the robot movements.


2024 - Empirical Characterization of Track Dimensions for CMT-Based WAAM Processes [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Lettori, J.; Raffaeli, R.; Bilancia, P.; Borsato, M.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing is based on a welding torch usually attached to a robotic arm with multiple degrees of freedom. Robot-based additive manufacturing allows non-planar and non-uniform thickness layers to be deposited where the slices have non-constant thickness. Thus, in addition to the motion settings, fine regulations of the welding parameters become necessary to obtain variable bead heights in the same slice. This paper aims to evaluate the user-accessible welding parameters’ influence on the deposited material’s dimensions during continuous Cold Metal Transfer (CMT) and its variant named CMT Cycle Step. In particular, the height and width of beads are investigated by varying the travel speed and the wire-feed rate (continuous CMT), as well as the size of the droplets by varying the number of CMT cycles and the wire-feed rate (CMT Cycle Step). In particular, the characterization of the material deposited during the CMT Cycle Step is not deeply studied in the literature. The experimental specimens are measured and the obtained values are numerically processed to yield empirical formulas that link the dimensions of the deposited material with the selected process parameters. The results show that CMT Cycle Step is more stable than continuous CMT, which confirms its higher suitability for accurate manufacturing.


2024 - Human-Centric Design of Automated Production Lines Using Virtual Reality Tools and Human Data Analysis [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Grandi, F.; Khamaisi, R. K.; Morganti, A.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

The 4.0 revolution is leading to increasingly automated, flexible, and intelligent manufacturing systems that require greater complexity to manage during maintenance and process control. In this context the optimization of the human-machine interaction plays a crucial important role in the design of modern industrial systems. Virtual Reality (VR) offers realistic simulation environments where users can be involved to replicate specific human tasks, detecting and solving problems before they occur. The paper proposes a human-centric digital design methodology that integrates VR technologies with human data analysis tools to support the design or redesign of complex industrial systems. Different wearable devices have been used to collect data about physical and mental user conditions to provide an early assessment of the operators’ workload, while comparing different design solutions into the virtual space. An industrial use case related to the redesign of packaging automated machines was used to validate the proposed method and tools: a preliminary correlation between physiological parameters and machines interactions was found.


2024 - Non-Uniform Planar Slicing for Robot-Based Additive Manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Lettori, J.; Raffaeli, R.; Borsato, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Peruzzini, M.
abstract

Planar slicing algorithms with constant layer thickness are widely implemented for geometry processing in Additive Manufacturing (AM). Since the build direction is fixed, a staircase effect is produced, decreasing the final surface finish. Also, support structures are required for overhanging portions. To overcome such limits, AM is combined with manipulators and working tables with multiple degrees of freedom. This is called Robot-Based Additive Manufacturing (RBAM) and it aims to increase the manufacturing flexibility of traditional printers, enabling the deposition of material in multiple directions. In particular, the deposition direction is changed at each layer requiring non-uniform thickness slicing. The total number of layers, as well as the volume of the support structures and the manufacturing time are reduced, while the surface finish and mechanical performance of the final product are increased. This paper presents an algorithm for non-uniform planar slicing developed in Rhinoceros and Grasshopper. It processes the input geometry and uses parameters to capture manufacturing limits. It mostly targets curved geometries to remove the need for support structures, also increasing the part quality.


2023 - Advanced virtual prototyping of robotic cells using physics-based simulation [Articolo su rivista]
Raffaeli, R.; Neri, F.; Peruzzini, M.; Berselli, G.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Robotic cells are complex mechatronic systems whose final performance is determined by the interaction of the control logics with the mechanical behavior of the process. In this context it is fundamental to develop engineering methods and tools for the virtual prototyping of the cells that emulate both contributions. With such mechatronic digital models, it would be possible to replicate the real behavior of the systems and to optimize the cell productivity, up to building complete digital twins. This paper proposes an engineering method to develop realistic Virtual Prototypes of robotic cells including their geometry, operating logic, performance, and physical behavior. A case study on a robotic cell composed of two anthropomorphic robots for the flexible process of automatic assembly of industrial parts is presented to demonstrate the approach.


2023 - An AR Tool to Support Warehouse Operations in the Context of Industry 4.0 [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Casciotta, E.; Khamaisi, R. K.; Raffaeli, R.; Peruzzini, M.
abstract

Augmented Reality (AR) is one of the leading technologies of the Industry 4.0 revolution, offering innovative interfaces to promote the diffusion of digital contents into industrial processes, thanks to flexible and robust solutions and cost-effective devices. In this context, this paper explores the adoption of AR in industrial logistics where several open issues still discourage its effective use in everyday scenarios. After a review of objectives, approaches and technics of AR integration in logistics operations, the paper presents a framework to identify goods in a warehouse, retrieve data relative to the package, display info to the user to drive operations. The approach aims at easing and speeding up the activity of the warehouseman to identify goods, check the relative information and to put each good on the correct shelf. A prototypal application was developed within the Unity platform and integrated with the company ERP system to manage data on the products and retrieve images of the identification labels. A real use case involving a primary company producing agricultural tractors is proposed to test usability of the prototype. Results showed that the developed application allows relevant benefits in terms of process effectiveness, error prevention, aiming at reducing the operator mental workload.


2023 - An Approach for Volume Decomposition in Robot-Based Additive Manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Lettori, J.; Raffaeli, R.; Borsato, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Peruzzini, M.
abstract

Robot-Based Additive Manufacturing (RBAM) combines material deposition nozzles and robotic manipulators to increase the flexibility of cartesian/delta Additive Manufacturing (AM) systems. RBAM overcomes the traditional limit given by the planarity of the manufacturing layer and allows variable slice thickness to be realized. Also, RBAM enables the deposition of the material in multiple directions. In this context, volume decomposition algorithms are implemented to split a solid into several sub-volumes. Each sub-volume is sliced according to an optimal direction to perform support-free manufacturing and to avoid tool collisions. A novel algorithm for the volume decomposition of a given input geometry is presented. In particular, it allows several planar separation surfaces to be computed that are used to split a general input shape. The surfaces are defined by analyzing overhangs according to an initial slicing direction. The normal of the surfaces identifies the slicing direction of the related sub-volumes. The algorithm steps are iterated to reach the complete removal of overhangs. The approach is tested in some case studies to evaluate its applicability.


2023 - An Overview of Industrial Robots Control and Programming Approaches [Articolo su rivista]
Bilancia, Pietro; Schmidt, Juliana; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Nowadays, manufacturing plants are required to be flexible to respond quickly to customer demands, adapting production and processes without affecting their efficiency. In this context, Industrial Robots (IRs) are a primary resource for modern factories due to their versatility which allows the execution of flexible, reconfigurable, and zero-defect manufacturing tasks. Even so, the control and programming of the commercially available IRs are limiting factors for their effective implementation, especially for dynamic production environments or when complex applications are required. These issues have stimulated the development of new technologies that support more efficient methods for robot control and programming. The goal of this research is to identify and evaluate the main approaches proposed in scientific papers and by the robotics industry in the last decades. After a critical review of the standard IR control schematic, the paper discusses the available control alternatives and summarizes their characteristics, range of applications, and remaining limitations.


2023 - An integrated methodology for the assessment of stress and mental workload applied on virtual training [Articolo su rivista]
Brunzini, Agnese; Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The importance of training for operators in industrial contexts is widely highlighted in literature. Virtual Reality (VR) is considered an efficient solution for training, since it provides immersive, realistic, and interactive simulations environments promoting a learn-by-doing approach, far from the risks of the real field. Its efficacy has been demonstrated by several studies, but a proper assessment of the operator’s cognitive response in terms of stress and cognitive load during the use of such technology is still lacking. This paper proposes an integrated methodology for the analysis of user’s cognitive states, suitable for each kind of training in the industrial sector and beyond, fostering the human-centred design and manufacturing perspective. The methodology has been assessed using an industrial case study where virtual training is used for assembly of agricultural vehicles. Experimental results highlighted that, with VR additional supportive information, while operators’ errors drastically decrease, the stress increases for complex tasks, due to the greater amount of information to manage. The proposed protocol allows understanding the operators’ cognitive conditions in order to optimize the VR training application, avoiding operators’ stress, mental overload, and improving performance.


2023 - Design Guidelines Towards 4.0 HMIs: How to Translate Physical Buttons in Digital Buttons [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Prati, Elisa; Contini, Giuditta; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

The fourth industrial revolution (known as Industry 4.0) has simplified the access to new smart technologies, which are even more adopted by companies in their manufacturing machines. These technologies (e.g., Internet of Things) open new evolutionary scenarios for industries and the whole production process, such as the use of big data for production process optimization. At the same time, also a Human-Machine Interface (HMI) evolution is required to manage and effectively exploit the new machines advantages. Currently, different industrial HMIs are still physical based (e.g., buttons, levers) and do not properly respond to the new opportunities offered by the 4.0 technologies, limiting the whole production evolution. The HMIs’ evolution requires a proper design approach that considers the new machine possibilities (e.g., real time data analysis), the new interaction requirements and the users’ needs in the new work scenario. However, a lack of indications to guide this redesign process emerged. In this paper is presented a list of design guidelines conceived during a project regarding the HMI redesign of an automatic production line. Specifically, the project focuses on the translation of physical buttons to digital ones in a graphic interface. The case study brought out that there are many aspects to consider during the design process toward new 4.0 HMIs, and specific methodologies are necessary to develop intuitive and clear HMIs. Providing this applicative example, the paper aims to fill the current gap of indication to face the HMIs evolution and redesign. In particular, the developed guidelines are described to make clear how to adopt them to solve similar use cases and as a support for the design teams.


2023 - Developing key performance indicators for monitoring sustainability in the ceramic industry: The role of digitalization and industry 4.0 technologies [Articolo su rivista]
Contini, G.; Peruzzini, M.; Bulgarelli, S.; Bosi, G.
abstract

This research explores the importance of sustainability in the ceramic industry, focusing on how companies measure and monitor their sustainability indicators. Economic crises and climate change have led scholars over the years to focus their attention on reducing impacts and monitoring sustainability indicators with particular attention to the energy sphere. In the scientific literature it emerges that there is no set of indicators for the ceramic industries suitable for monitoring company data. To address this emerging gap, the paper takes a ceramic company as a reference and proposes a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to help manufacturing companies monitor their economic, environmental, and social sustainability performance. The study aims to fill these gaps by underlining the importance of investing in the digitization of processes and in Industry 4.0 digital technologies to obtain constantly updated and real-time information for sustainability monitoring. The research also emphasizes the applicability of these findings to other manufacturing enterprises, offering a methodology for self-monitoring sustainability. The article suggests the development of a "Sustainability Digital Twin" as a tool to help business managers make informed decisions and design products with all aspects of sustainability in mind. The integration of sustainability and digitization is highlighted as a crucial aspect for achieving sustainable ceramic production. The proposed KPIs and the digitization of processes can provide data to implement strategic plans for sustainable production. Therefore, this study has contributed to fill the gaps in the literature by demonstrating that the digitization of production processes allows for a more specific assessment of economic, social and environmental impacts by ensuring transparent communication of performance to stakeholders.


2023 - Early design validation on the Vacuum Vessel ports sealing interface installation and removal with Virtual Reality in ITER TBM port cells [Articolo su rivista]
Di Paolo, Chiara; Gazzotti, Stéphane; Griffiths, Sarah; Plantin de Hugues, Thibault; Martins, Jean-Pierre; Le Tonqueze, Yannick; Manfreo, Benoit; Friconneau, Jean-Pierre; Giancarli, Luciano; Josseaume, Fabien; Quinn, Eamonn; Peruzzini, Margherita; Kharoua, Cyril
abstract

Port Cell (PC) rooms in the ITER tokamak building host the devices required for the Port Plugs operation and provide connection to services. During Plasma Operation State, the Vacuum Vessel ports sealing interface pro- vides vacuum tightness and first confinement barrier as essential functions. When a Port Plug needs to be replaced or maintained, this significant sealing component must be removed and reinstalled. The general strategy for this operation has been reviewed resulting in modification proposals to address the requirements for static and dynamic confinement and management of radiation considering the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) approach. As Dose Reduction Measures (DRM), additional provisions have been proposed to ensure a robust confinement control during the machine shutdown operation. They mostly consist in an airlock that al- lows the extension of the first confinement barrier equipped with specific handling equipment to perform human- assisted operations on the sealing flanges. In particular, this paper presents the study carried out in TBM dedi- cated PC during the conceptual design phase of the maintenance cabin airlock and the handling tools by means of Virtual Reality (VR). VR techniques allow working with virtual prototypes at full scale from the early design stage to ease the design process and the concepts validation with important results concerning the assessments of accessibility issues. The study describes also the outcomes of the VR studies and explains how VR can be an effective instrument to conduct integration studies with complex kinematics and human access operations in the execution of the engineering validation process.


2023 - Exploring how to use virtual tours to create an interactive customer remote experience [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, M; Cavallaro, S; Grandi, F; Martinelli, E; De Canio, F
abstract

This paper investigates the use of Virtual Reality (VR) to develop virtual tour applications for marketing purposes. The aim is to explore how virtual technologies can support the creation of knowledge about a specific food product and the achievement of user engagement by a multi-sensory virtual tour of the real production site. The study provides design guidelines to create a valuable, multisensory experience by VR tours and demonstrate how the adoption of a user-driven approach, instead of a technology-driven approach, allows to achieve a positive intention to buy. The case study was represented by one of the excellences among Italian food products, the Parmigiano Reggiano (PR) cheese. The PR virtual tour was validated by a user testing campaign, involving more than 70 users: users' reactions and feedback were collected by human physiological data monitoring and questionnaires' administration. The research results demonstrated how virtual technologies could effectively help people to create a solid knowledge about a food product to support the marketing process and to form an intention to buy thanks to a better understanding of the quality of the local and traditional productions.


2023 - Human-centred data-driven redesign of simulation-based training: a qualitative study applied on two use cases of the healthcare and industrial domains [Articolo su rivista]
Brunzini, Agnese; Peruzzini, Margherita; Barbadoro, Pamela
abstract

Among the main features of Industry 4.0, digitization and the evolution of the human-machine interaction occupy a central role. These concepts are transferring even in the health domain, moving toward Healthcare 4.0. The new concept of Industry 5.0 further promotes the human-centric perspective focusing on the consideration of human factors. In this context, training for workers, both in the industry and in the healthcare sectors, needs to be strongly human-centred to be efficient and effective. This paper refers to simulation-based training and aims to provide a transdisciplinary framework for the simulation assessment from the learners’ perspective. The final scope is to outline a set of data-driven guidelines for the simulation optimization and redesign, throughout a human-centred approach, aiming to improve the workers’ performance and the overall learning process, considering the physical, cognitive, and emotional conditions. The proposed method is suitable for each kind of training (both traditional and with the use of virtual reality/augmented reality systems) and relevant for every sector. Two different use cases are presented, respectively referring to the healthcare and industry fields, proposing a unique assessment protocol. The healthcare use case considered the low-fidelity simulation of lumbar puncture, while the industrial use case referred to the replacement of the engine oil filter on tractors. Although the great differences between the content of the use cases, the results obtained about performance as well as cognitive and emotional states are close enough to define a common set of guidelines to redesign and optimize the simulation-based training.


2023 - Path Approximation Strategies for Robot Manufacturing: A Preliminary Experimental Evaluation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bigliardi, Matteo; Bilancia, Pietro; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Berselli, Giovanni; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Industrial Robots (IRs) are increasingly adopted for material subtraction or deposition functions owing to their advantages over machine tools, like cost-effectiveness and versatility. Unfortunately, the development of efficient robot manufacturing processes still faces unsolved issues related to the IRs poor positioning accuracy and to the tool path generation process. Novel engineering methods and tools are needed for CAD based programming of accurate paths and continuous robot motions to obtain the required manufacturing quality and tolerances. Within this context, to achieve smoothness along the tool path formed by linear G-code segments, the IR controllers’ approximation strategies, summarily reported in the manufacturer’s manuals, must be considered. The aim of this paper is to present the preliminary work carried out to identify the approximation algorithms of a Kuka IR when executing linear moves. An experimental study is conducted by varying the controller settings and the maximum translational velocity. The robot behavior has been acquired thanks to the controller tracing function and then processed to yield relations readily employable for the interpretation of G-Code commands and the subsequent generation of proper robot motion instructions. The obtained formulas allow to accurately predict the robot geometric path and kinematics within the corner transition between two linear segments.


2022 - A Framework for Hybrid Manufacturing in Robotic Cells [Articolo su rivista]
Lettori, Jacopo; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Compared to other additive technologies, Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) offers high deposition rates, flexibility and a larger build volume as well as reduction of material waste. WAAM can be combined with a subtractive technology in hybrid robotic cells to further increase the application scope, thus producing products with improved surface finish where needed. However, there are some open issues that limit this process. So, the main goal of this paper is to review current research developments and provide a framework aimed at manufacturing parts by hybrid cells. A procedure is defined which moves from the evaluation of the designed shapes, their analysis to identify a proper manufacturing sequence until the elaboration of the instructions for the cell automaton controllers. Main WAAM issues are outlined to identify main research directions, and a test case is presented to highlight the process phases


2022 - A Systematic Literature Review of User Experience Evaluation Scales for Human-Robot Collaboration [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Prati, Elisa; Borsci, Simone; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

In the last decade, the field of Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC) has received much attention from both research institutions and industries. Robot technologies are in fact deployed in many different areas (e.g., industrial processes, people assistance) to support an effective collaboration between humans and robots. In this transdisciplinary context, User eXperience (UX) has inevitably to be considered to achieve an effective HRC, namely to allow the robots to better respond to the users’ needs and thus improve the interaction quality. The present paper reviews the evaluation scales used in HRC scenarios, focusing on the application context and evaluated aspects. In particular, a systematic review was conducted based on the following questions: (RQ1) which evaluation scales are adopted within the HRI scenario with collaborative tasks?, and (RQ2) how the UX and user satisfaction are assessed?. The records analysis highlighted that the UX aspects are not sufficiently examined in the current HRC design practice, particularly in the industrial field. This is most likely due to a lack of standardized scales. To respond to this recognized need, a set of dimensions to be considered in a new UX evaluation scale were proposed.


2022 - A comprehensive UX index to evaluate industrial tasks from a human-centered perspective [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Khamaisi, R. K.; Grandi, F.; Prati, E.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Recent advances in physiological monitoring devices have supported the diffusion of a human-centric approach also within industrial contexts, where often severe working conditions limit the analysis of the operators’ User eXperience (UX). Several methodologies have been presented to the scientific community to assess the overall UX of workers performing industrial operations. These methodologies have also tried to encompass the diverse aspects of the physiological response (e.g., mental workload, stress conditions and postural overloads). The current study aims to refine a unique and comprehensive UX index to identify the specific causes of the user discomfort in advance and to optimize the overall system design. A full set of non-invasive wearable devices was applied to a virtual reality (VR) simulation while performing manual operations to collect relevant physiological parameters and to finally assess the overall UX. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed index in anticipating the operator's critical conditions by specifying the possible causes of the ergonomic discomfort. Future works will focus on investigating the theoretical foundation of proposed solution and on providing a statistical validation on a larger population.


2022 - A review of geometry representation and processing methods for cartesian and multiaxial robot-based additive manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Lettori, J.; Raffaeli, R.; Bilancia, P.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Nowadays, robot-based additive manufacturing (RBAM) is emerging as a potential solution to increase manufacturing flexibility. Such technology allows to change the orientation of the material deposition unit during printing, making it possible to fabricate complex parts with optimized material distribution. In this context, the representation of parts geometries and their subsequent processing become aspects of primary importance. In particular, part orientation, multiaxial deposition, slicing, and infill strategies must be properly evaluated so as to obtain satisfactory outputs and avoid printing failures. Some advanced features can be found in commercial slicing software (e.g., adaptive slicing, advanced path strategies, and non-planar slicing), although the procedure may result excessively constrained due to the limited number of available options. Several approaches and algorithms have been proposed for each phase and their combination must be determined accurately to achieve the best results. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art works addressing the primary methods for the representation of geometries and the subsequent geometry processing for RBAM. For each category, tools and software found in the literature and commercially available are discussed. Comparison tables are then reported to assist in the selection of the most appropriate approaches. The presented review can be helpful for designers, researchers and practitioners to identify possible future directions and open issues.


2022 - Accurate transmission performance evaluation of servo-mechanisms for robots [Articolo su rivista]
Bilancia, Pietro; Monari, Luca; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract


2022 - Design of ergonomic dashboards for tractors and trucks: innovative method and tools [Articolo su rivista]
Grandi, F.; Prati, E.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Campanella, C. E.
abstract

Designing highly usable and ergonomic dashboards is fundamental to support users in managing and properly setting complex vehicles, like trains, airplanes, trucks and tractors. Contrarily, control dashboards are usually intrusive, full of controls and not really intuitive or usable. This paper focuses on the design of ergonomic and usable dashboard for specific classes of vehicles, like tractors and trucks. Indeed, trucks and tractors are both vehicles and operating machines, and their control is particularly complex. Indeed, the driver contemporary drives and checks if the machine is working properly. The paper proposes an innovative methodology to design highly usable and compact dashboards inspired by human-centered design and ergonomics principles. The study started by shifting the attention from the machine performance, that is the conventional engineering approach, to the human-system interaction quality, according to a new, transdisciplinary approach. The methodology proposes to combine virtual simulations with human performance analysis to support the design at different stages, from concept generation to detailed design, until testing with users. The methodology uses virtual environments to create digital twins of both driver and controls, making users interact with virtual items and predict the type and nature of interaction. Within virtual scenarios, different configurations of dashboard controls can be easily compared and tested, checking the frequency of use of each control and measuring the achieved human performance related to postural comfort and mental workload. The study adopted the proposed methodology to two industrial use cases focusing on the design of ergonomic dashboards: the former is referred to tractor dashboard and armrest, the latter refers to truck dashboard and seat. Both cases demonstrated that the new methodology allowed improved comfort, higher usability, higher visibility and accessibility, better performance and reduced time for machine control. The study demonstrates how a multidisciplinary user information integration can drive design optimization.


2022 - Digital Technologies to Redesign Automatic Machines with a Human-Centric Approach: Application in Industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Khamaisi, Riccardo Karim; Lettori, Jacopo; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Human factors integration is definitely a transdisciplinary and urgent matter in modern factories. Despite the great surge in factory automation in recent years, human-machine interaction is still a crucial aspect and companies need to take care of the workers' wellbeing and performance to enhance the overall system quality and productivity. Nevertheless, ergonomics is poorly considered during the design of complex industrial systems, such as automatic machinery, especially for the lack of practical methodologies and guidelines to promote human factors from the early stages of design or redesign. To overcome this issue, this work proposes a transdisciplinary approach to redesign automatic machinery in compliance with factory ergonomics, using a combination of digital technologies (e.g., digital human simulation, human physiological data monitoring). The paper defines a structure method and related tools to apply a human-centric approach to industrial cases and their validation of a real case, concerning the redesign of a packaging automatic machine. Results show how the proposed approach is useful to detect possible ergonomic issues at the shop floor, identifying in advance risky situations for the operators during operating or maintenance tasks, and leading to an optimized machine able to enhance the workers’ wellbeing and factory productivity at the same time.


2022 - Engineering Method and Tool for the Complete Virtual Commissioning of Robotic Cells [Articolo su rivista]
Raffaeli, Roberto; Bilancia, Pietro; Neri, Federico; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Intelligent robotic manufacturing cells must adapt to ever-varying operating conditions, developing autonomously optimal manufacturing strategies to achieve the best quality and overall productivity. Intelligent and cognitive behaviors are realized by using distributed controllers, in which complex control logics must interact and process a wide variety of input/output signals. In particular, programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and robot controllers must be coordinated and integrated. Then, there is the need to simulate the robotic cells’ behavior for performance verification and optimization by evaluating the effects of both PLC and robot control codes. In this context, this work proposes a method, and its implementation into an integrated tool, to exploit the potential of ABB RobotStudio software as a virtual prototyping platform for robotic cells, in which real robots control codes are executed on a virtual controller and integrated with Beckhoff PLC environment. For this purpose, a PLC Smart Component was conceived as an extension of RobotStudio functionalities to exchange signals with a TwinCAT instance. The new module allows the virtual commissioning of a complete robotic cell to be performed, assessing the control logics effects on the overall productivity. The solution is demonstrated on a robotic assembly cell, showing its feasibility and effectiveness in optimizing the final performance.


2022 - Experiencing a Food Production Site Using Wearable Devices: The Indirect Impact of Immersion and Presence in VR Tours [Articolo su rivista]
DE CANIO, Francesca; Martinelli, Elisa; Peruzzini, Margherita; Cavallaro, Sara
abstract

Virtual reality (VR) is among the main technologies revolutionizing numerous sectors, including tourism. In the latter context, virtual tours (VTs) are finding increasing application. Providing an immersive and realistic human–machine interaction, VR tours can bring visitors to virtually experience destination areas. The proposed research presents a theoretical and empirical investigation of the role played by some technical VR features (i.e., presence, immersion, ease-of-use) on VR visitors’ enjoyment, satisfaction, and, accordingly, on the physical visit intention of the production site and neighboring areas. After having experienced a 360-degree VR tour of a food production site, created specifically for this study, 140 visitors were surveyed online. Results—emerging from a PLS structural equation model—show that immersion and presence both directly impact the enjoyment and indirectly the user’s VR tour satisfaction and visit intention. Further, if the VR tour is perceived as easy to use, it influences visitors’ satisfaction and physical visit intention. This study contributes to the novel VR literature, applied in the tourism sector, evidencing how immersive and enjoyable scenarios, experienced via widespread devices such as smartphones, may impact tourists’ choices. In food tourism, VR technologies can be fundamental in attracting new visitors to the production sites and neighboring areas.


2022 - Experiencing food by visiting its production site [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Martinelli, Elisa; DE CANIO, Francesca; Peruzzini, Margherita; Cavallaro, Sara
abstract


2022 - Special issue on ‘new transdisciplinary practices for intelligent manufacturing for industry 4.0’ [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, M.; Wognum, N.; Verhagen, W.
abstract


2022 - Sustainability and Industry 4.0: Definition of a Set of Key Performance Indicators for Manufacturing Companies [Articolo su rivista]
Contini, Giuditta; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Today, sustainability represents a fundamental concept to be developed and implemented in any industrial context. Therefore, it is essential to be able to measure sustainability performance by proper indicators, along the entire lifecycle and the value chain, considering environmental, economic, and social impacts. Moreover, every manufacturing company should have a specific measuring framework to calculate all the specific parameters. In this direction, the modern digital transition and Industry 4.0 (I4.0) technologies are proposing to transform human–machine relations, with a significant impact on social and organizational aspects. At the same time, digitization can help companies to define and implement sustainability by correlating production with proper evaluation metrics. The aim of this research is to provide a complete overview of sustainability Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on the Triple Bottom Line concept, referring to the three sustainability areas. Such an overview can be used by companies to set their specific KPIs and metrics to measure their sustainability level, according to their needs.


2022 - Systematic assessment of simulation software for assembly lines in Industry 4.0 context [Articolo su rivista]
Lettori, Jacopo; Borsato, Milton; Raffaeli, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Nowadays, the layout, tasks, and work sequences of assembly lines are designed according to several Design Principles (DPs) related to Industry 4.0 (I4.0). I4.0 is a manufacturing process revolution that includes innovative technologies and new paradigms among systems and operators. A vast collection of simulation software can be used to evaluate I4.0assembly lines. In this context, the paper aims to provide a framework for guiding the assessment of simulation software in the context of I4.0assembly lines. First, process requirements are evaluated and mapped to select DPs, prioritized according to design goals by an analytical hierarchy process. Then, suitable simulation software is selected accordingly, and the virtual model is designed. Finally, the possibility of the software providing meaningful elaborations for the selected DPs is assessed. The framework was applied to a prototypal I4.0assembly line composed of automated logistic systems, cobots, and vision systems to guide the execution of tasks. The assembly line has been modeled in Siemens Process Simulate. The functionalities of this software have been analyzed according to the defined DPs.


2022 - Transdisciplinary Evaluation of Simulation Software for Industry 4.0 Assembly Lines [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Lettori, Jacopo; Borsato, Milton; Raffaeli, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello; Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Industry 4.0 is driving the revolution of manufacturing processes by combining innovative technologies and new interaction paradigms among systems and operators. In particular, the layout, tasks and work sequences of assembly lines are designed according to several transdisciplinary Design Principles (DPs), such as process efficiency, product quality, ergonomics, safety and operators’ workload. A large variety of simulation software can be employed for evaluations. However, the related ability to assess multidisciplinary factors must be evaluated. The paper aims to provide a framework for guiding the assessment of simulation software in the context of Industry 4.0 assembly lines. Process requirements are first analyzed and mapped to select DPs, prioritized according to design goals by an analytical hierarchy process. Then, suitable simulation software is determined accordingly, and the virtual model is realized. Finally, the possibility of the software to provide meaningful elaborations for the selected DPs is assessed. The framework has been tested on a prototypal Industry 4.0 assembly line composed of automated logistic systems, cobots and systems to guide the execution of tasks. The line has been modeled in Siemens Process Simulate, analyzing the completeness and appropriateness of the functionalities of this software according to the defined DPs.


2022 - Trends in Human Factors Integration for the Design of Industry 4.0 [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Grandi, F.; Peruzzini, M.; Raffaeli, R.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

The fourth industrial revolution is evolving the machines as well as the abilities of people working in the factories. Human roles and tasks are changing, moving from highly physical tasks to decision-making and high-precision activities, asking for different competencies and creating new types of interactions with machines. This paper reviews the design and engineering methods for the inclusion of human factors in modern companies. Human factor integration (HFI) can play a key role in the design of factories with a great impact on social aspects and global process sustainability. The paper proposes a systematic view of the main tools to design human-centered industrial processes, with a specific focus on manufacturing, and discusses trends to achieve and effective HFI.


2022 - UX Evaluation of a Tractor Cabin Digital Twin Using Mixed Reality [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Cavallaro, Sara; Prati, Elisa; Grandi, Fabio; Mangia, Giancarlo; Pellicciari, Marcello; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Understanding user experience (UX) is essential to design engaging and attractive products, so nowadays has emerged an increasingly interest in user- centred design approach; in this perspective, digital technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) could help designers and engineers to create a digital prototype through which the user feedback can be considered during the product design stage. This research aims at creating an interactive Digital Twin (DT) using MR to enable a tractor driving simulation and involve real users to carry out an early UX evaluation, with the scope to validate the design of the control dashboard through a transdisciplinary approach. MR combines virtual simulation with real physical hardware devices which the user can interact with and have control through both visual and tactile feedback. The result is a MR simulator that combines virtual contents and physical controls, capable of reproducing a plowing activity close to reality. The principles of UX design was applied to this research for a continuous and dynamic UX evaluation during the project development.


2022 - UX assessment strategy to identify potential stressful conditions for workers [Articolo su rivista]
Khamaisi, R. K.; Brunzini, A.; Grandi, F.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

The European Commission defined the new concept of Industry 5.0 meaning a more human-centric, resilient, and sustainable approach for the design of industrial systems and operations. A deep understanding of the work environment and organization is important to start analysing the working conditions and the resulting User eXperience (UX) of the operators. Also, the knowledge about users’ needs and ergonomics is fundamental to optimize the workers’ wellbeing, working conditions, and industrial results. In this context, the paper presents a strategy to effectively assess the UX of workers to promote human-centric vision of manufacturing sites, enhancing the overall sustainability of the modern factories. A set of non-invasive wearable devices is used to monitor human activities and collect physiological parameters, as well as questionnaires to gather subjective self-assessment. This set-up was applied to virtual reality (VR) simulation, replicating heavy duty work sequence tasks that took place in an oil and gas pipes manufacturing site. This approach allowed the identification of possible stressful conditions for the operator, from physical and mental perspectives, which may compromise the performance. This research was funded by the European Community's HORIZON 2020 programme under grant agreement No. 958303 (PENELOPE).


2022 - Use of Interaction Design Methodologies for Human-Robot Collaboration in Industrial Scenarios [Articolo su rivista]
Prati, E; Villani, V; Grandi, F; Peruzzini, M; Sabattini, L
abstract

The key concept of collaborative robotics is represented by the presence of a strict interaction between a human user and the robotic system. As such, the study of the interaction is of paramount importance for a successful implementation of the system. In this article, we propose a novel approach to address the problem of designing a collaborative robotic system for industrial applications, focusing on the characteristics of the interaction. In particular, we will propose a set of methodologies focused on interaction design, inspired by those used for the design of user interfaces. These methodologies will allow the design of collaborative robotic systems following a user-centered approach, thus putting emphasis not only on safety and adaptability of the robotic systems (which have been widely addressed in the literature), but also on the interaction experience. While the proposed methodology was developed considering general collaborative robotics applications, two real industrial case studies were considered, to instantiate the considered framework and showcase its applicability to the real-world domain.


2022 - Virtual Prototyping as a Supporting Tool for the Design of Complex Robotic Cells [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Raffaeli, R.; Neri, F.; Peruzzini, M.; Berselli, G.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

The fourth industrial revolution is characterized by flexible production systems that can respond to the demand for high variability and customization of the product. To maintain the efficiency of the production process, automated and flexible solutions are mandatory. This paper describes an approach to design Virtual Prototypes of robotic cells and support designer in the definition and simulation of the manufacturing system. The identified model is capable of replicating the performance of the cell under different aspects in a holistic manner: geometry, operating logic, performance, and physical behavior. The design approach is demonstrated on a robotic cell composed of two anthropomorphic robots for the flexible process of automatic assembly of mechanical parts. The resulting model proves to be straightforward, accurate and complete.


2021 - A Reference Framework to Combine Model-Based Design and AR to Improve Social Sustainability [Articolo su rivista]
Grandi, Fabio; Khamaisi, Riccardo Karim; Peruzzini, Margherita; Raffaeli, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Product and process digitalization is pervading numerous areas in the industry to improve quality and reduce costs. In particular, digital models enable virtual simulations to predict product and process performances, as well as to generate digital contents to improve the general workflow. Digital models can also contain additional contents (e.g., model-based design (MBD)) to provide online and on-time information about process operations and management, as well as to support operator activities. The recent developments in augmented reality (AR) offer new specific interfaces to promote the great diffusion of digital contents into industrial processes, thanks to flexible and robust applications, as well as cost-effective devices. However, the impact of AR applications on sustainability is still poorly explored in research. In this direction, this paper proposed an innovative approach to exploit MBD and introduce AR interfaces in the industry to support human intensive processes. Indeed, in those processes, the human contribution is still crucial to guaranteeing the expected product quality (e.g., quality inspection). The paper also analyzed how this new concept can benefit sustainability and define a set of metrics to assess the positive impact on sustainability, focusing on social aspects.


2021 - A Transdisciplinary Approach for the Design Optimization of Medical Simulations [Capitolo/Saggio]
Brunzini, Agnese; Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, Michele; Messi, Daniele; Barbadoro, Pamela
abstract

Simulation in healthcare is rapidly replacing more traditional educational methods, becoming a fundamental step in the medical training path. Medical simulations have a remarkable impact not only on learners’ competencies and skills but also on their attitudes, behaviors, and emotions such as anxiety, stress, mental effort, and frustration. All these aspects are transferred to the real practice and reflected on patients’ safety and outcomes. The design of medical simulations passes through a careful analysis of learning objectives, technology to be used, instructor’s and learners’ roles, performance assessment, and so on. However, an overall methodology for the simulation assessment and consequent optimization is still lacking. The present work proposes a transdisciplinary framework for the analysis of simulation effectiveness in terms of learners’ performance, ergonomics conditions, and emotional states. It involves collaboration among different professional figures such as engineers, clinicians, specialized trainers, and human factors specialists. The aim is to define specific guidelines for the simulation optimization, to obtain enhanced learners’ performance, improved ergonomics, and consequently positively affect the patient treatment, leading to cost savings for the healthcare system. The proposed framework has been tested on a low-fidelity simulation for the training of rachicentesis and has allowed the definition of general rules for its enhancement.


2021 - A preliminary experimental study on the workers’ workload assessment to design industrial products and processes [Articolo su rivista]
Brunzini, A.; Peruzzini, M.; Grandi, F.; Khamaisi, R. K.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

The human‐centered design (HCD) approach places humans at the center of design in order to improve both products and processes, and to give users an effective, efficient and satisfy-ing interactive experience. In industrial design and engineering, HCD is very useful in helping to achieve the novel Industry 5.0 concept, based on improving workers’ wellbeing by providing prosperity beyond jobs and growth, while respecting the production limits of the planet as recently promoted by the European Commission. In this context, the paper proposes an ergonomic assessment method based on the analysis of the workers’ workload to support the design of industrial products and processes. This allows the simultaneous analysis of the physical and cognitive workload of operators while performing their tasks during their shift. The method uses a minimum set of non‐invasive wearable devices to monitor human activity and physiological parameters, in addition to questionnaires for subjective self‐assessment. The method has been preliminarily tested on a real industrial case in order to demonstrate how it can help companies to support the design of optimized products and processes promoting the workers’ wellbeing.


2021 - A systematic approach for evaluating the adoption of additive manufacturing in the product design process [Articolo su rivista]
Raffaeli, R.; Lettori, J.; Schmidt, J.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies have expanded the possibility of producing unconventional geometries, also increasing the freedom of design. However, in the designer’s everyday work, the decision regarding the adoption of AM for the production of a component is not straightforward. In fact, it is necessary to process much information regarding multiple fields to exploit the maximum potential of additive production. For example, there is a need to evaluate the properties of the printable materials, their compatibility with the specific application, redesign shapes accordingly to AM limits, and conceive unique and complex products. Additionally, procurement and logistics evaluations, as well as overall costs possibly extending to the entire life cycle, are necessary to come to a decision for a new and radical solution. In this context, this paper investigates the complex set of information involved in this process. Indeed, it proposes a framework to support and guide a designer by means of a structured and algorithmic procedure to evaluate the opportunity for the adoption of AM and come to an optimal design. A case study related to an ultralight aircraft part is reported to demonstrate the proposed decision process.


2021 - A training methodology based on virtual reality to promote the learning-by-doing approach [Articolo su rivista]
Grandi, F.; Peruzzini, M.; Cavallaro, S.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Virtual reality (VR) training allows companies to train their workforce thanks to virtually simulated environments, leveraging the skills of people before the system production with the final aim to reduce the downtime of productive equipment and improve the global factory efficiency. However, the use of VR immersive training is still limited in industry due to the lack of structured methodologies to effectively implement these simulations. This paper deals with the application of VR technologies to create virtual training simulations addressing assembly or maintenance tasks. It suggests a methodology to create an interactive virtual space in which operators can perform predefined tasks in a realistic way, having dedicated instructions to support the learn-by-doing, based on key training features (KTFs). This methodology was applied to an industrial case study concerning some specific tractor assembly phases. Results show that operators generally appreciate this new training process, enabling faster and more intuitive learning.


2021 - An approach based on VR to design industrial human-robot collaborative workstations [Articolo su rivista]
Prati, E.; Villani, V.; Peruzzini, M.; Sabattini, L.
abstract

This paper presents an integrated approach for the design of human-robot collaborative workstations in industrial shop floors. In particular, the paper presents how to use virtual reality (VR) technologies to support designers in the creation of interactive workstation prototypes and in early validation of design outcomes. VR allows designers to consider and evaluate in advance the overall user experience, adopting a user-centered perspective. The proposed approach relies on two levels: the first allows designers to have an automatic generation and organization of the workstation physical layout in VR, starting from a conceptual description of its functionalities and required tools; the second aims at supporting designers during the design of human-machine interfaces (HMIs) by interaction mapping, HMI prototyping and testing in VR. The proposed approach has been applied on two realistic industrial case studies related to the design of an intensive warehouse and a collaborative assembly workstation for automotive industry, respectively. The two case studies demonstrate how the approach is suited for early prototyping of complex environments and human-machine interactions by taking into account the user experience from the early phases of design.


2021 - Benchmark on Human Simulation Tools: A Transdisciplinary Approach [Capitolo/Saggio]
Grandi, Fabio; Cavallaro, Sara; Peruzzini, Margherita; Raffaeli, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Nowadays companies have to face a competitive market that requires small volumes with a high level of customisations. In this context, assembly quality and timeliness is crucial. To guarantee flexibility and personalization, manual operations still have a crucial role for a lot of manufacturing sectors, so that workers' conditions and ergonomics are important factors to achieve a better product quality and overall cost reduction. Ergonomics evaluation in manufacturing is a challenging and expensive activity that requires a transdisciplinary approach, to merge technical and social sciences to finally have a consolidated and reliable evaluation. This paper compared two digital human simulations tools offered by Siemens Tecnomatix: Jack and Process Simulate. They were applied on the same industrial case study, concerning the hood assembly of an agricultural machine, comparing results on ergonomics reports and usage time. Results confirmed the advantage of adopting a digital approach to predict the human effort and ergonomic risk related to a series of tasks. At the same time, they showed the major strengths and weaknesses of the two analysed tools and defined how they can be successfully adopted by companies. The paper finally provided guidelines to drive companies in choosing the best tool according to their needs.


2021 - Creation of a UX index to design human tasks and workstations [Articolo su rivista]
Grandi, F.; Peruzzini, M.; Cavallaro, S.; Prati, E.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Successful interaction with complex processes, like those in the modern factory, is based on the system’s ability to satisfy the user needs during human tasks, mainly related to performances, physical comfort, usability, accessibility, visibility, and mental workload. However, the ‘real’ user perception is hidden and usually difficult to detect. User eXperience (UX) is a useful concept related to subjective perceptions and responses that result from the interaction with a product, system or process, including users’ emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviors and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use. The paper proposes the creation of a User eXperience Index (UXI) to assess the quality of human-system interaction during job tasks and, consequently, evaluate both process and workstation. The proposed approach has been applied to improve the design of assembly human tasks, using a virtual simulated case study focusing on tractor assembly. Tests with users, with different levels of expertise, allowed us to validate the proposed approach and to optimize the assembly task sequence. Results showed how the proposed UXI can validly objectify the workers’ experience and can be validly used to improve the design of human tasks.


2021 - Design of a Test Rig for Tuning and Optimization of High Dynamics Servo-Mechanisms Employed in Manufacturing Automation [Articolo su rivista]
Belloni, Mattia; Bilancia, Pietro; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The Industry 4.0 framework is pushing the manufacturing systems towards a zero-defect production based on robot technologies. The increasing level of automation in the production lines is raising new challenges for designers that must face the latest requirements in terms of product quality and power consumption. Among the multitude of components of the industrial plants, Servo-Mechanisms (SMs) play a crucial role and govern important performance indices of both robots and automatic machines. During the execution of high dynamics tasks, the SMs performance is influenced by many factors, including motion law, acting load, temperature and degradation. The development of accurate models aiming at predicting and optimizing the SMs behavior may not be practicable without extensive experimental activities. Owing to these considerations, this work introduces a novel test rig for the accurate characterization of industrial SMs. The rig is designed by combining the advantages of the existing prototypes. It is equipped with high precision sensors and an active loading system that enable to test the SM in various working conditions. Also, the rig modularity facilitates the installation of newly commissioned components and the execution of static and dynamic experiments. The paper mainly focuses on the rig mechanical design and components selection criteria.


2021 - Digital twin for smart manufacturing: a review of concepts towards a practical industrial implementation [Articolo su rivista]
Lattanzi, Luca; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Latest trends and developments in digital technologies have enabled a new manufacturing model. Digital systems can monitor, optimize and control processes by creating a virtual copy of the physical world and making decentralized decisions. This paradigm relies on the development of a digital counterpart, the Digital Twin, for each production resource taking part to the whole manufacturing process. Although real applications of Digital Twin may differ in technical and operational details, in the past years, a huge effort has been done in order to identify and define focal functionalities and properties, as well as main challenges for the practical implementation within real factories. This paper is intended to review and analyse principles, ideas and technological solutions of the Digital Twin vision for production processes focusing on the practical industrial implementation. The purpose of this document is therefore to summarize the current state-of-art on Digital Twin concepts, and to draw their up-to-date state for application and deployment in real industrial processes. Finally, future directions for further research are discussed.


2021 - E-commerce Usability Guidelines for Visually Impaired Users [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Prati, E.; Pozzi, S.; Grandi, F.; Peruzzini, M.
abstract

The growing diffusion of fashion e-commerce websites shows the appreciation by users, highlighting the importance of offering this service also to users with different disabilities. To this end, e-commerce should be not only accessible - implementing all the technical requirements for accessibility - but also usable, paying attention to the offered user experience. This study aims to investigate the current e-commerce usability considering visually impaired users’ navigation experience and understand which aspects define a good usability level for this target. An expert analysis of a set of fashion e-commerce websites and user testing were conducted, considering five different market segment categories. The analysis highlighted a gap in the consideration of visually impaired users’ navigation needs and style, as for instance non-uniformity of layout and page structure. All the findings have been structured in usability guidelines to favor the e-commerce usability improvement, with the goal of offering visually impaired users a better shopping experience.


2021 - How to include User eXperience in the design of Human-Robot Interaction [Articolo su rivista]
Prati, E.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Raffaeli, R.
abstract

In recent years Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC) has become a strategic research field, considering the emergent need for common collaborative execution of manufacturing tasks, shared between humans and robots within the modern factories. However, the majority of the research focuses on the technological aspects and enabling technologies, mainly directing to the robotic side, and usually neglecting the human factors. This work deals with including the needs of the humans interacting with robots in the design in human-robot interaction (HRI). In particular, the paper proposes a user experience (UX)-oriented structured method to investigate the human-robot dialogue to map the interaction with robots during the execution of shared tasks, and to finally elicit the requirements for the design of valuable HRI. The research adopted the proposed method to an industrial case focused on assembly operations supported by collaborative robots and AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles). A multidisciplinary team was created to map the HRI for the specific case with the final aim to define the requirements for the design of the system interfaces. The novelty of the proposed approach is the inclusion of typically interaction design tools focusing in the analysis of the UX into the design of the system components, without merely focusing on the technological issues. Experimental results highlighted the validity of the proposed method to identify the interaction needs and to drive the interface design.


2021 - Preliminary validation of a low-cost motion analysis system based on rgb cameras to support the evaluation of postural risk assessment [Articolo su rivista]
Agostinelli, T.; Generosi, A.; Ceccacci, S.; Khamaisi, R. K.; Peruzzini, M.; Mengoni, M.
abstract

This paper introduces a low-cost and low computational marker-less motion capture system based on the acquisition of frame images through standard RGB cameras. It exploits the open-source deep learning model CMU, from the tf-pose-estimation project. Its numerical accuracy and its usefulness for ergonomic assessment are evaluated by a proper experiment, designed and per-formed to: (1) compare the data provided by it with those collected from a motion capture golden standard system; (2) compare the RULA scores obtained with data provided by it with those obtained with data provided by the Vicon Nexus system and those estimated through video analysis, by a team of three expert ergonomists. Tests have been conducted in standardized laboratory conditions and involved a total of six subjects. Results suggest that the proposed system can predict angles with good consistency and give evidence about the tool’s usefulness for ergonomist.


2021 - The use of virtual tours to stimulate consumers’ buying and visit intentions: an application to the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese [Articolo su rivista]
De Canio, F.; Martinelli, E.; Peruzzini, M.; Marchi, G.
abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the use of virtual tours may represent a lever to improve customers’ intention to buy food products and/or visit places where products are manufactured. Emerging virtual reality and augmented reality can allow people to interact with products and places where products are produced even from very distant places, with a positive impact on their purchase intentions. Apply- ing the theory of planned behaviour, this study focuses on the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, one of the most exported Italian foods. A sample of consumers was surveyed online to explore the role of virtually visiting the food production place on consumers’ intention to physically visit the production place and on their intention to buy the food. The empirical results deriving from a structural equation model developed on 399 completed and valid questionnaires indicate that the opportunity to experience products through virtual tours positively influences consumer behaviours. Young males show the highest intention to physically visit the food production place and to buy the cheese. Findings provide new insights for the emerging literature on the use of virtual reality to experience products through virtual interaction and the impact that interactive technologies have on consumer purchase intentions. Local areas can use virtual tours to improve food tourism and stimulate food product sales. To our knowledge, this paper represents one of the first empirical endeavours aimed at exploring the impact of virtual tours on consumers’ buying and visiting intentions when a food product and a dairy are concerned.


2021 - Usability Testing on Tractor’s HMI: A Study Protocol [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Prati, E.; Grandi, F.; Peruzzini, M.
abstract

The success of a human-machine interface (HMI) heavily depends on its usability. An highly usable interface allows the user to more easily achieve his/her goals and in general have a better User eXperience (UX). In work environments, a structured and ready-to-use usability testing protocol can encourage companies to carry out this type of study and focus on UX from the early design phases. Even though numerous methods to test usability exist, industrial companies still have great difficulties to apply them and choose the best ones for the specific purposes. They should be guided into the analysis by a universal step-by-step approach, which helps also not experienced designers selecting the most reliable and useful methods among the available ones. In this direction, the paper proposes a structured protocol to focus on UX and guide companies in testing setup, execution and debriefing in an easy and quick way. Checklists are defined to help during user testing and assure its success. As a consequence, end users can be easily involved to give an added value in design problems identification. The novelty of this paper is the definition of a ready-to-use study protocol that can also be used by non-usability experts, in order to make them familiar with UX analysis and extend this practice also in industrial HMI design. As validation, the proposed protocol was applied to the design of interfaces for agricultural tractors during two different stages of the HMI redesign process.


2021 - Using virtual manufacturing to design human-centric factories: an industrial case [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, M.; Grandi, F.; Cavallaro, S.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

Virtual reality (VR) offers a promising set of technologies to digitally simulate industrial processes and interaction between humans and machines. However, the use of immersive VR simulations is still limited in industry due to the uncertainty of benefits in respect with traditional digital tools, and the lack of structured methodologies to effectively implement immersive virtual simulations in practice. This paper deals with the application of VR to create virtual manufacturing simulations with the aim to design assembly lines in compliance with factory ergonomics. It proposes a methodology to allow the virtualization and simulation of assembly tasks using a combination of VR tools by replicating, or rather anticipating, what would happen at the shop floor. The adopted tools are Unity 3D for virtual environment generation, HTC VIVE to immerse the user in the virtual factory layout, Xsens as tracking system, and Leap Motion for gesture recognition. The paper also compares the new VR-based procedure with a more traditional desktop-based digital simulation on industrial cases. Results show that the new methodology is more precise to detect the operator’s comfort angles and more powerful to predict process criticalities and optimize factory layout design. At the same time, it is less sensitive to errors during ergonomic assessment related to the expert’s subjectivity during the analysis.


2021 - Ux in ar-supported industrial human–robot collaborative tasks: A systematic review [Articolo su rivista]
Khamaisi, R. K.; Prati, E.; Peruzzini, M.; Raffaeli, R.; Pellicciari, M.
abstract

The fourth industrial revolution is promoting the Operator 4.0 paradigm, originating from a renovated attention towards human factors, growingly involved in the design of modern, human-centered processes. New technologies, such as augmented reality or collaborative robotics are thus increasingly studied and progressively applied to solve the modern operators’ needs. Human-centered design approaches can help to identify user’s needs and functional requirements, solving usability issues, or reducing cognitive or physical stress. The paper reviews the recent literature on augmented reality-supported collaborative robotics from a human-centered perspective. To this end, the study analyzed 21 papers selected after a quality assessment procedure and remarks the poor adoption of user-centered approaches and methodologies to drive the development of human-centered augmented reality applications to promote an efficient collaboration between humans and robots. To remedy this deficiency, the paper ultimately proposes a structured framework driven by User eXperience approaches to design augmented reality interfaces by encompassing previous research works. Future developments are discussed, stimulating fruitful reflections and a decisive standardization process.


2021 - Virtual Tours to Promote the Remote Customer Experience [Capitolo/Saggio]
Cavallaro, Sara; Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; De Canio, Francesca
abstract

Today, virtual reality and augmented reality can allow people to interact with products and places in a very realistic way. In this direction, the use of immersive virtual tours (VTs) can improve the users' experience, their perceptions, attitudes and even intended behaviours as potential or actual consumers. The paper focuses on a traditional Italian cheese product and defines a transdisciplinary, multimodal approach where VT helps the remote customer experience based on a VT application to virtually visit a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese dairy, using cutting- edge virtual reality set-up. The paper describes how to create a virtual tour of industrial plants by mapping the main actions, from the storytelling definition, to the plant digitization, until the creation of the virtual, immersive and multimodal application using Unity3D. The VT combines visual experience with gesture recognition and audio stimulation, adding also olfactory cues, in order to create an interactive and realistic experience.


2021 - Virtual training for assembly tasks: a framework for the analysis of the cognitive impact on operators [Articolo su rivista]
Brunzini, Agnese; Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The importance of training for operators in industrial contexts is widely highlighted in literature. Virtual Reality (VR) technology is considered an efficient solution for training, since it provides immersive, realistic, and interactive simulations environments where the operator can learn-by-doing, far from the risks of the real field. Its efficacy has been demonstrated by several studies, but a proper assessment of the operator’s cognitive response in terms of stress and cognitive load, during the use of such technology, is still lacking. This paper proposes a comprehensive methodology for the analysis of user’s cognitive states, suitable for each kind of training in the industrial sector and beyond. Preliminary feasibility analysis refers to virtual training for assembly of agricultural vehicles. The proposed protocol analysis allowed understanding the operators’ loads to optimize the VR training application, considering the mental demand during the training, and thus avoiding stress, mental overload, improving the user performance.


2021 - What I like the most? Physical and Virtual tours side by side [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
DE CANIO, Francesca; Martinelli, Elisa; Peruzzini, Margherita; Cavallaro, Sara
abstract

Food producers are increasingly prone to enhance the customer experience letting people visit their food production sites. They started arranging physical tours but now, pushed by the pandemic, virtual reality is a possible option too, allowing users to experience physical ambience by remote stations. Within this context, the paper compares the physical and virtual experience of visiting a Parmigiano Reggiano (PR) dairy on consumers intentions to buy the cheese. Through two structured questionnaires fulfilled by users after their physic visit of the dairy and / or after a 360° virtual visit of the dairy, we verify the effectiveness of the two experiences, highlighting their similarities and differences. Findings contribute to the emerging literature on the use of virtual reality in creating value for companies by evidencing the strengths and weaknesses of the virtual instrument compared to the real context.


2020 - A Multi-disciplinary Assessments Tool for Human-Machine Interaction [Capitolo/Saggio]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste
abstract

Human-centered design is based on the satisfaction of the user needs mainly related to performances, interaction, usability, accessibility, and visibility issues. However, the quality of the interaction process is hidden and usually difficult to detect. The paper proposes a multi-disciplinary assessment tool for the evaluation of the human-machine interaction, based on the collection of physiological data and anthropometrical performance data. Such a method can be used both within on-field tests and virtual simulations, supporting the spread of digital approaches in industry. The methodology allows objectifying how users interact with machine or interface items, thanks to the collection of the users’ performance during task execution, the digitalization of collected data, and the evaluation of users’ physical and mental workload. Such a system has been applied to an industrial case study focusing on agricultural machinery driving and control to support the system re-design in terms of interface features, commands’ location and grouping, and positioning of additional devices.


2020 - A Transdisciplinary digital approach for tractor’s human-centred design [Articolo su rivista]
Grandi, F.; Zanni, L.; Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Campanella, C. E.
abstract

Transdisciplinarity is characterising numerous research areas, in which natural sciences are integrated with technical and social sciences, requiring mixed methodologies for achieving full sustainability. However, there is a lack of engineering methods and design tools able to effectively integrate the analysis of human performance and social impacts with technical issues during product and process design. In this context, digital manufacturing tools and virtual simulation technologies can be validly used to create interactive digital mock-ups where human-system interaction during manufacturing operations can be simulated to support product and process design. The paper proposes a mixed reality (MR) set-up to support human-centred product and process design, where systems and humans interacting with them are monitored and digitalised to easily evaluate the human-machine interaction, with the scope to have feedback for design optimisation. Such an approach is defined as trans disciplinary since it merges technical design issues and human perspectives to design products on the basis of effective human performance, with the goal to early detect design criticalities and improve the overall system design. Industrial use cases have been developed to demonstrate the validity of the proposed approach to support human-centred design of a tractor. Results have demonstrated potential improvements, in terms of time saving for design review and workers’ training, reduction of physical prototypes for design validation, reduction of late design and engineering changes, reduction of ergonomic issues, and global positive impact on time-to-market.


2020 - A framework to promote social sustainability in industry 4.0 [Articolo su rivista]
Papetti, A.; Pandolfi, M.; Peruzzini, M.; Germani, M.
abstract

Industrial process digitalisation is pervading numerous areas of production system, including sustainability. The study presents a method to affirm how the social sustainability of a company also passes through the protection of the welfare of the worker and describes a case study focused on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The method considers different aspects including the characteristics of the worker/s, the working context, and the content of the work activity. According to the objectives of social sustainability in the factory environment multifactorial variables related to the workers wellbeing have been defined. IoT system and ad-hoc questionnaires can be used to collect such variables. Following the proposed method, the results of the case study offer many in-depth insights, from the objective analysis of personal characteristics to the organisation of work, and from the application of international standards to the evaluation of psychological parameters.


2020 - A method to improve workers' well-being toward human-centered connected factories [Abstract in Rivista]
Papetti, A.; Gregori, F.; Pandolfi, M.; Peruzzini, M.; Germani, M.
abstract

One of the most actual and consistent drivers for the industry is sustainability, which includes three main pillars: environment, economics, and society. While numerous methods for environmental and economic sustainability assessment have been proposed, social sustainability assessment is still lacking in structured methods and tools, although human has always played a key role. Moreover, technological development is pushing the industrial world toward a new paradigm, the “Industry 4.0,” which embeds topics such as data digitalization, cyber-physical systems, and machine learning. It entails significant changes in human resources management, without reducing their importance. Humans were part of the manufacturing system from the first industrial revolution, and no automation or digitalization can be possible without humans. The industry can no longer underestimate the reasonable application of human factors and ergonomics principles to the workplace. For this purpose, the paper provides a novel transdisciplinary engineering method to measure and promote social sustainability on production sites. It exploits Internet of Things technology to support the (re)design of manufacturing processes and plants toward human-centered connected factories. To improve the workers' well-being has positive effects on their health, satisfaction, and performance. The method has been implemented in a real industrial case study within the footwear industry. The sole finishing process has been analyzed from different perspectives to solve ergonomics-related problems and implement effective improvement strategies.


2020 - Additive manufacturing adoption in product design: an overview from literature and industry [Articolo su rivista]
Lettori, Jacopo; Raffaeli, Roberto; Peruzzini, Margherita; Schmidt, Juliana; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract


2020 - Application of Innovative Tools to Design Ergonomic Control Dashboards [Capitolo/Saggio]
Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Campanella, Claudia E.; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Designing highly usable and ergonomic control dashboards is fundamental to support the user in managing and properly setting complex machines, like trains, airplanes, trucks and tractors. Contrarily, control dashboards are usually big, intrusive, full of controls and not really usable for different users. This paper focuses on the re-design of an ergonomic and compact dashboard for tractor control, proposing an innovative methodology in line with human-centered design and ergonomics principles. The study started by shifting the focus from how a machine works to how a task has to be performed and how the user interacts with the machine. It uses virtual simulations and human performance analysis tools to support the concept generation and the detailed design, and to test the new idea with users in the virtual lab. Indeed, within the virtual environment, different configurations of controls can be tested, checking which controls are mostly used and measuring human performance indexes (i.e., postural comfort and mental workload) for each configuration. Virtual mannequins can be used to as “digital twins” to interact with virtual items and to calculate robust comfort indicators during task execution. The study adopted the proposed methodology to an industrial use case to develop a usable and compact armrest for a new tractor platform. The new armrest is smaller than the previous one (-30% in dimensions), more usable (keeping on board only frequent controls, better positioned), and more comfortable (it satisfies 95% of the population size). This new approach could be used also for the design of new products.


2020 - Deep learning-based method for vision-guided robotic grasping of unknown objects [Articolo su rivista]
Bergamini, L.; Sposato, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Peruzzini, M.; Calderara, S.; Schmidt, J.
abstract

Nowadays, robots are heavily used in factories for different tasks, most of them including grasping and manipulation of generic objects in unstructured scenarios. In order to better mimic a human operator involved in a grasping action, where he/she needs to identify the object and detect an optimal grasp by means of visual information, a widely adopted sensing solution is Artificial Vision. Nonetheless, state-of-art applications need long training and fine-tuning for manually build the object's model that is used at run-time during the normal operations, which reduce the overall operational throughput of the robotic system. To overcome such limits, the paper presents a framework based on Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (DCNN) to predict both single and multiple grasp poses for multiple objects all at once, using a single RGB image as input. Thanks to a novel loss function, our framework is trained in an end-to-end fashion and matches state-of-art accuracy with a substantially smaller architecture, which gives unprecedented real-time performances during experimental tests, and makes the application reliable for working on real robots. The system has been implemented using the ROS framework and tested on a Baxter collaborative robot.


2020 - Expert system based on ontological model to support the detailed design of agricultural machinery: a case of hydraulic hoses [Articolo su rivista]
Schmidt, Juliana; Peruzzini, Margherita; Paganin, Lucas Barboza Zattar; Sato, Roberto Shigueru; Borsato, Milton
abstract


2020 - Exploring the potential of Operator 4.0 interface and monitoring [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

In the context of smart factories, where intelligent machines share data and support enhanced functionalities at a factory level, workers are still seen as spectators rather than active players (Hermann, Pentek, & Otto, 2017). Instead, Industry 4.0 represents a great opportunity for workers to become part of the intelligent system; on one hand, operators can generate data to program machines and optimize the process flows, on the other hand they can receive useful information to support their work and cooperate with smart systems (Romero et al., 2016). Diversely from machines, humans are naturally smart, flexible and intelligent, so putting the operators in the digital loop can bring more powerful and efficient factories. The paper aims at defining a theoretical human-centered framework for Operator 4.0, and testing its feasibility and impact on companies, thanks to the integration of human factors in 4.0 computerized industrial contexts. The proposed framework is based on data collection about the workers’ performance, actions and reactions, with the final objective to improve the overall factory performance and organization. Data are used to assess the workers’ ergonomics performance and perceived comfort and to build a proper knowledge about the human asset of the factory, to be integrated with the knowledge derived from machine data collection. The framework is cased on the adoption of an Operator 4.0 monitoring system, which consists of an eye tracking and a wearable biosensor, combined to a proper protocol analysis to interpret data and create a solid knowledge. Virtual prototypes are used to make the workers interact with the digital factory to conveniently simulate the human–machine interaction (HMI) in order to avoid bottlenecks at the shop floor, to optimize the workflows, and to improve the workstations’ design and layout. The study represents a step toward the design of human-centred industrial systems, including human factors in the digital twin. The research approach has been successfully tested on an industrial case study, developed in collaboration with CNH Industrial, for the re-design of assembly workstations.


2020 - Novel Robotic Cell Architecture for Zero Defect Intelligent Deburring [Articolo su rivista]
Schmidt, Juliana; Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Raffaeli, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract


2020 - Special issue on ‘transdisciplinary approaches to digital manufacturing for industry 4.0’ [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, M.; Wognum, N.; Bil, C.; Stjepandic, J.
abstract

The concept of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) outlines the vision of a smart factory characterised by the complete networking of all production parts and processes, consisting of real-time control via cyber-physical systems, increased use of robots, intelligent and adaptable production systems, which should contribute to greater productivity through resource efficiency. The convergence of production and interaction, work and communication requires increasingly transdisciplinary competencies for creating a smart factory, which is economically successful and competitive. These competencies consist, among others, of divers expert knowledge, flexibility, and creativity for moving toward I4.0.


2020 - Transdisciplinary Assessment Matrix to Design Human-Machine Interaction [Capitolo/Saggio]
Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Raffaeli, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Designing highly usable and ergonomic control dashboards is fundamental to support the user in managing and properly setting complex machines, like trains, airplanes, trucks and tractors. Contrarily, control dashboards are usually big, intrusive, full of controls and not really usable for different users. This paper focuses on the re-design of an ergonomic and compact dashboard for tractor control, proposing an innovative methodology in line with human-centered design and ergonomics principles. The study started by shifting the focus from how a machine works to how a task has to be performed and how the user interacts with the machine. It uses virtual simulations and human performance analysis tools to support the concept generation and the detailed design, and to test the new idea with users in the virtual lab. Indeed, within the virtual environment, different configurations of controls can be tested, checking which controls are mostly used and measuring human performance indexes (i.e., postural comfort and mental workload) for each configuration. Virtual mannequins can be used to as “digital twins” to interact with virtual items and to calculate robust comfort indicators during task execution. The study adopted the proposed methodology to an industrial use case to develop a usable and compact armrest for a new tractor platform. The new armrest is smaller than the previous one (-30% in dimensions), more usable (keeping on board only frequent controls, better positioned), and more comfortable (it satisfies 95% of the population size). This new approach could be used also for the design of new products.


2019 - A comparative study on computer-integrated set-ups to design human-centred manufacturing systems [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello; Gadaleta, Michele
abstract

Manufacturing ergonomics refers to the application of ergonomic principles and human factors analysis to the design of manufacturing tasks with the final aim to optimize the workers’ wellbeing and guarantee the expected process performance. Traditional design approaches are based on the observation of individual workers performing their jobs, the detection of unnatural postures (e.g., bending, twisting, overextending, rotating), and the definition of late corrective actions according to ergonomic guidelines. Recently, computer-integrated simulations based on virtual prototypes and digital human models (DHMs) can be used to assess manufacturing ergonomics on virtual manikins operating in digital workplaces. Such simulations allow validating different design alternatives and optimizing the workstation design before the creation, and pave the way to a new approach to manufacturing system design. The present paper aims at comparing different computer-integrated set-ups to support the design of human-centred manufacturing workstations. It defines a protocol analysis to support workstation design by analysing both physical and cognitive aspects, and applies the protocol within different digital set-ups. In particular, the study investigates a 2D desktop set-up using standardized DHMs and a 3D immersive mixed reality set-up based on motion capture of real workers’ acting into a mixed environment, comparing them with the traditional approach. An industrial case study focusing on design optimization of a manufacturing workstation in the energy industry is used to test the effectiveness of the two digital set-ups for the definition of re-design actions.


2019 - A multipath methodology to promote ergonomics, safety and efficiency in agile factories [Articolo su rivista]
Ceccacci, S.; Matteucci, M.; Peruzzini, M.; Mengoni, M.
abstract

An important area of risk management practice for manufacturing companies relates to the prevention of injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The greater benefits can be achieved where a preventive approach is used, based on ergonomic design of workplaces and attention to human requirements and limitations as well as human-machine interaction principles. The research aims at providing a pragmatic approach to support the application of ergonomic risk management in practice. It defines a multipath methodology to investigate human factors impacting on safety by considering the specific workspace, the adopted tools, the overall production environment and the workers’ activity. An industrial case study is described to illustrate the methodology and demonstrate the benefits for companies. Results suggest that the proposed multipath methodology allow to effectively assist analysts in the definition of crucial risk factors and selection of proper ergonomics assessment and measurement tools according to the specific context of application.


2019 - A should costing approach for manufacturing companies [Articolo su rivista]
Mandolini, M.; Favi, C.; Peruzzini, M.; Germani, M.
abstract

One of the most important drivers for developing competitive products is cost. However, scientific and industrial communities are missing an effective cost management framework (including a solid method and a reliable tool) for supporting the product development process, from the initial design phases to procurement. For this reason, the paper presents a holistic ‘should costing’ methodology able to foster collaboration on cost-oriented solutions among company’s departments. The ‘should costing’ methodology and the related tool enable a systematic review of cost evolution, focusing on the opportunities to reduce costs, from the conceptual design stage through the overall production stages. In addition, the paper presents requirements for efficient implementation of a should-cost tool considering enterprise software solutions already available in manufacturing companies. A couple of companies (product manufacturers) adopted the recommended ‘should costing’ framework and quantitative and qualitative evaluations of the deployment process are presented as results. The benefits related with the adoption of the proposed should costing approach in relation with the traditional product development process is presented as well.


2019 - An automatic procedure based on virtual ergonomic analysis to promote human-centric manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Zanni, Luca; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Today manufacturing enterprises aim not only to deliver high-value, cost-effectively products in a sustainable way, but also to consider the quality of the working environments. The analysis of human factors, which strongly affect time and quality of manufacturing processes, are crucial for satisfying people involved in the manufacturing process and making them safe, preventing diseases, errors and excessive workload. The paper presents a structured procedure to automatically extract data from virtual analysis made by digital manufacturing tools and measure a set of indicators to validly assess manufacturing ergonomics. The research considers the state of the art in manufacturing ergonomics and defines a set of indicators suitable for manufacturing manual operations, focusing on assembly tasks. Furthermore, it defines a methodology to automatically extract data valorising the selected indicators and an application, based on Visual Basic, to generate the specific task list and related assessment. The result is a rapid and objective assessment, independent from the experience of the user, which can be executed during process design. The procedure has been applied to an industrial case study, where the manual assembly of cabin supports on the tractor chassis has been analysed in order to correct the most uncomfortable steps and obtain a more ergonomic process. A decrease of the EAWS score, calculated with the proposed method, allowed to validate the proposed solution, suggesting a redesign of the assembly cycle to improve the working conditions. Such a procedure anticipates the analysis of the workers’ wellbeing during the design stage to support the definition of human-centric manufacturing processes, simplifying and accelerating the assessment activities.


2019 - Cost Estimation in Initial Stages of Product Development – An Ontological Approach [Capitolo/Saggio]
Voltolini, Rafael; Borsato, Milton; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Cost estimation in the early stages of the product development process is fraught with uncertainties. The conceptual design is characterized by the absence of data, the most critical being costs. Decisions based on incorrect assumptions impact a project significantly and can increase unexpected costs in the future. As there are no structured means of obtaining costs in the conceptual phase, the reuse of data from past projects is an alternative discussed in the literature. Knowledge management approaches suggest a search for data in successful earlier projects. The use of ontologies has been regarded as an approach to capturing either knowledge stored in database or tacit knowledge. The proposed solution, in the form of an expert system built upon an ontological model, seeks to estimate costs based on costs in previous projects as well as expert tacit knowledge. The model is demonstrated by queries with needed functions and requirements. The ontological model searches the necessary information and generates a cost estimation. The present research project follows the methodological framework Design Science Research, presenting an overhead crane as a case study. The proposed approach has great potential in other industrial contexts as well.


2019 - Emergence of Product-Service Systems [Capitolo/Saggio]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Wiesner, Stefan
abstract

Product-Service Systems (PSSs) are a new emergent way to innovate traditional products and to extend the company portfolio, by reducing time and cost while offering high quality and meeting the expectations of both customers and stakeholders, which have to be considered during the design and development pro- cess (Complex systems concurrent engineering. Springer, London, pp. 321–328, 2007 [1]). A further challenge is to close loops between Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) by providing feedback from service delivery to the beginning-of-life phase of products, or defining a structured procedure to coordinate product and service development activities. The objective of this chapter is to provide a common understanding about PSSs, to deepen the Servitization process and its main features, and to understand how PLM and SLM can be integrated to define future organization of PSS-oriented companies. The final aim is to present PSS as a new business model, which companies can adopt to innovate their products and to enlarge their offer to the market, according to a consumer-oriented approach.


2019 - Ergonomic and compact armrest of agricultural tractors: Innovative methods to design an ergonomic armrest [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Campanella, C.; Huber, K.; Monacelli, G.; Ungaretti, L.; D'Orazio, M.; Scotto Di vetta, G.; Peruzzini, M.; Grandi, F.
abstract

Armrest in tractors is like a control dashboard for trains or airplanes; it is fundamental for managing and properly setting the machine. For this reason, there is the need to adjust it for each operator’s size and application. Nowadays, armrests are usually very big and intrusive, because they are full of controls and sometimes they are not really comfortable for each user size and need. Furthermore, agricultural equipment is often used under difficult conditions: steep terrain and extreme weather conditions require products able to guarantee total safety and maximum comfort, minimizing the risk of human error caused by excessive fatigue. The aim of the project is to create an “ergonomic - compact armrest”, focused on the users’ need, with the application of Ergonomics and Human Machine Interface (HMI) principles, shifting the focus from how a machine works to how a task is performed. For designing the “ergonomic - compact armrest” a new system based on the collection of “real” users biomechanical performance within a virtual lab was adopted. In this virtual environment, it was possible to test many different configurations of controls, checking which controls are mostly used, and measure the comfort index and mental work load for each configuration. On this basis, a “digital twin” of the user was created, consisting in a set of scalable virtual manikins that can interact with virtual items, and a comfort index was defined as an objective and reliable measure to evaluate workload during any task execution. Thanks to this new methodology, the “ergonomic - compact armrest” is 30% smaller than the previous one, but at the same time it accommodates in comfort the 95% of the population size, keeping on board only frequent controls positioned in ergonomic way. The results of this study could be used for other tractors controls layout design, so that human comfort can be improved and any task can be felt as natural as possible, encouraging good posture and safe behaviours, and reducing cost of prototypes and time to market.


2019 - Product development cost estimation through ontological models – a literature review [Articolo su rivista]
Voltolini, Rafael; Vasconcelos, Kaio; Borsato, Milton; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

The early stages of product development are characterized by uncertainties. Designers must deal with challenges that arise unexpectedly in an agile and responsive manner. Expert information systems based on ontological models are a promising approach to capture knowledge and rationale of domain specialists, either for decision making or knowledge reuse. The present study presents a bibliometric analysis on the use of ontologies in product development for cost estimation. It identifies trends and research opportunities that can orient future works. From a general search in scientific databases, 31 articles were found and selected based on criteria established using the Proknow-C method. Results indicate that there are several possibilities for solutions using ontological and hybrid, transdisciplinary approaches. Using intelligent systems is not only promising but is also challenging as a new and real transdisciplinary research area of interest.


2019 - Special Issue on: Agile Approaches for Transdisciplinary Engineering [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Wognum, Nel
abstract

Transdisciplinary engineering (TE) is an emerging field that extends and evolves the initial basic concepts known as concurrent engineering (CE). While CE concentrates on enterprise collaboration, from integrating people and processes to very specific complete multi/inter/transdisciplinary solutions, TE combines natural sciences, applied sciences, social sciences and humanities to achieve a higher level of comprehension and awareness of the context in which industrial products, processes, systems or services will be implemented and are experienced by users (Borsato et al., 2016).


2019 - Systematic Development of Product-Service Systems [Capitolo/Saggio]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Wiesner, Stefan
abstract

Main problems occurring in Product-Service Systems (PSSs), are due to an inadequate requirements analysis and lack of a strong PSS conceptual design. Problems vary from exceeding budgets, to missing functionalities, unsuccessful market launch, or even project abortion. Furthermore, the special characteristics of a PSS have to be considered already at an early stage of the development process. Requirements Engineering (RE) and design methodology as well as supporting Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) need to establish a common perception of the targeted PSS. At the same time, the inner complexity of PSS leaves requirements analysis, design activities and development tasks fragmented among many disciplines and sometimes conflicting, unstable, unknowable or not fully defined. In this context, a concurrent, transdisciplinary and collaborative design of PSS is required to create feasible and successful solutions. The objective of this chapter is to present a structured approach to face the specific challenges of PSS development in detail, to elaborate a general framework that features a systematic approach for PSS development, and to consider the effects of changes in specific product and service design on a systematic PSS development process.


2019 - Transdisciplinary design approach based on driver's workload monitoring [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Tonietti, Mara; Iani, Cristina
abstract

Driving is a high-demanding task, related to human capacity, required performance and events occurring in the external environment. Mental workload depends on numerous factors: task difficulty, task complexity, level of traffic, additional activities required by the driving action or imposed by the driver, the contextual conditions, as well as the individual response to stress. The study of driver's workload is crucial in guiding future car design, in order to improve the user experience, comfort as well as driving performance and safety. Indeed, if task demands are too high in relation to the user's capabilities, errors may occur and may become critical for safety. The present paper defines a transdisciplinary approach based on monitoring the driver's workload during driving tasks in order to map the perceived user experience, and finally understand the interaction between the driver and the car systems. The approach is based on three layers: the human conditions to detect, the vital parameters to be monitored, and the adopted monitoring technologies. The paper proposes: a protocol to monitor the driver's workload during both real and simulated tasks, a technological set-up including physiological and performance data collection, and a proper data elaboration strategy. The key findings are: the selection of the most relevant subjective and objective parameters to measure the driver's mental workload, the definition of a preliminary technological set-up for monitoring the workload during simulated driving, and the evaluation of the effects of task complexity and of a secondary task on driver's performance. The research paved the way to further studies about how to miniaturize and embed sensors inside the car for a less intrusive application during real driving. Results can also be used to assess the interaction with car devices and to compare different design alternatives.


2019 - Transdisciplinary systems engineering: Implications, challenges and research agenda [Articolo su rivista]
Wognum, Nel; Bil, Cees; Elgh, Fredrik; Peruzzini, Margherita; Stjepandić, Josip; Verhagen, Wim J. C.
abstract

Transdisciplinary processes have been the subject of research since several decades already. Transdisciplinary processes are aimed at solving ill-defined and socially relevant problems. Many researchers have studied transdisciplinary processes and have tried to understand the essentials of transdisciplinarity. Many engineering problems can be characterised as ill-defined and socially relevant, too. Although transdisciplinary engineering cannot widely be found in the literature yet, a transdisciplinary approach is deemed relevant for many engineering problems. With this paper we aim to present an overview of the literature on research into transdisciplinary processes and investigate the relevance of a transdisciplinary approach in engineering domains. After a brief description of past research on transdisciplinarity, implications for engineering research, engineering practice, and engineering education are identified. In all three areas, the current situation is described, while challenges are identified that still exist. The paper ends with a research agenda for transdisciplinary engineering.


2019 - UNA CONFIGURACIÓN DE REALIDAD VIRTUAL MULTIMODAL PARA EL DISEÑO CENTRADO EN EL SER HUMANO DE ESTACIONES DE TRABAJO INDUSTRIALES [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello; Grandi, Fabio; ORESTE ANDRISANO, Angelo
abstract

Although the so-called Industry 4.0 trend is promoting the increasing automation of processes in the factories of the future, manual activities still play an extremely important role within the factory and human factors greatly affect the process performance. However, the analysis of human- machine interaction and the prediction of human performance in industry are difficult but crucial to have an optimized design of workspaces and interfaces, reducing time and cost of implementation, and avoiding late design changes. This research adopts a multimodal human-centered approach for the analysis of human-machine interaction, and proposes a multimodal experimental set-up for the evaluation of the workers’ experience to support the design of industrial workstations. The set-up combines virtual mock-ups, interaction with both physical and virtual objects, and monitoring sensors to track users and analyze their actions and reactions. It allows creating a multimodal environment able to deepen the interaction between humans and systems or interfaces, to support design activities. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that the analysis of the reactions of the users involved, allows to evaluate the quality of the interaction, identify the critical issues, define corrective actions, and propose guidelines for system design or redesign [1]. The paper describes the application of the proposed set-up on two industrial case studies and reports the main results.


2019 - User experience analysis based on physiological data monitoring and mixed prototyping to support human-centre product design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello; Campanella, Claudia Elisabetta
abstract

Human-centred design is based on the satisfaction of the user needs mainly related to performances, interaction, comfort, usability, accessibility, and visibility issues. However, the “real” user experience (UX) is hidden and usually difficult to detect. The paper proposes a multimodal system based on the collection of physiological and anthropometrical performance data on field and within a mixed prototyping set-up. The mixed environment makes users interact with virtual and digital items and users’ performance to be capture and digitalized, simulating human-machine interaction, while physiological and anthropometrical data collection allows to objectify the users’ physical and mental workload during task execution. Such a system has been applied to an industrial case study focusing on agricultural machinery driving and control to support the definition of a new cabin and its control board, in terms of seat features, commands’ positioning and grouping, and positioning of additional devices.


2018 - A dependencies satisfaction tool to support the cost oriented configuration of industrial products in the conceptual design stage [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pistacchi, Mauro; Savoretti, Andrea; Mandolini, Marco; Raffaeli, Roberto
abstract

Sustainability and cost optimization are actually the main drivers of product and system design in modern companies. However, cost assessments are usually carried out at the end of the design process to check the validity of the decisions already taken. Therefore, when targets are not achieved, numerous time-consuming iteration loops are necessary to optimize the initial solution. The paper situates in a research aimed at merging functional-based and design-to-cost approaches to propose a CAD-based platform able to assess new product variants from the earliest stages by configuring and assessing feasible design solutions. In particular, an approach is proposed for dealing with dependencies among design parameters in order to support the designer in a rapid definition of valid solutions and optimise them. The approach is described and then applied on an industrial test case, a bridge-crane design process.


2018 - A mixed-reality digital set-up to support design for serviceability [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello; Campanella, Claudia Elisabetta
abstract

Design for serviceability begins with understanding the customer needs related to availability, reliability, accessibility and visibility, and aims at designing optimized systems where maintenance operations are easy and intuitive in order to reduce the time to repair and service costs. However, service actions are difficult to predict in front of a traditional CAD model. In this context, digital manufacturing tools and virtual simulation technologies can be validly used to create mixed digital environments where service tasks can be simulated in advance to support product design and improve maintenance actions. Furthermore, the use of human monitoring sensors can be used to detect the stressful conditions and to optimize the human tasks. The paper proposes a mixed reality (MR) set-up where operators are digitalized and monitored to analyse both physical and cognitive ergonomics. It is useful to predict design criticalities and improve the global system design. An industrial case study has been developed in collaboration with CNH Industrial to demonstrate how the proposed set-up is used for design for serviceability, on the basis of experimental evidence.


2018 - Application of early sustainability assessment to support the design of industrial systems [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Nowadays industrial products require numerous aspects to be integrated and optimized contemporarily and interactively: mechanics, electronics, system control, management of material and information flows, interfaces, human-product interaction, as well as impacts on environment, costs and human factors. As a consequence, the design of industrial products has to combine new advanced functionalities and high performances by limiting production cost as well as environmental and social impacts. It means that the entire industrial system has to be designed looking towards sustainability. While attention to cost and environmental performance is not new, the analysis of social-related aspects is basically unexplored for industrial products. Achieving social sustainability includes forecasting human behaviours, actions and reactions, analysing how human beings interact with objects, tools, devices and interfaces, and assessing their physical and mental workload. The present research proposes an analytical approach to support the design of industrial products by providing an early sustainability assessment of the three aspects of sustainability (environment, cost and people). It adopts a feature-based approach and a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the sustainability of the manufacturing and assembly processes and to support an easy and preventive analysis during product design. The paper presents the application of such method to industrial cases.


2018 - Deep Learning-Based Method for Vision-Guided Robotic Grasping of Unknown Objects [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bergamini, Luca; Sposato, Mario; Peruzzini, Margherita; Vezzani, Roberto; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Collaborative robots must operate safely and efficiently in ever-changing unstructured environments, grasping and manipulating many different objects. Artificial vision has proved to be collaborative robots' ideal sensing technology and it is widely used for identifying the objects to manipulate and for detecting their optimal grasping. One of the main drawbacks of state of the art robotic vision systems is the long training needed for teaching the identification and optimal grasps of each object, which leads to a strong reduction of the robot productivity and overall operating flexibility. To overcome such limit, we propose an engineering method, based on deep learning techniques, for the detection of the robotic grasps of unknown objects in an unstructured environment, which should enable collaborative robots to autonomously generate grasping strategies without the need of training and programming. A novel loss function for the training of the grasp prediction network has been developed and proved to work well also with low resolution 2-D images, then allowing the use of a single, smaller and low cost camera, that can be better integrated in robotic end-effectors. Despite the availability of less information (resolution and depth) a 75% of accuracy has been achieved on the Cornell data set and it is shown that our implementation of the loss function does not suffer of the common problems reported in literature. The system has been implemented using the ROS framework and tested on a Baxter collaborative robot.


2018 - Digital Manufacturing and Virtual Reality for Tractors' Human-Centred Design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Grandi, Fabio; Peruzzini, Margherita; Zanni, Luca; Campanella Claudia, Elisabetta; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Human-centred design is based on the satisfaction of the user needs related to performances, aesthetics, reliability, usability, accessibility and visibility issues, costs, and many other aspects. The combination of all these aspects has been called as “perceived quality”, that is definitely a transdisciplinary topic. However, the “real” perceived quality is usually faithfully assessed only at the end of the design process, while it is very difficult to predict on 3D CAD model. In this context, digital manufacturing tools and virtual simulation technologies can be validly used according to a transdisciplinary approach to create interactive digital mock-ups where the human-system interaction can be simulated and the perceived quality assessed in advance. The paper proposes a mixed reality (MR) set-up where systems and humans interacting with them are digitalized and monitored to easily evaluate the human-machine interaction. It is useful to predict the design criticalities and to improve the global system design. An industrial case study has been developed in collaboration with CNH Industrial to demonstrate how the proposed set-up can be validly used to support human-centred design.


2018 - Editorial to the special issue “Transdisciplinary analytics in supply chain management” [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Stjepandić, Josip
abstract

The last two decades of designing large-scale engineering systems have demonstrated that the even higher complexity of problems requires entirely new solution approaches. Transdisciplinary engineering (TE) is a means to overcome the limits of inter- or multi- disciplinary approaches. For such challenges, transdisciplinary research and processes are focused on solving ill-defined and society-relevant problems, like sustainability and environmental problems. It has still not received much attention, in particular, when the decision-making is difficult due to the lack of a suitable analytical basis. TE requires extensive IT support to manage and control the large amount of data and knowledge produced and used in TE processes. It is implemented through the follow- ing processes (Wognum et al., in press).


2018 - Editorial to the special issue “Transdisciplinary approaches for industrial information integration engineering I” [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Stjepandić, Josip
abstract

Industrial information integration engineering is an emerging sub- ject in industry and research, which aims to support modern industry by knowledge-intensive strategies and pervasive interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary industrial informatization. Indeed, industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 concepts are reshaping the industries by boosting the integration of information and communication technolo- gies (ICT) and industrial systems. In this context, transdisciplinary en- gineering can validly support the definition of new cross-boundaries approaches and prosperous implementing methodologies by merging natural sciences, technical issues, and social sciences. The issue presents a set of examples of successful strategies to promote smart industry in the “factory of the future”.


2018 - Guest editorial: focused section on human‑centered robotics [Articolo su rivista]
Devasia, Santosh; Chien Chern Cheah, ·; Pellicciari, Marcello; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Next generation of industrial revolution will be featured with broad applications of intelligent technologies; among those popular ones are intelligent manufacturing and autonomous products like vehicles and robotic systems. In both cases, autonomous operations are at the center of the stage, in which appropriate sensing and perception play critical roles. Indeed, recent advances in sensing and perception technologies have produced exciting new ideas in facilitating autonomous manufacturing and/or robotic vehicular systems. These technologies will potentially evolve with more and more ‘smart functions’ and move manufacturing and robotic systems from single structured operation to sensing/perception-based self-governed yet collaborative multi-system operations. This Focused Section is dedicated to new progresses in modeling, design, control, communication, and implementation of sensing and perception systems for autonomous and/or networked robotics, and intends to provide the state-of-the-art update of research fronts. The Focused Section consists of six research papers covering detection of human motion (Jiang, et al), vision based pose measurement (Zhang, et al,), ream-time object detection and tracking (Benabderrahmane), 3-D map reconstruction (Turan, et al; Landsiedel and Wollherr), and vision based endoscopic capsule robot (Turan, et al).


2018 - How to analyse the workers’ experience in integrated product-process design [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

he analysis of workers’ ergonomics and human factors is assuming a great importance in product and process design for modern industry. However, there is a lack of common references and structured protocols for the assessment of workers’ experience in industrial practices in an effective and predictive way. As a result, designers are poorly supported in the application of digital technologies, which are demonstrating to have a great potential. This ascertainment suggested defining a reference model to analyse the so-called user experience (UX) of workers and a proper technological set-up based on virtual simulations in order to support human-centred product-process design. Indeed, the recent advances in ubiquitous computing, wearable technologies and low-cost connected devices offer a huge amount of new tools for human data monitoring. However, the open issue is selecting the most proper devices for industrial application area in respect with design goals, using virtual simulation and digital manufacturing tools. The research proposed a structured procedure to use existing digital technologies to support product-process design to analyse the workers behaviours and assess the perceived experience for industrial scopes. The paper defined a structured protocol analysis to objectify and measure the workers’ experience with the final aim to support the requirements definition in product-process design by using digital technologies. In particular, the model has been defined for the automotive sector. The paper contribution is the definition of the protocol analysis and the development of a mixed reality (MR) set- up to involve real users’ and to improve the digital models. Such a protocol has been applied to different industrial cases related to product and process design, developed in collaboration with CNH Industrial. The comparison with traditional design procedures highlighted the benefits of adopting virtual mock-up and digital simulation within a MR environment to shorten design time and improve the design overall quality.


2018 - Improving a production site from a social point of view: An IoT infrastructure to monitor workers condition [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Gregori, Fabio; Papetti, Alessandra; Pandolfi, Monica; Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, Michele
abstract

In the context of Industry 4.0, this paper focuses on integration of workers in the digitalized factory. It proposes a method to design an IoT infrastructure and acquire human-related data from a production site in order to improve workers wellbeing and overall productivity. The method permits to identify bottlenecks and criticalities from a social point of view, focusing on the human performance, and define corrective actions at different levels (operations, plant layout or shift management). A case study was developed in collaboration with an Italian sole producer to validate the method and the related data acquisition system.


2018 - IoT to Enable Social Sustainability in Manufacturing Systems [Capitolo/Saggio]
Papetti, Alessandra; Gregori, Fabio; Pandolfi, Monica; Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, Michele
abstract

One of the most actual and consistent driver for industry is sustainability. This topic opens at different problems according to the three sustainability pillars: environment, economic, and social. Regarding the last one, there is a lack for methodologies and tools. Moreover, industries are crossing today a crucial transition in terms of technologies. The so called fourth industrial revolution is ongoing. This is a second challenge for industries that needs to be competitive reducing their time to market integrating new technologies on their production sites. From these perspectives, this work is aimed at highlighting the role of the humans under the Industry 4.0 paradigm. A new transdisciplinary engineering method to favour the sustainable manufacturing is provided. It allows designing a connected environment (IoT framework) aimed at measuring and promoting social sustainability on production sites. The work also remarks the relationship between social sustainability and productivity. Indeed, optimizing the human works permits to improve the quality of the working conditions while improving efficiency of the production system. The case study was performed at an Italian sole producer. The goal of the analysis was to improve and innovate the finishing area of the plant from a social point of view with the perspective of digital manufacturing. An IoT framework has been installed, without affecting the productivity, and the work of 2 operators has been compared in order to identify common problems and define a synergy strategy.


2018 - Preface [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, M.; Pellicciari, M.; Bil, C.; Stjepandic, J.; Wognum, N.
abstract


2018 - Research and Analysis of Opportunities in Product Development Cost Estimation Through Expert Systems [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Voltolini, Rafael; Vasconcelos, Kaio; Borsato, Milton; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

The early stages of product development are characterized by uncertainties and assumption of parameters that directly affect the product and project costs, the development time, and the quality of the manufacturing process. Designers must deal with challenges that arise unexpectedly in an agile and responsive manner. Expert information systems based on ontological models are a promising approach to capture knowledge and rationale of domain specialists, either for decision making or knowledge reuse. The present study presents a bibliometric analysis on the use of ontologies in product development for cost estimation. It identifies trends and research opportunities that can orient future works. From a general search in scientific databases that originally listed thousands of entries, 31 articles were found and selected based on criteria established using the Proknow-C method. The outcome of the present study can help researchers in the search of relevant research gaps to guide future scientific investigations in the area of knowledge-based cost estimation for product development. Results indicate that there are several possibilities for solutions using ontological and hybrid, transdisciplinary approaches. In the search for solutions that support the product cost estimation in the early stages of development, the use of intelligent systems is not only promising, but is also challenging as a new and real transdisciplinary research area of interest.


2018 - Toward the Definition of a Technological Set-up for Drivers' Health Status Monitoring [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Foco, Elena; Reboa, Alfredo
abstract

Driving is a high-demanding task, related to human capacity, required performance and events occurring in the external environment. In this context, the driver's health status monitoring is expected to support safety system and reduce the number of traffic accidents. Among the drivers' conditions, drowsiness and distraction are thought as crucial risk factors that may result in severe injuries. The paper defines a transdisciplinary roadmap to monitor the driver's health status and to map the perceived user experience, based on three layers: the human conditions to detect, the vital parameters to be monitored, and the adopted technologies. The paper proposes a technological set-up focusing on the driver's drowsiness detection, in the context of smart city framework and innovation 4.0. Indeed, such technologies could be embedded in the future “smart car” and communicate with external services to control the driver's performance and improve the safety inside and outside the car. A preliminary technological set-up has been realized embedded into a Maserati car.


2018 - Transdisciplinary Engineering Methods for Social Innovation of Industry 4.0 [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello; Bil, Cees; Stjepandić, Josip; Wognum, Nel
abstract

The concept of concurrent engineering (CE) was first developed in the 1980s. Now often referred to as transdiciplinary engineering, it is based on the idea that different phases of a product life cycle should be conducted concurrently and initiated as early as possible within the Product Creation Process (PCP). The main goal of CE is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the PCP and reduce errors in later phases, as well as incorporating considerations – including environmental implications – for the full lifecycle of the product. It has become a substantive methodology in many industries, and has also been adopted in the development of new services and service support. This book presents the proceedings of the 25th ISPE Inc. International Conference on Transdisciplinary Engineering, held in Modena, Italy, in July 2018. This international conference attracts researchers, industry experts, students, and government representatives interested in recent transdisciplinary engineering research, advancements and applications. The book contains 120 peer-reviewed papers, selected from 259 submissions from all continents of the world, ranging from the theoretical and conceptual to papers addressing industrial best practice, and is divided into 11 sections reflecting the themes addressed in the conference program and addressing topics as diverse as industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing; human-centered design; modeling, simulation and virtual design; and knowledge and data management among others. With an overview of the latest research results, product creation processes and related methodologies, this book will be of interest to researchers, design practitioners and educators alike.


2018 - Transdisciplinary Engineering Research Challenges [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Wognum, Nel; Bil, Cees; Elgh, Fredrik; Peruzzini, Margherita; Stjepandić, Josip; Verhagen, Wim
abstract

Transdisciplinary research (TDR) has been the subject of discourse in the past few decades, but has bot been studied much in the context of engineering problems. Many engineering problems can be characterized as ill-defined, like open innovation, adoption of new technology, business development, and the adoption of the Industry 4.0 concept. Transdisciplinary engineering research (TDER) is also performed in large projects by multi-disciplinary teams, as in TDR projects, including stakeholders and people from practice. Such projects may last long, often years. In such large projects, the involved disciplines should include both engineering disciplines as well as disciplines from social sciences. In this paper we address the challenges that exist in adopting a TDER approach. Universities need to prepare students to work in TDER projects. We discuss the current situation in transdisciplinary engineering education (TDEE) and identify challenges that need to be addressed for including TDEE in curricula. The paper ends with a summary and ideas for further research.


2018 - User experience evaluation model for sustainable manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Human factors are fundamental for manufacturing sustainability, which is determined by social, economic and environmental performance. However, there is a lack of engineering methods and tools that are able to integrate their analysis with product and process optimisation according to sustainability principles. The present study proposes an analytical approach to support sustainable manufacturing (SM) by analysing the so-called user experience (UX) of manufacturing and assembly processes starting from the early design stages. Considering both behavioural and cognitive aspects of manufacturing UX and defining a corresponding model, it is possible to estimate the UX impact on manufacturing sustainability for a certain product and its related processes. The proposed method is implemented in a computer-based framework, which can be easily integrated with environmental and cost assessment tools to integrate all three SM aspects. Finally, a case study focused on automated machines is presented; the proposed approach was used to redesign the machine to improve its economic, environmental and human-related impacts. The industrial case study provides concrete evidence of the achievable benefits of applying the proposed model in manufacturing practice. Indeed, the case study demonstrated how the manufacturing and assembly process of a specific machine was optimised by simplifying the product structure, changing the adopted materials and creating more human-centred activities. The new solution is more sustainable due to time savings (−30%), cost reduction (−20%), reduced environmental impact (−25%) and improved UX (+30%).


2017 - A framework to design a human-centred adaptive manufacturing system for aging workers [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The so-called smart manufacturing systems (SMS) combine smart manufacturing technologies, cyber-physical infrastructures, and data control to realize predictive and adaptive behaviours. In this context, industrial research focused mainly on improving the manufacturing system performance, almost neglecting human factors (HF) and their relation to the production systems. However, in order to create an effective smart factory context, human performance should be included to drive smart system adaptation in efficient and effective way, also by exploiting the linkages between tangible and intangible entities offered by Industry 4.0. Furthermore, modern companies are facing another interesting trend: aging workers. The age of workers is generally growing up and, consequently, the percentage of working 45–64 years old population with different needs, capabilities, and reactions, is increasing. This research focuses on the design of human-centred adaptive manufacturing systems (AMS) for the modern companies, where aging workers are more and more common. In particular, it defines a methodology to design AMS able to adapt to the aging workers’ needs considering their reduced workability, due to both physical and cognitive functional decrease, with the final aim to improve the human-machine interaction and the workers’ wellbeing. The paper finally presents an industrial case study focusing on the woodworking sector, where an existing machine has been re-designed to define a new human-centred AMS. The new machine has been engineered and prototyped by adopting cyber-physical systems (CPS) and pervasive technologies to smartly adapt the machine behaviour to the working conditions and the specific workers’ skills, tasks, and cognitive-physical abilities, with the final aim to support aging workers. The achieved benefits were expressed in terms of system usability, focusing on human-interaction quality.


2017 - A human factors assessment model for sustainable Manufacturing [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Although factories are becoming smarter and more and more automated, thanks to ICT penetration, process performances still highly depend on 'humans in the loop' who have to carry out their tasks by perceiving and understanding increasingly complex multidimensional data sets. Forecasting the human behaviours and assessing how human factors affect the process performance are very difficult but fundamental for strategic decision-making and sustainable manufacturing. In this context, the research highlights the need of predictive methods to design human-centred smart manufacturing systems from the early design stages as an important part of the overall assessment of process sustainability. The paper defines a model to early assess human factors to be integrated with other existing models (i.e., cost estimation and lifecycle assessment) to evaluate manufacturing process sustainability. The proposed integrated method can be fruitfully used to support the design of sustainable manufacturing systems by taking into account also the impact on workers. An industrial case study focusing on packaging machines design is presented to demonstrate the validity of the proposed method and its adoption to propose re-design action promoting sustainability.


2017 - A multimodal tactile interface for immersive virtual experience [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Mengoni, Maura; Cavalieri, Lorenzo
abstract

Multimodal interaction generally allows the user to exploit multiple modes of interfacing with a system. A multimodal interface activates multiple sensory channels to achieve deeper user involvement and enhance the communication with the system. Sensory stimulation is one of the most important factors to reach multimodality and represents a challenge in human-computer interaction to realise enriched virtual representations. Furthermore, playing successfully in a virtual system requires synchronisation among the reproduced signals stimulating the different sensory channels. This paper presents the design and implementation of a multimodal tactile interface to create an immersive virtual experience. The proposed system is the evolution of a previous tactile platform; the main novelties regard the introduction of audio and visual feedbacks to a tactile feedback, signals’ synchronisation, and system testing, with the aim to create a robust application to be integrated into novel human-computer interfaces. Tests are carried out to evaluate the degree of synchronism among the three different outputs, system latency, and the quality of multimodal interaction provided based on the ability of users to discriminate different materials by their virtual simulation.


2017 - A reference model to analyse User eXperience in integrated product-process design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The analysis of human factors is assuming an increasing importance in product and process design and the lack of common references for their assessment in industrial practices had driven to define a reference model to analyse the so-called User eXperience (UX) to support human-centred product-process design. Indeed, the recent advances in ubiquitous computing, wearable technologies and low-cost connected devices offer a huge amount of new tools for UX monitoring, but the main open issue is selecting the most proper devices for the specific application area and properly interpreting the collected information content in respect with the industrial design goals. The research investigates how to analyse the human behaviours of “users” (i.e., workers) by a reference model to assess the perceived experience and a set of proper technologies for UX investigation for industrial scopes. In particular, the model has been defined for the automotive sector. The paper defines a set of evaluation metrics and a structured protocol analysis to objectify and measure the UX with the final aim to support the requirements definition in product-process design. The model has been defined to fit different cases: vehicle drivers at work, workers in the manufacturing line, and service operators


2017 - A social life cycle assessment methodology for smart manufacturing: the case of study of a kitchen sink [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Gregori, Fabio; Luzi, Andrea; Mengarelli, Marco; Germani, Michele
abstract

A growing interest towards smart manufacturing is focused on sustainable development at both industrial and policy level. In particular, an effective sustainable development incorporates three fundamental pillars: environment, cost and society. While environment and cost have been already faced by numerous studies so far, society is still the less considered in manufacturing. Social sustainability comprises specific relapses on humans that are quantifiable through social assessment methods. This research work proposes a new Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) methodology, based on the United Nations Environment Programme and the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (UNEP/SETAC) framework, to support enterprise modelling and knowledge management to assess company sustainability by solving current issues and uncertainties regarding the evaluation of social impacts in the context of smart manufacturing. The analysis is settled into a LIFE +2012 European Project, named LIFE GREEN SINKS. The project concerns the introduction of innovative materials for a new generation of kitchen sinks. The S-LCA methodology proposed embeds a detailed inventory method tailored on real data, collected directly from the field of application thanks to customised surveys that allow modelling the enterprise and integrating data available from the manufacturing process. This method is designed as a supporting tool for enterprise modelling and strategic company decision-making. Specifically, it intends to help companies in understanding and, consequently reducing, social impacts of all processes related to a certain product from a life cycle perspective, to achieve an effective “smart” manufacturing for a sustainable development.


2017 - A value-oriented methodology for cost-oriented re-engineering in the packaging sector [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Anticipating the analysis of cost and performances before the detailed design stage is difficult, but possible thanks to a synthetic analysis of the manufacturing knowledge, a successful collaboration among the numerous actors involved, and a methodology able to highlight the cost issues and to guide a cost-oriented machine design. This paper presents a methodology integrating Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA), Design To Cost (DTC), and Value Analysis (VA) to support companies in cost-effective machine design and cost-oriented re-engineering. This paper demonstrates the validity of the proposed methodology by an industrial case study focusing on packaging machines, developed in collaboration with a world leader company in tissue packaging machines. Thanks to the proposed approach, the company was able to identify those parts to be re-engineered (e.g., oversized parts, parts with unnecessary tolerances, similar parts to be merged into a unique one, common groups to be reused in similar machines, parts or material substitutions, wrong suppliers' selection) and possible technological improvements. A significant cost optimization and global machine sustainability improvement were achieved on a specific packaging machine line, mainly due to product structure simplification, part reuse, improved design solutions, and optimization of selected manufacturing processes.


2017 - An ergonomics study on manual assembly process re-design in manufacturing firms [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Nevertheless process automation is a global trend, some specific phases (i.e., assembly) in highly technological sectors (i.e., medical, pharmaceutical, diagnostics, dental) are still managed by human workers, due to high-precision tasks and low production volumes. In this context, operators are forced to work faster and adapt to not ergonomically workstations and workflows. As a consequence, human assembly is frequently the bottleneck of the entire process due a not ergonomic layout and process design. The study was conducted at a medical equipment manufacturer, leader of dental equipment production, and focused on the analysis of the assembly process of the dental units. Workers at the assembly line were observed by experts and involved also by interviews and focus groups to detect the assembly issues and process jam. The research provides a valuable example of how physical, cognitive and organizational ergonomic problems affect the final process performance and how human-oriented re-design actions can be easily defined according to the proposed analysis procedure.


2017 - An overview of user experience assessment methods and tools in integrated product-process design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello; Mengoni, Maura
abstract

The analysis of user experience (UX) is based on the combined investigation of the individual perceptions, the perceived comfort factors, as well as the human factors. Such experience cannot be objective- ly measured, but requires a variety of ways to capture the user-related knowledge and to define a set of expe- rience-based descriptions to elicit the non-measurable, intangible conditions. UX analysis is helpful to both support interaction as well as to prevent and reduce human errors, with consequent advantages for product quality, company productivity, and users’ wellbeing and safety. Traditionally, UX is fully analyzed on physi- cal prototypes, where the physical and mental workload could be tested and measured by involving sample users. Nevertheless, building physical prototypes increases development cycle times and costs, and provides a late assessment. On the other hand, virtual prototyping can anticipate numerous design issues, but hardly inte- grate the analysis of human factors. Thus, there is a strong need for integrating UX monitoring in the design and verification stages of industrial products and processes by coupling advanced simulation techniques and user monitoring tools. This paper explores how to assess UX during product and process design by digital manufacturing tools. It provides an overview of the scientific state of art on the most common methods and tools to support the human-centered design and presents the results of a survey on more than 100 scientific and industrial papers on international journals and relevant conferences, focusing on the existing methods, tools and applications on the UX assessment to be used in product and process design by researchers and companies. The research also identifies the milestone references to support the UX assessment within indus- trial practices, also including ubiquitous computing, wearable technologies and low-cost connected devices, and points out the main open issues.


2017 - Benchmarking of Tools for User Experience Analysis in Industry 4.0 [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Industry 4.0 paradigm is based on systems communication and cooperation with each other and with humans in real time to improve process performances in terms of productivity, security, energy efficiency, and cost. Although industrial processes are more and more automated, human performance is still the main responsible for product quality and factory productivity. In this context, understanding how workers interact with production systems and how they experience the factory environment is fundamental to properly model the human interaction and optimize the processes. This research investigates the available technologies to monitor the user experience (UX) and defines a set of tools to be applied in the Industry 4.0 scenario to assure the workersâ wellbeing, safety and satisfaction and improve the overall factory performance.


2017 - Digital Manufacturing Systems: A Framework to Improve Social Sustainability of a Production Site [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Gregori, Fabio; Papetti, Alessandra; Pandolfi, Monica; Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, Michele
abstract

The topic of digital manufacturing is increasingly emerging in industry. One of the main scope of data digitalization is achieving more efficient factories. Different techniques and tools under the Industry 4.0 paradigm were already discussed in literature. These are aimed mostly at boosting company efficiency in terms of costs and environmental footprint. However, from a sustainability point of view, the social theme must be equally considered. While energy flows or costs can be already monitored in a production plant, this is not valid for data related to human effort. Monitoring systems aimed at supervising factory social sustainability were not already discussed in literature. The aim of this paper is to propose a method to acquire social related data in a production plant. The method is supported by a smart architecture within the concept of IoT factory. Such architecture permits to monitor the parameters that could influence social sustainability in a production site. After a discussion on production plants facilities and features, the parameters that need to be considered to guarantee socially sustainable manufacturing processes are identified. A set of sensors controls these data taken from different sources, including operator vital signs. Operations as well as humans are monitored. Data acquired by sensors are collected by a central server. A decision maker can interpret the data and improve the production system from a social point of view, implementing corrective actions. Data can be exploited not only for social assessments but even for other analyses on the production system. Guaranteeing social sustainability could boost the factory productivity. A case study is included in the paper: smart sensors are implemented in a production line to understand the operations efficiency in terms of social sustainability.


2017 - Editorial to the Special Issue Information Integration for Innovative Design and Smart Manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Stjepandić, Josip
abstract

Information integration is one of the key features to foster innovative design approaches and to enable smart manufacturing in modern companies. Future manufacturing will be more automated, more digitalized, but also more flexible, distributed, networked and collaborative. As a consequence, information integration approaches are necessary to support companies to be innovative and profitable. The issue collects valuable examples of how collaborative approaches and interdisciplinary actions can benefit companies, from new idea co-creation to smart enterprise management, from intelligent data analysis to flexible decision-making, from smart management of business relationships to reconfigurable manufacturing automation.


2017 - Editorial to the Special Issue Integration and Management in Transdisciplinary Engineering [Articolo su rivista]
Stjepandic, Josip; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

In the past years, plethora of complex problems facing scientists has highly increased and the necessary knowledge required to understand and resolve these problems in economy and society has been evolving rapidly. The use of information and communication technology in modern products such as cyber-physical systems determines an even increased and thus arbitrary range of variety. Especially, the entertainment systems in automotive industry will be revolutionized concerning functionality and usability aspects. The seamless integration of information and communication technology and even the utilization of mobile platform technologies will result in new variants that have to be handled correctly in the manufacturing context. Editorial to the Special Issue Integration and Management in Transdisciplinary Engineering.


2017 - Editorial to the Special Issue on: Agile Methods for sustainable Manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Sustainability is one of the key requirements for manufacturing industry to be competitive and long term. Despite the numerous attempts towards the creation of sustainable manufacturing systems, there is an urgent need for effective methods to implement sustainable processes in industry. Indeed, sustainable manufacturing pushes companies to consider three complex challenges at the same time: ecological challenge (reducing environmental impact and resource consumption), economical challenge (improving overall process efficiency and reducing global costs), and social challenge (increasing social effectiveness and reducing human-related impact). As a consequence, other than the more conventional firm performance objectives of cost, quality, speed, flexibility and dependability, today there are new requirements for firms to deliver on sustainable objectives.


2017 - Editorial to the special issue “Enterprise modelling and system integration for smart manufacturing” [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Stjepandic, Josip
abstract

Smart Manufacturing is made of “fully-integrated, collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real time to meet changing demands and conditions in the factory, in the supply network, and in customer needs” [5]. However, Smart Manufacturing has been also defined as “the ability to solve existing and future problems via an open infrastructure that allows solutions to be implemented at the speed of business while creating advantaged value" [7]. By the way, Smart Manufacturing is being predicted as the next Industrial Revolution, enabled by the recent technology connectivity and the unprecedented access to and sharing of data [4]. However, Smart Manufacturing implies numerous challenges, such as the need of integrating data from multiple devices and sensors, sharing information among different vendor applications and products that can be composed to form new solutions, and synchronizing the involved systems at the right time [9]. Thanks to the recent advances in ICT, such technologies can be applied to a single machine, to an entire factory, or across a network of suppliers and customers. As a consequence, the merge of physical and virtual items (the so-called CPS, Cyber Physical Systems) opens up new areas of innovation that can optimize the entire manufacturing industry to create higher quality products, improve productivity, increase energy efficiency, and sustain safer plant floors.


2017 - Engineering methods and tools enabling reconfigurable and adaptive robotic deburring [Capitolo/Saggio]
Berselli, Giovanni; Gadaleta, Michele; Genovesi, Andrea; Pellicciari, Marcello; Peruzzini, Margherita; Razzoli, Roberto
abstract

According to recent researches, it is desirable to extend Industrial Robots (IR) applicability to strategic fields such as heavy and/or fine deburring of customized parts with complex geometry. In fact, from a conceptual point of view, anthropomorphic manipulators could effectively provide an excellent alternative to dedicated machine tools (lathes, milling machines, etc.), by being both flexible (due to their lay-out) and cost efficient (20-50% cost reduction as compared to traditional CNC machining). Nonetheless, in order to successfully enable highquality Robotic Deburring (RD), it is necessary to overcome the intrinsic robot limitations (e.g. reduced structural stiffness, backlash, time-consuming process planning/optimization) by means of suitable design strategies and additional engineering tools. Within this context, the purpose of this paper is to present recent advances in design methods and software platforms for RD effective exploitation. Focusing on offline methods for robot programming, two novel approaches are described. On one hand, practical design guidelines (devised via a DOE method) for optimal IR positioning within the robotic workcell are presented. Secondly, a virtual prototyping technique for simulating a class of passively compliant spindles is introduced, which allows for the offline tuning of the RD process parameters (e.g. feed rate and tool compliance). Both approaches are applied in the design of a robotic workcell for high-accuracy deburring of aerospace turbine blades.


2017 - From PSS to CPS Design: A Real Industrial Use Case Toward Industry 4.0 [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Marilungo, Eugenia; Papetti, Alessandra; Germani, Michele
abstract

During the last 10 years, manufacturing companies have faced new challenges for improving their value proposition and being more efficient and effective on the market, satisfying the customer needs. According to this trend, several technologies have been developed and applied in different sectors and with different aims, in order to support such the companies in their reconfiguration. For example, the recent advances in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) could give also to manufacturing industries the competences required to develop novel sustainable products embedded with a dedicated infrastructure able to provide more service functionalities to customer. In this context, the application of Internet of Things (IoT) have allowed developing the so named Product Service Systems (PSSs). Moreover, the cross-fertilization between such the technologies with the development of other ones have fostered the application of these novel ICT technologies inside the manufacturing companies also at process level. This approach has encouraged the study and development of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs). The present paper deals with a real industrial use case, where the application of ICT technologies and specifically the adoption of IoT at a plant of plastic extrusion pipes have allowed optimizing the production process in terms of energy efficiency.


2017 - Human-centred design of ergonomic workstations on interactive digital mock-ups [Capitolo/Saggio]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Carassai, Stefano; Pellicciari, Marcello; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste
abstract

Analysis of human-related aspects is fundamental to guarantee workers’ wellbeing, which directly limits errors and risks during task execution, increases productivity, and reduces cost [1]. In this context, virtual prototypes and Digital Human Models (DHMs) can be used to simulate and optimize human performances in advance, before the creation of the real machine, plant or facility. The research defines a human-centred methodology and advanced Virtual Reality (VR) technologies to support the design of ergonomic workstations. The methodology considers both physical and cognitive ergonomics and defines a proper set of metrics to assess human factors. The advanced virtual immersive environment creates highly realistic and interactive simulations where human performance can be anticipated and assessed from the early design stages. Experimentation is carried out on an industrial case study in pipe industry.


2017 - Preface [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Chen, C. -H.; Trappey, A. C.; Peruzzini, M.; Stjepandic, J.; Wognum, N.
abstract


2017 - Preface [Articolo su rivista]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Not available


2017 - Tangible augmented reality model to support manual assembly [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Matteucci, Marco; Raponi, Damiano; Mengoni, Maura; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Manual work is a cornerstone of manufacturing, also for factories of Industry 4.0 era. Use cases of manual work regard the production of single item, customized assemblies, small batches. Several injuries can be caused or aggravated by manual handling activities at work. Moreover, the efficiency of the whole process can benefit from correct body posture, parts' visibility and accessibility. Finally, manual work is strongly human-centered and its performance is affected by the expertise, the level of knowledge, attitudes and belief of workers. In this complex context where multiple factors such as Efficiency, Work Performance, Ergonomics and Safety relate each other to achieve a satisfactory smart industry, the paper proposes an innovative Tangible Augmented Reality platform to train and assist workers during the manual handling and assembly tasks necessary to produce consumer goods with high aesthetic qualities. The proposed platform is the result of the application of a multipath methodology to link health and safety elements, typologies of injuries, ergonomics factors and relative qualitative and quantitative assessment methods and ergonomics analysis tools. The TAR platform allows the worker to consult the assembly instructions in a simple and user friendly way and to be informed by potential risk of injuries by a real-time alert. Based on video mapping techniques, the TAR system superimposes the necessary digital contents on the physical model of the product while the operator is building it.


2017 - The Benefits of Human-centred Design in Industrial Practices: Re-design of Workstations in Pipe Industry [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Carassai, Stefano; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Sustainable Manufacturing (SM) traditionally focused on optimization of environmental and economic aspects, by neglecting the human performance. However, the industrial plant's costs, productivity and process quality highly depend on the individual human performance (e.g., comfort perceived, physical and mental workload, simplicity of actions, personal satisfaction) and how much hazardous positions and uncomfortable tasks finally cost to the company. The present paper defines a human-centred virtual simulation environment to optimize physical ergonomics in workstation design and demonstrates its benefits on an industrial case study in pipe industry. The proposed environment aims at overcoming traditional approaches, where analysis are carried out at the shop-floor when the plant is already created, by providing a virtual environment to easily test and verify different design solutions to optimize physical, cognitive and organizational ergonomics.


2017 - Toward a function-based IT platform for variants redesign of household appliances [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Raffaeli, Roberto; Malatesta, Marco; Germani, Michele
abstract

Modular product design is an efficient strategy to let manufacturing companies meet the customers' requirements by offering a wide variety and customization of products and significantly saving time and cost during engineering and production (Fei et al., 2011). Despite numerous approaches for function modeling and modular product design (Srinivasan et al., 2012; Eckert, 2013; Vermaas, 2013) that have been developed in the last decades, carrying out an efficient product variants' design process is still an open issue for many manufacturing companies. The proposed approaches offer numerous ways to model information about product functionality, but each approach is useful and particularly well suited for different applications and domains (Summers et al., 2013). The present research compares the existing approaches for product variants design and defines a function-based model to support product design and redesign according to a modular framework, merging qualitative technical issues with business-oriented evaluation. Such a framework has been used to develop a multiuser IT platform, composed of a knowledge-based engine and four different tools to support designers and engineers in product variants creation, management, and configuration, from product functional modeling to cost estimation and life cycle assessment. The proposed model has been tested on industrial cases in the context of household appliances. Experimental results demonstrates that, after a preliminary context analysis and a proper knowledge base creation, such a model supports a more conscious decision-making and promote collaboration within an interdisciplinary design team. Finally, the case study shows the necessity, but in the meanwhile the insufficiency, of a functional decomposition as the only representation viewpoint.


2017 - Towards a design-to-sustainability platform based on functional representations and simplified geometric layouts [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Roberto, Raffaeli; Marco, Mandolini; Raffaeli, Roberto
abstract

Sustainability is becoming one of the main drivers of the modern product and system design. However, sustainability assessments are usually carried out at the end of the design process to check the validity of the decisions already taken. As a consequence, when targets are not achieved, numerous time-consuming iteration loops are necessary to optimize the initial solution. The paper merges functional-based and design-to-cost approaches to propose a CAD-based platform able to assess product lifecycle costs and impacts from the earliest design stages by configuring and assessing feasible design solutions. It considers both economic expenses and environmental impacts during all phases of product lifecycle on the basis of the company knowledge.


2017 - Virtual Maintenance Simulation for Socially Sustainable Serviceability [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Grandi, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello; Campanella, Claudia
abstract

In order to achieve more sustainable development processes, industries need not only to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs, but also to increase the operatorsâ wellbeing to promote social sustainability. In this context, the present research focuses on the definition of a methodology based on human-centred virtual simulation to improve the social sustainability of maintenance tasks by enhancing system design and improving its serviceability. It is based on the operatorsâ involvement and the analysis of their needs from the early design stages on virtual mock-ups. The methodology proposed merges a protocol analysis for human factors assessment and an immersive virtual simulation where immersive serviceability simulations can be used during design phases. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method, an industrial use case has been carried out in collaboration with CNH Industrial.


2016 - A competitive design approach for machine cost optimization: an industrial case study [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

One of the biggest unsolved problems of modern industry is cost optimization of complex machines from the early stages of design. Indeed, it requires a synthetic analysis of manufacturing knowledge and a successful collaboration among the numerous actors involved in cost and performance evaluation. Although some methodologies and different theoretical approaches have been defined, effective implementation is still far from reality due to hard implementation that takes a lot of time and requires a strong collaboration among highly specialized resources with different background and expertise. In such context, this paper presents a methodology integrating Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) principles, Design To Cost (DTC) and Value Analysis (VA) to optimize complex system design from the conceptual stages. It presents an industrial case study focused on cost machine optimization by the application of the proposed approach. In particular, it focused on the re-design of an automated machine for drug management and implemented a set of cost optimization actions, which brought to a 20% global cost saving and a sensible improvement of product sustainability and reliability due to product structure simplification as well as optimization of manufacturing processes.


2016 - A protocol to assess manufacturing ergonomics on immersive virtual environments [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Carassai, Stefano; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Manufacturing Ergonomics refers to the application of ergonomic principles to manufacturing tasks in order to optimize workers’ actions and prevent musculoskeletal disorder (MSD), which has been demonstrated to have a great economic impact on both companies and societies. Traditional approaches are based on the observation of individual workers performing their jobs, the detection of unnatural postures (e.g. bending, twisting, overextending, rotating), and the definition of corrective actions according to ergonomic guidelines. Virtual prototypes and Digital Human Models (DHMs) are recently used to simulate ergonomic performance on virtual manikins operating in digital workplaces and optimize the workstation design before creation. However, actual tools do not allow the evaluation of both physical and cognitive ergonomics, do not include the subjective impressions of workers, and do not consider the workers’ needs and capabilities. The present paper defines a protocol analysis to investigate both functional and cognitive ergonomic performance of workers within an immersive virtual environment, where both aspects of ergonomics are assessed to properly evaluate the quality of human work. An industrial case study is presented, where the protocol is adopted to optimize the design of a workstation for manual operations on pipes for energy industry.


2016 - A user-business-oriented approach to design product-service systems [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Marilungo, Eugenia; Germani, Michele
abstract

Currently Product-Service System (PSS) represents a widespread trend consisting of adding services to the physical product in order to add value and create a new market proposition. A successful PSS design requires exploiting both knowledge about the available technologies and involvement of right partners with different skills and competences able to collaborate among them in order to create and deliver the PSS. Moreover, PSS is also a new business opportunity to increase the industrial company market share; as a consequence the analysis of the customer needs should be the starting point to create a high-end product and a proper set of services to satisfy the target customers. In this context, this paper presents an integrated methodology to support a user-centred PSS design process starting from the deep analysis of customer needs. It involves different stages, from idea management to global network definition. Furthermore, its business model can be contemporarily defined along the design process and benefit the design itself by supporting decision- making. The merge between technical design issues and business-related aspects represents the main novelty of the proposed approach. In order to demonstrate its benefits for compnaies, it has been applied to a real industrial use case focusing on household appliances. The use case represents a valid example of how a product-oriented manufacturing company can validly extend its business by designing user-centred PSS.


2016 - Design for sustainability in PSS: evidences of QFD-based method application [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Marilungo, Eugenia
abstract

Nowadays companies are pushed to offer solutions with new functionalities, higher performances, lower environmental impact, lower cost, and high usability for final users. In this context, the concept of Product-Service System (PSS) represents a valid way from manufacturing firms to evolve their market proposition, reduce impacts of their processes, and satisfy the customers’ needs. However, the design of PSS is still difficult, due to the lack of structured methodologies and evidences of the benefits connected with their adoption. The research adopts a systematic QFD-based methodology and demonstrates its validity to develop high sustainability PSS solutions. The case study focuses on the definition of a new PSS for green roofs: two groups of students, using respectively traditional methods and the proposed QFD-based methodology, were involved. The two PSSs conceived were evaluated in terms of outputs supporting the design phases and sustainability impacts. The case study results demonstrated how the adoption of a systematic method allows developing more business-oriented and more sustainable PSS in respect to traditional methods.


2016 - Design of Sustainable Smart Homes for Elderly [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, Michele; Papetti, Alessandra; Iualè, Matteo
abstract

Designing sustainable systems is challenging since economic, environmental and social factors must be considered. It is particularly hard when heavy interaction with humans take place. The smart home is an example: it is finalized to increase the comfort of dwellings and optimize the devices’ behaviour as well as the consumed resources in relation to the users’ habits. Elderly represent a special category of users characterized by specific needs: therefore, the design of a smart home is particularly critical since elderly require support in their everyday activities, control of their own lifestyle monitoring, and consciousness about the devices’ behaviours. As a consequence, smart home are usually complicated, expensive and not suitable for elderly. This paper defines a methodology to design sustainable smart home systems for elderly. An intelligent network monitoring the users’ wellbeing and assuring a controlled use of objects and resources is defined and verified on a case study.


2016 - Design of a service-oriented architecture for AAL [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, Michele
abstract

Intelligent systems and ambient-assisted living (AAL) technologies actually represent an important research area, mainly due to the rapidly aging society, the increasing cost of healthcare and the growing importance that individuals place on living independently. The general goal is to create intelligence systems able to support people with specific demands to live longer in their preferred environment thanks to intelligent, sensitive and responsive devices. The research describes the design and development of a service-oriented system architecture where different smart objects are combined to offer assistive functionalities to elderly people. The design is driven by a user-centred approach and human-oriented principles. A prototypal system has been realised in the context of an Italian research project promoted by National Institute on Health and Science of Aging (INRCA). The result is an interoperable and flexible platform that allows creating user-centred services for independent living.


2016 - Design to Cost of automatic machines: an industrial case study [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Campioli, Tommaso; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

One of the biggest unsolved problems of modern industry is the control of the ratio between cost and performance of complex machines from the early stages of design. Indeed, it requires a synthetic analysis of manufacturing knowledge and a successful collaboration among the numerous actors involved in cost and performance evaluation. Although some methodologies and different theoretical approaches have been defined, effective implementation is still far from reality due to hard implementation that takes a lot of time and requires a strong collaboration among highly specialized resources with different background and expertise. In such context, this paper presents a methodology integrating Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) principles, Design To Cost (DTC) and Value Analysis (VA) to optimize complex system design from the conceptual stages. It presents an industrial case study focused on the re-design of a machine for automated management of drugs, where an interdisciplinary team act to identify cost / performance imbalances and optimize the overall design. The machine re-design brought to a global cost saving of about 20% and a sensible improvement of the global product sustainability and reliability due to product structure simplification, selection of improved design solutions and optimization of some manufacturing processes.


2016 - Early sustainability assessment to design competitive industrial systems [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Nowadays industrial system design has to face a big issue: offering new advanced functionalities, guaranteeing high performances, respecting the competitive pressure, limiting the environmental impact, expanding the company’s market share, being usable and easy to control. In a nutshell, they have to be sustainable in respect with planet, profit and people. In this context, Design for Sustainability (D4S) promotes a sustainable design practice, where all impacts are considered and optimized. However, D4S methods usually focus on one single aspect at a time (e.g. eco-design addresses environmental issues, ergonomics investigates physical human-product interaction, etc.). In practice, industrial systems design requires numerous aspects to be integrated and optimized contemporarily and interactively: mechanics, electronics, system control, management of material and information flows, human-machine interface, human-product interaction, as well as impacts on environment, costs and human factors. The present research proposes an analytical approach for an early sustainability assessment based on a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) considering the three aspects of sustainability (environment, cost and humans) and a feature-based approach, to support their easy and preventive analysis.


2016 - How to support the design of user-oriented product-related services [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, Maura; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

A Product-Service System (PSS) is an innovation strategy, shifting the business focus from designing physical products only, to designing a system that combines tangible products, intangible services, supporting network and infrastructure, which are jointly capable of fulfilling specific customer needs. Due to the widespread of this paradigm, the present research provides a methodological framework and related tools to support the design of PSSs. The aim is to propose a user-centered approach to involve end-users during the different stages of PSS development.


2016 - How to use virtual prototyping to design Product-Service Systems [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Mengoni, Maura; Raponi, Damiano
abstract

Numerous companies all around the world are shifting from traditional products to product-service solutions, thanks to the increased “intelligence” and “ connectivity” of modern products and the more deep integration among mechanics, electronics, Information and Commutation Technologies (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT). Such Product- Service Systems (PSSs) are usually designed and developed by considering product and service as separated entities with the consequent increase of design and validation difficulties. In addition, a final physical prototype has to be realized to validate the overall solution. In this context, Virtual Prototyping can support PSS design to reduce process iterations and time to market. However, actual virtual prototypes are usually conceived for product validation, and are not so effective for PSS. The paper defines a set of requirements for PSS simulation on digital models, and defines a set of tools for successful PSS prototyping.


2016 - Human-driven design-to-cost methodology for industrial cost optimization [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Over the years cost optimization has gained a strategic importance to realize competitive products. However, traditional approaches are no longer efficient in modern highly competitive industrial scenarios, where numerous factors have to be contemporarily considered and optimized. In order to be effective, design has to care about cost along all its phases. This paper presents a methodology that integrates Design-To-Cost (DTC), Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA), Human Factors (HF) and Feature-Based Costing (FBC) to include costs from the early conceptual design stages and properly drive the product design. Thanks to a structured knowledge base and a FBC approach, it predicts both manufacturing and assembly processes from the 3D geometrical models and estimate the global costs, more accurately than existing tools. The research demonstrates the method validity by an industrial case study focusing on cost optimization of packaging machines. Thanks to the proposed method, the main design inefficiencies are easily identified from the early design stages and optimization actions are taken in advanced, in respect to traditional design process. Such actions allowed reducing total industrial costs of 20%, improving machine assemblability and human ergonomics due to structure simplification, part number reduction, and production processes modification, and reducing the time spent for cost estimation (until -60%).


2016 - Investigating the sustainability of a high-energy consuming industrial process to achieve total quality [Articolo su rivista]
Michele, Germani; Andrea, Luzi; Eugenia, Marilungo; Alessandra, Papetti; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

In the last century, the quality factor is seen as the key to success of each industry. In industrial companies, total quality management (TQM) principles have been introduced to achieve specific innovations in product and process development, though the continuous improvement (CI). Simultaneously, industrial companies think sustainable manufacturing as a means to create innovation, respecting environmental, economic and social themes. In fact, when a product reach the maturity stage of its life cycle, the improvements are no longer on product itself, but on its production process, optimising energy and resources use, eliminating waste, adopting sustainable end-of-life (EoL) policies, and reducing costs. Indeed, industrial processes require large consumption of resources during the product manufacturing phase. In this context, the paper aims to create a link between sustainable manufacturing and TQM principles, defining a new methodology that uses life cycle assessment (LCA) to assess the impacts of industrial processes inside the existing ‘plan, do, check, act’ (PDCA) method.


2016 - Models of impact for sustainable manufacturing [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Design for Sustainability (D4S) and LifeCycle Assessment (LCA) methods usually focus on one single aspect of sustainability at a time (e.g., environmental issues, ergonomics or costs) and are usually applied when the industrial system is already created, so that only corrective actions can be taken. In this context, the present research highlights the need of predictive methods to design sustainable system, able to provide an early holistic assessment from the early conceptual stages, and defines a set of models of impact able to assess all aspects of sustainability (i.e., environmental, economic and social) by proper key performance indicators (KPIs) from the early design stages. An industrial case study is presented to show the application of the proposed models on industrial manufacturing systems and demonstrate their validity in estimating the global impact on sustainability, including also human factors.


2016 - Open Innovation for ideating and designing new Product Service Systems [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Eugenia, Marilungo; Eva, Coscia; Antonio, Quaglia; Michele, Germani
abstract

For modern manufacturing companies, the combination of physical products and intangible services (called Product-Service Systems or PSS) has been proved by time to be useful to enhance the product features by adding value throughout new functionalities, and bringing competitive advantages in a specific target market. Through PSS, companies create new business opportunities, extend the market share, differentiate the product portfolio, and improve sustainability. The PSS approach shifts the company attention from producing physical products to offering integrated systems. However, ideating and designing a PSS is a complex and multifaceted process, which requires multiple competences and cross-functions cooperation within the manufacturing company. In fact, the design phase requires to simultaneous dal with the characteristics of the physical product and of the intangible services, the last ones being by their nature fuzzy and difficult to define. Furthermore, the two entities have to be synergistically delivered and strategically managed thanks to the adoption of a PSS lifecycle management methodology and tools, in particular for the creation of a proper PSS infrastructure to delivery and maintain all the components from the design to the end of life phases. Several methodologies to design PSS can be found in literature. Most of them focus on technical development stages, while some of them face also the innovation aspects and sustainability. However, traditional product-centered approaches are not able to fully support the processes that manufacturing companies have to put in place for creating PSSs. This paper presents a new approach, based on the combination of the Open innovation method with IT solutions supporting information sharing and intra-team cooperation, in that any manufacturing company could adopt to manage the design process of a PSS. In particular, the methodology and the tools are focused on the early stages of the PSS design process, as Ideation and Concept definition that have been developed within the European FP7 project FLEXINET.


2016 - Preface [Advances in Transdisciplinary Engineering] [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Borsato, M.; Wognum, N.; Peruzzini, M.; Stjepandic, J.; Verhagen, W. J. C.
abstract


2016 - Preface [Transdisciplinary Engineering: Crossing Boundaries] [Prefazione o Postfazione]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Borsato, Milton; Wognum, Nel; Stjepandić, Josip; Verhagen, W. J. C.
abstract

N.A.


2016 - Review of Product-Service System Design methods [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Marilungo, Eugenia; Germani, Michele
abstract

Many researchers have been recently approached the integration of products and services since its relevance in modern industrial scenarios. Despite several authors investigated such topics and defined methods to support compa‐ nies in product-service ideation and design, they proposed methodologies tailored on specific issues: PSS assessment, requirements elicitation, functional model‐ ling, etc. Anyway, neither of them has found an integration among almost of such methods. This paper presents a review of the current literature approaching PSS design and assessment along the last fifteen years. This due to there are different perspectives to frame PSS. According to this context, the paper gives an overview of PSS development in manufacturing industry, laying the groundwork for designers to develop an integrated tool able to incorporate some of the design methodologies and support manufacturing companies involved in the proposal of the PSS instead of traditional product.


2016 - TRANSDISCIPLINARY ENGINEERING: CROSSING BOUNDARIES [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
Borsato, Milton; Wognum, Nel; Peruzzini, Margherita; Stjepandic, Josip; Verhagen, Wim J. C.
abstract

This book of proceedings contains papers peer reviewed and accepted for the 23rd ISPE Inc. International Conference on Transdisciplinary (formerly: Concurrent) Engineering, held at the Federal University of Technology, Parana, Curitiba, Brazil, October 3–7, 2016. This is the fourth issue of the newly introduced series “Advances in Transdisciplinary Engineering” which publishes the proceedings of the TE (formerly: CE) conference series and accompanied events. The TE/CE conference series is orga- nized annually by the International Society of Productivity Enhancement (ISPE, Inc.) and constitutes an important forum for international scientific exchange on concurrent engineering and collaborative enterprises. These international conferences attract a significant number of researchers, industry experts and students, as well as government representatives, who are interested in the recent advances in concurrent engineering research, advancements and applications.


2016 - Toward an integrated platform to support contract furniture industry [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Mengoni, Maura; Bordegoni, Monica; Mecella, Massimo
abstract

The paper presents an integrated technological framework, which aims to make a step forward in contract furniture design methods and supporting web-enabling applications. The implementing platform enables the extensible and temporary cluster of companies to manage the entire contract furniture process. The main contribution regards the integration of different software modules into an overall system that exploits E-marketing Intelligence applications, 3D web-based tools and Aug- mented Reality techniques. Different user interfaces are implemented to accomplish the involved stakeholders needs and furniture development goals.


2016 - User-centred approach for product-service design using virtual mock-ups [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Marilungo, Eugenia
abstract

Product-Service System (PSS) allows creating new business opportunities for companies, but also new challenges. The research defines a user-centred design methodology for PSS, which includes user-centred practices to investigate the users’ needs and virtual prototyping to create immersive and interactive virtual mock-ups able to simulate the product-service behaviours for the evaluation of the user experience. An industrial case study is presented and the benefits in respect to traditional methods are demonstrated.


2015 - A Service-oriented Architecture for Ambient-Assisted Living [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, Michele
abstract

Ambient-Assisted Living (AAL) is currently an important research and development area, mainly due to the rapidly aging society, the increasing cost of health care, and the growing importance that individuals place on living independently. The general goal of AAL solutions is to apply ambient-assisted intelligence to enable people with specific demands (e.g. handicapped or elderly) to live in their preferred environment longer by tools (i.e. smart objects, mobile and wearable sensors, intelligent devices) being sensitive and responsive to the presence of people and their actions. The research describes the design and development of a novel service-oriented system architecture where different smart objects and sensors are combined to offer ambient-assisted living intelligence to older people. The design stage is driven by a user-centred approach to define an interoperable architecture and human-oriented principles to create usable products and well-accepted services. Such architecture has been realized in the context of an Italian research project funded by the Marche Region and promoted by INRCA (National Institute on Health and Science of Aging) in the framework of smart home for active ageing and ambient assisted living. The result is an interoperable and flexible platform that allows creating user-centred services for independent living.


2015 - An AAL adaptive user interface to support frail people in manufacturing [Capitolo/Saggio]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Iualè, Matteo; Germani, Michele
abstract

Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) is one of the most strategic research fields of research due to the increasing aging of the world population and the developments of assistive technologies, which enable people with specific demands to live longer and better by providing specific care. It has been demonstrated that AAL technologies provide effective support to frail people and their application is increasing for home and medical applications with positive effects on costs reduction. However, such models have been rarely applied outside domestic context. This paper describes the application of AAL concepts to manufacturing in order to support frail people to properly handle machine tools and complex systems. It presents an industrial case study focusing on machine tool operators: in this context frailty assumes a broad sense as people have to carry out highly specialized jobs and also mild deficiencies can represent a frailty (i.e. slight reduction in sight, hands that are not perfectly steady, slightly reduced mobility or human force). The case study in particular aims at designing an adaptive user interface based on AAL principles and user-centered approach to support frail operators to work better and more safely.


2015 - An Adaptable AR User Interface to Face the Challenge of Ageing Workers in Manufacturing [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, Maura; Iualè, Matteo; Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, Michele
abstract

In the last years introducing measures to face age discrimination and increasing work safety in production environments have become crucial goals. The present research proposes an innovative user interface exploiting Augmented Reality techniques to support frail people, mainly elderly, in everyday work on complex automated machines. It adapts its functionalities according to the user skill, tasks, age, and cognitive and physical abilities thanks to a set of knowledge-based configuration rules. A case study is described to illustrate the methodology to manage the complexity of configuration rules and the resulting developed platform.


2015 - An Assistive Integrated Platform (AIP) for active ageing: the HicMO project [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, Michele
abstract

Active ageing is actually one of the key topics of European research mainly due to rapidly population ageing, increasing cost of health care, and growing importance of living independently (1). Active ageing basically means helping people stay in charge of their own lives as long as possible as they age and, where possible, contribute to economy and society. In order to achieve this goal, assistive technologies and ambient- assisted intelligence are applied to enable people to live at home longer and better by tools (i.e. smart objects, intelligent devices) being sensitive and responsive to their presence, conditions and actions. The research describes the development of an Assis- tive Integrated Platform (AIP) that follows used-centered design (UCD) principles and merges domotic and assistive components. The system consists of a central intelli- gence (i.e. Integration Platform (IP)), a network of Smart Objects sharing information from/to the IP, and a set of gateways enabling communication with home automation systems. A laboratory has been set-up to carry out usability tests with users.


2015 - An Integrated Method to Support PSS Design within the Virtual Enterprise [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Marilungo, Eugenia; Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, Michele
abstract

Nowadays Product-Service System (PSS) is a widespread trend consisting of adding services to the physical product in order to increase their market share, add value to their products, and create a new value proposition. Anyway, its application is still far from real industrial scenarios mainly due to difficulties in choosing the right partners, lack of collaboration among the partners, poor integration among the companies’ system platforms, and lack of knowledge about the available technologies. In such context, this paper presents an integrated methodology to support the PSS design process into a Virtual Enterprise (VE). It involves different stages, from idea management to global network definition. Furthermore, the business model items can be defined in parallel along the design process and benefit the design itself by supporting decision-making, according to a concurrent engineering approach.In order to demonstrate the benefits of the proposed approach, it has been applied to a real industrial use case represented by a Virtual Enterprise working in the field of household appliances. In particular, the method supported the PSS design by the definition of the PSS requirements and functions, as well as the selection of the global network partners. The as-is and to-be processes are described and compared. The use case represents a valid example of how a product-oriented manufacturing company can open its strategic vision creating a PSS Virtual Enterprise in a structured way.


2015 - An Interactive Virtual User Interface for Integrating Blind Persons in Home Environments [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, Maura; Cavalieri, Lorenzo; Peruzzini, Margherita; Raponi, Damiano
abstract

Accessibility to graphical user interfaces by visually impaired persons is generally enabled through systems, which reproduce the lexical structure of the user interface to a non-visual form, mainly employing 3D audio output techniques. Two main critical issues have been identified: (i) most interfaces address the needs and abilities of sighted users and consequently the reproduction is only a translation from one language to another; (ii) blind users are generally not involved in the development stage due to the cost of prototyping. The present work proposes an interactive user interface to control a multi-sensory shower accessible by both sighted and blind users and able to adapt its control knob to reproduce Braille texts. Such function is realized by the integration of an electrotactile feedback device and adopts soft touch finishing to better stimulate touch sensations. Haptic technologies have been exploited to create a virtual high-fidelity prototype to assess individual end-users’ response during the user interface design process. The paper illustrates the designed interface to assist blind users in home environments and the adopted virtual prototyping technique to address the above-mentioned issues.


2015 - Applying a combined User-Centred Design approach to assistive shopping trolley development in design education [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Mengoni, Maura; Bevilacqua, Roberta
abstract

In the field of Ambient Assisted Living, the present research proposes a combined User-Centred Design approach that exploits the strengths of systematic and participatory design methodologies with the final aim to design an assistive device to solve mobility problems of elderly people in crowded environments. The application of the approach allows research to investigate which information gathering technique is more effective for this context of use and to find out competitive AAL solutions for specific target users. The experimentation is carried out by students attending an industrial design course. An experimental protocol is arranged to compare the outcoMES from the different stages of the approach application. The scientific contribution of the present work regards both the presented results, that confirm how much effective is ethnography in respect to role-playing and traditional desk research in case of products oriented to special target users, and the educational experiences in the field of AAL.


2015 - Collaborative Engineering [Capitolo/Saggio]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Borsato, Milton
abstract

Collaborative Engineering is the practical application of collaboration sciences to the engineering domain. Its aim is to enable engineers and engineering companies to work more effectively with all stakeholders in achieving rational agreements and performing collaborative actions across various cultural, discipli- nary, geographic and temporal boundaries. It has been widely applied to product design, manufacturing, construction, enterprise-level collaboration and supply chain management. The present chapter clarifies the main concepts around Collaborative Engineering, as well as the various forms of collaborative ventures, such as virtual enterprises. It underlies the crucial impact of Collaborative Engineering in the context of global distributed engineering. The most applied forms of technology for collaboration are presented, such as Computer Supported Collaborative Design (CSCD) and web-based design, which are mature fields of study in constant improvement, as collaborative tools and cloud-based systems become more pervasive. The application of Collaborative Engineering in the context of product lifecycle is also discussed, and different needs for collaboration are evi- denced along successive steppingstones of product development. Two case studies are provided to illustrate successful application of the concepts hereby provided.


2015 - Requirements Engineering [Capitolo/Saggio]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Wiesner, Stefan; Hauge, J. B.; Thoben, K. D.
abstract

Requirements engineering (RE) is the key to success or failure of every product, service or system development project, understanding the development results as the implementation of the specific set of requirements. A good requirements definition is thus the prerequisite for high-quality solutions and reduces the cost of change, both of prototypes and production tools, and ultimately the warranty costs. However, RE for system development is more and more challenged by two interrelated trends: the increasing complexity of systems and the responsibility of the provider for the whole system life cycle. Thus, from a systems engineering point of view, RE has to define requirements for a rising amount of tangible and intangible components from a growing number of different stakeholders. Ad-ditionally, RE has to take into account requirements from every stage of the sys-tem life cycle and feed the results back to the development process. Many organi-zations are still missing effective practices and a documented RE process to tackle the upcoming challenges in systems engineering. This chapter aims at giving an overview on the RE context and challenges for systems engineering and subse-quently describes the state-of-the-art for structuring and processing requirements. Furthermore, two case studies illustrate the current situation and methods for reso-lution in industry and show how the identified challenges can be met by IT sup-port. Finally, future trends and needs for RE research and its further integration with concurrent engineering and life cycle management approaches are outlined.


2015 - Structured requirements elicitation for product-service system [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Marilungo, Eugenia; Germani, Michele
abstract

For modern manufacturing companies the concept of Product-Service (P-S) is representing a novel way to create new business opportunities, improve sustainability, support continuous innovation, and increase the product value. In this context, high-quality requirements elicitation is crucial for successful P-S ideation and the following design. However, traditional product-centred approaches are not able to fully support manufacturing companies moving from product to services. This paper proposes a new methodology to support ideation and preliminary design of sustainable PSSs (Product-Service Systems) within industrial chains. The method is based on QFD (Quality Functional Deployment) approach and allows defining a set of robust requirements for creating new PSSs in respect with the specific customer needs and the sustainability principles of the industrial network. The research demonstrates the method validity on three case studies involving different industrial chains distributed all over Europe (i.e. white goods, machine tools, and textile industry). The case studies demonstrate how the method allows an easy definition of three distinctive PSS concepts starting for the specific market needs, and the robust requirements elicitation concerning both functional and ecosystem aspects.


2015 - Technical-business design methodology for PSS [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, Michele; Marilungo, Eugenia
abstract

Concurrent Design (CD) is a systematic approach to integrated product design that emphasizes the response to customer expectations and the combination of creativity and engineering. Such a concept represents also the basis of Product- Service System (PSS), which represents a valid way for companies to add value to their products, create new value propositions, and easily improve their solution portfolio. Indeed, the fulfilling of the customer needs is fundamental for creating successful industrial PSSs (IPSSs), which aim at combining products and services into a marketable solution. However, the integration of technical and business aspects is crucial to succeed. In this context, this paper proposes an integrated methodology for PSS addressing both technical and business aspects; it adopts a QFD-based approach to structure PSS information along the different process stages, considering four main domains: customer, functional, assets and network. It allows technical feasibility to be carried out and business framework to be defined at the same time to have a robust design concept and a reliable business model from the early design stages. The method is based on the direct involvement of the customer voice according to the CD paradigm. The proposed method also allows to define earlier the network of stakeholders and to dynamically reconfigure the network itself along the process, promoting the creation of the lean enterprise.


2015 - Towards an Integrated Framework to Support Contract Furniture Industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Mengoni, Maura; Bordegoni, Monica; Mecella, Massimo
abstract

The current worldwide economic crisis pushes all companies, and especially small and medium ones (SMEs), to increase their global competitiveness and capabilities of entering into new, international markets. A promising one is represented by contract furniture that refers to the supply of products and services for large-sized buildings such as hotels, restaurants and retails. From literature overview it appears to be characterized by a multifaceted commitment determined by the agreement among the general contractor, the owner and the architect; short time to market and lead time; iterative design that still remains unstructured and based on traditional methods and supporting tools; participatory design merging product and architectural design issues; complexity of interactions among all involved stakeholders; long negotiation phase; and finally a complex market that is worldwide, involves companies from different countries, addresses diverse target users. Numerous Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are used to support market analysis and SMEs promotion, furniture design, data sharing and project management within companies network.


2015 - User-centred adaptive system to support frail people in manufacturing [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, Michele
abstract

Recently the diffusion of communicating technologies and sensors in manufacturing enables a huge quantity of data available in real time. Contemporarily, population aging is affecting also the working population, disturbing their usual activities and lowering their performance. Those trends are particularly interesting especially in those industrial sectors where machines are complex to use and control, and operators must be highly skilled and reactive. The research presents the definition of a user-centred system that exploits on one hand data available from a sensors and control devices, and on the other hand a knowledge-based system able to consider the specific manufacturing conditions (about the operators and the surrounding environment) and to automatically adapt its features according to the specific user needs. The system is developed and tested by means of an industrial case study focusing on machine tools: in this case the mew adaptive system allows also older operators to carry out highly specialized jobs successfully and improve user satisfaction and global productivity.


2014 - A QFD-based methodology to support Product- Service design in manufacturing industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Marilungo, E; Germani, M.
abstract

Recently manufacturing enterprises are challenged by the transition from product-centered solutions to the new concept of Product-Service System (PSS). However, designing a new PSS implies the definition of new specifications and the integration of the necessary assets to create a coherent system. This paper presents a QFD-based methodology to support manufacturing companies moving from products to services by focusing on product-service design. It starts from the analysis of the target market and customer needs, and correlates them with the functionalities and with the assets offered by the company ecosystem. The method is validated on a real case study where a white goods producer wants to innovate its business by service-based solution. Assets are virtualized and selected with the final scope to design a highly sustainable PSS. The case study considers the design of a predictive maintenance service for dryers, which includes the product enhanced with advanced HW and SW components, a remote service for product monitoring and data elaboration, and a web / mobile application for customer interaction and service provisioning.


2014 - A VP-based application to improve usability of an upper-limb rehabilitation orthosis [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Iualè, M; Germani, M.
abstract

Nowadays Virtual Prototyping (VP) of robots dynamics is an effective tool to simulate the system behavior and improve the quality of rehabilitation activities. Using a VP software environment, the patients can be visually guided in their actions and the physiotherapist can control the system parameters easily to investigate the patients’ performances in real time. In this paper VP concept is introduced to support the use of an upper-limb orthosis and to improve therapeutic efficacy in rehabilitation. The system adopted is a human-worn rehabilitation exoskeleton enhanced with a VP-based application to make therapeutic exercises more accessible while reducing the effort in using the system and managing the therapy. The VP application in particular merges computational musculoskeletal analysis with simplified controls, 3D viewing and real time simulation of the patient’s movements. The application has been designed to specifically address the needs of patients and therapists and improve the satisfaction in use of the global system as well as the therapy results. The system validation is based on an ad-hoc evaluation protocol and is carried out by directly involving final users during rehabilitation sessions. Experimental results demonstrated how VP prototyping effectively support the system use from both patients and physiotherapists: on one hand patients are more motivated and they learn exact movements faster; on the other hand physiotherapists are supported in diagnosis and data elaboration, and finally the rehabilitation therapy efficiency is improved.


2014 - A White Goods Manufacturing Service Ecosystem, in Manufacturing Service Ecosystem [Capitolo/Saggio]
Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

This chapter presents the Manufacturing Service Ecosystem (MSE) belonging to Indesit Company (hereafter “INDE- SIT”) focused on white goods, in particular washing machines. The MSE presentation is structured as follows: definition of the product-service idea; identification of the Indesit service ecosystem composition by looking INDESIT partners portfolio; definition of the distributed ICT, organizational and service infrastructure to host the experimentation; descrip- tion of tangible and intangible resources involved in the pilots and demonstrations; and, finally, definition of business in- dicators to drive the assessment and validation phases. The chapter comprehends the preliminary description of the prod- uct and service prototype, and the analysis of all its implementation activities developed by INDESIT and its partners. The MSE creation has been achieved by two servitization cycles: the first cycle produced the first product and service prototype, while the second cycle evolved the first results by improving both product and service capability and refining the economic and business evaluation.


2014 - A smart home information management model for device interoperability simulation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Capitanelli, A; Papetti, A; Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M.
abstract

Numerous smart home systems have been created in the recent years, but they still lack of high interoperability and research has been focused on single smart technologies instead of the system interoperability as a whole. Furthermore, available systems are usually strongly technology-oriented and they neglect the user’s satisfaction and the benefits’ analysis. In addition to this, modern systems impose the intelligent management of a huger amount of data, which needs to be properly coordinated to achieve higher performances and offer new energy-control services. This paper defines an information management model to improve device interoperability in smart homes. It allows selecting and classifying the devices, visualizing their data model, aggregating the necessary data according to the desired service functions, and finally defining a set of rules to coordinate device operations according to user preferences and external events. A case study focused on washing machines is presented to demonstrate the methodology implementation; it allows designing and developing an energy-control service for the selected device and optimizing its functions according to the users’ needs and preferences as well as the constraints of the use scenario. Finally, the benefits achieved with such a new service are evaluated in terms of energy consumption, costs reduction and user satisfaction in a simulated home environment that represents practical scenarios of use.


2014 - A web-based platform to support contract furniture design [Articolo su rivista]
Mengoni, M.; Peruzzini, Margherita; Raffaeli, R.; Raponi, D.
abstract

Contract furniture design is the process of creating finished commodities for hospitality, retail, store, office, restaurants, etc. According to the process stage, numerous stakeholders with different skills, abilities, background and interests are involved in the development of products and services. The management of these temporary networks is complex and requires proper computer-supported cooperative work platforms able to achieve coherent design solutions. The paper explores contract furniture design challenges and requirements to define a technological platform to support compa- nies in market analysis and penetration, product configuration and team working. System architecture and its main software modules are described in detail and preliminary implementation results shown.


2014 - Addressing product-service manufacturing in globalised markets: an industrial case study [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Marilungo, E.
abstract

Product-service (P-S) represents an interesting business trend for manufacturing enterprises to push innovation since it allows increasing the value perceived by the customers and better satisfying their needs over time by adding a wide range of services to a physical product. In this context understanding how to configure the global design and production network in order to realize a P-S solution and properly reconfigure the processes against rapidly changing of P-S requirements is a complex problem area. For this purpose new methods are necessary to deal with the complex, dynamic and transient nature of product- services and create a dynamic global network able to effectively manage the flexible design and production requirements demanded by the increasing business need for rapid P-S change. The research presents an industrial case study focusing on a manufacturing company facing the configuration of its production network in order to provide a new P-S idea and innovate its actual product portfolio. In particular, the study defines a methodology to elicit the P-S network configuration requirements and support the P-S introduction in a traditional manufacturing scenario. By using such a method the company is able to define a solution to plan and configure the required network in case of P-S production and organize the partners and the interactions among them.


2014 - Assessing sustainability and supporting compliance to standards in continuous industrial processes [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Luzi, A; Marilungo, E.
abstract

Nowadays, companies need to develop sustainable solutions to be competitive and to respect international standards. It means producing products compliant to target costs, impacts and risks, as well as exploiting sustainable processes. This is particularly challenging for those processes requiring a large consumption of energy, which have high environmental and economic impacts. In this paper the industrial process of plastic material extrusion is considered and analysed. Indeed, it is a highly energy-consuming process that requires monitoring the energy consumption and controlling the process parameters to increase the sustainability and assure the respect of standards. The research is based on lifecycle design (LCD) and sustainable manufacturing principles. The proposed method aims at improving the extrusion process sustainability by identifying the more energy-consuming phases and evaluating the impact of manufacturing process items on the achievement of target values. The industrial case study demonstrates how such a method supports sustainability optimisation and compliance to standards.


2014 - Contract furniture design: an in-depth analysis to develop a competitive collaborative virtual environment [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, M.; Peruzzini, Margherita; Raponi, D.
abstract

Contract Furniture market is a transversal business involving different types of products for diverse contexts of use representing an increasing competitive solution for Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Although the well-known opportunities, contract furniture represents a quite unexplored field of research in terms of design methods and supporting tools. Collaboration in the contract cluster and web-enabling technologies, design automation and virtual prototyping of custom solutions are only a small set of relevant topics to be faced. In this context, the present paper investigates contract furniture by an in-depth analysis of AS-IS processes followed by 17 Italian companies operating in hospitality and retail and varying in size, skill, ICT expertise, organization and core business. Main research findings regard the formalization of contract furniture design processes, enabling technologies and main research challenges that need to be overcome and the definition of a TO- BE process model supported by an innovative web- based platform exploiting virtual prototyping techniques to enhance collaboration, process sustainability, negotiation and in general contract lifecycle management. The work contributes to improve a competitive sector that strongly differs from traditional product design and manufacturing, architecture and complex research projects involving multiple actors to achieve a common goal.


2014 - Design for sustainability of product-service systems [Articolo su rivista]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M.
abstract

Recently, numerous manufacturing companies are moving from product to services to create new business opportunities and to increase the product value. At the same time, sustainability is a crucial aspect for industry. In this context, the research challenge is defining a structured methodology to support the design for sustainability of product-service systems (PSS). While product sustainability has been investigated during the last decades and can be assessed by several tools, sustainability of PSS is almost unexplored. This paper defines an integrated lifecycle and proposes a methodology to identify a set of sustainability indicators to compare different use scenarios and find out the best ones. It adopts a holistic approach to assess sustainability on the basis of the three main impacts: environmental, economical and social. The methodology is illustrated by means of an industrial case study proposing a new model called ‘Hot water as a service’ evolving traditional water heaters.


2014 - Designing a sustainable smart home network for elderly people [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M; Papetti, A; Iuale, M.
abstract

A smart home is a special environment where numerous objects can easily communicate and jointly execute tasks to achieve higher performances, increase the dwellings’ comfort and control home behaviors. For these reasons, the smart home can offer great benefits for fragile users, which require having support in their everyday activities and monitoring their lifestyle, such as elderly people. However, smart home technologies are usually complex and expensive, and neither sustainable nor suitable for elderly. Furthermore, the increasing embedded intelligence of smart objects and the huge quantity of devices recently available are generating difficulties in data management and architecture definition. As a result, interoperability and ease to use are hard to combine and the obtained performances are limited in respect with the potential ones. This paper defines a methodology to design a proper smart objects network according to the needs of elderly people with the final aim to create a sustainable smart home for this specific application. In particular, the intelligent network supports the independent living by monitoring the users’ wellbeing; furthermore it assures its sustainability by the conscious selection of the devices as well as the controlled use of the objects and related resources. Finally, a valuable case study is presented.


2014 - Designing a user-centred ICT platform for active aging [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M.
abstract

Nowadays Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) technologies can be successfully applied to create assistive systems able to support frail and elderly people and promote active aging. Indeed, objects are ready and matured enough to be applied at low cost and can exchange information each other by proper communication protocols available on the market. However, there are still some open issues limiting the diffusion of such technologies and their effective introduction in people everyday life. Limitations mainly refer to three aspects: low system usability, poor acceptance by users, and lack of personalization and flexibility. The first two issues directly derive from the technology-oriented approach adopted in designing such systems, which does not consider the users’ needs. The third issue is mainly due to the adoption of standard protocols that allow communication only among a set of compliant devices. The present research proposes a new model to design an AAL system to support active aging by adopting a user-centred approach to define an interoperable architecture integrating different types of Smart Object. The result is a high usable and flexible platform that allows creating user-friendly products as well as services and realizing also high-level functions by integrating data from completely different contexts. The research case study specifically addresses elderly people needs living alone or affected by chronic disease, which require a continuous control and feedback.


2014 - Designing and simulating smart home environments and related services [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Capitanelli, A; Papetti, A; Germani, M.
abstract

The recent advances in smart devices and communication technologies offer many opportunities to the creation of innovative smart environments and services. In particular, there is a strong interest about smart homes and energy-cost control services. Indeed, firstly the residential sector has been proved to be one of the most energy-intensive [Bertoldi et al. 2012]; secondly a lot of research recently focuses on smart device connectivity issues and information management models [Kofler et al. 2012] as well as energy efficiency architectures and services for the smart home [Torunski et al. 2012]. However, energy control is only one of the possible enabling functionalities; in fact, smart homes can make several intelligent objects cooperate each other to achieve higher performances and support the users’ everyday life: higher safety, better comfort, improved quality of life, reduced operative costs, or assisted living functionalities.


2014 - Functional and ecosystem requirements to design sustainable P-S [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Marilungo, E; Germani, M.
abstract

Product-Service (P-S) represents an innovative way to create highly sustainable solutions for both large and small enterprises. However, very few works propose structured approaches for P-S ideation and design in manufacturing industry. This paper presents a novel methodology to support ideation and preliminary design of sustainable P-S solutions within industrial chains involving Large Enterprises (LEs) as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). It is based on a matrix-based approach and allows defining the P-S functional and ecosystem requirements according to the customer needs and sustainability principles. The research purpose is twofold: to effectively support industrial chains in P-S requirements elicitation, and to verify the benefits of P-S integration from the design stages in developing sustainable solutions. The research study involved an Italian company with its supply chains of SMEs, distributed in Europe, and aims at developing a new P-S idea in the white goods sector by exploiting Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).


2014 - Methodology to improve devices interoperability for energy efficiency in smart homes [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Capitanelli, A; Germani, M; Papetti, A; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

The advances in home automation and communication technologies offer several attractive benefits for the modern smart home, such as increased energy efficiency, improved residential comfort and reduced operative costs for the homeowner. As the residential sector is responsible for about 20% of the total energy consumption, a strong interest to the smart home capabilities is growing all over the world. On the other hand, the increasing embedded intelligence of smart devices is also generating a huge quantity of data, which needs to be properly managed and coordinated. This paper defines a methodology to improve smart home information management and proposes a smart home data model able to exploit devices’ information and provide energy-control services. It allows aggregating significant data and defining a set of rules to manage the correlation between devices, desired functions and smart home events. The proposed approach is validated by the implementation on a real smart home environment, where several devices intelligently interoperate to provide energy-control services involving a cluster of companies and utilities.


2014 - PI Toolset Methodology for Virtual Enterprise Performance Assessment and Governance [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Heydari, M; Zanetti, C; Taisch, M; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

This paper aims at describing a proposed Performance Indicators (PIs) Toolset, which has been developed to provide useful methodologies and tools to enterprises, especially Virtual Manufacturing Enterprises (VMEs), in order to support the management and evaluation of their service systems. Particularly, the identified PI Toolset helps VMEs to understand how well they are performing and contributing to their strategic goals and objectives. Indeed, determining which activities should be monitored, controlled and measured through proper PIs is essential for a VME. In this context the proposed PI Toolset helps to select the significant activities, to manage governance processes, and to support the design and implement the specific PIs related to the precise use case objectives. Finally, the proposed Toolset defined a set of PIs that can be used to evaluate business processes related to governance issues.


2014 - Product-service lifecycle management in manufacturing: an industrial case study [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Marilungo, E; Germani, M.
abstract

Product-Service is a recent concept based on a novel product un- derstanding consisting of integrated product and service shares. It repre- sents a new trend for industries to innovate their artefacts and create fresh business opportunities. However, moving from product to services requires the identification of the needed assets to create the new solution and the in- tegration of both product-related and service-related activities into a unique product-service lifecycle. In practice, such an evolution can be defined the- oretically but it is hard to implement since supporting tools are strongly product-centred yet. As a consequence, product-service is still a fascinating idea especially in manufacturing sector. This paper tells about a success story of product-service management in manufacturing industry; it de- scribes how a household appliances’ manufacturer shifted from traditional product lifecycle towards product-service lifecycle to manage the new ser- vice. The study starts from analysis of the AS-IS processes and mapping of the ecosystem tangible and intangible assets, and describes how the compa- ny was supported into the definition of an integrated product-service lifecy- cle.


2014 - Requirements of the MSEE Test Cases, in Manufacturing Service Ecosystem [Capitolo/Saggio]
Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

This chapter deals with the analysis of industrial end users’ processes and the elicitation of requirements for servitization in Manufacturing Service Ecosystems (MSE). Indeed, an accurate and precise requirements’ analysis is fundamental to define effective processes to establish a successful service ecosystem. In particular, the methodology defined in section 2.1 has been adopted to map the four MSEE end users’ processes and elicit their own requirements on the basis of work- shops and serious games. Firstly, the four use cases are presented in details and a preliminary requirements analysis car- ried out by workshops is described. Subsequently, each end user refined the requirements list by serious games in order to define the final service scenario to be implemented. Finally, the specific requirements have been aggregated and re- lated to the MSEE project SPs.


2014 - Service Performance Assessment and Governance [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Taisch, M; Heydari, M; Zanetti, M; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Performance Indicators (PIs) are designed to help organizations and decision makers to better understand how well they are performing in relation to their strategic and tactical goals; nowadays, numerous methods and tools have been developed to facilitate the generation and selection of the most suitable PIs. Especially in the service sectors, service performance assessment methods should be used to develop a coherent and comprehensive set of service driven performance indicators. The basic idea behind a performance assessment method in the service system is to generate and select the performance indicators to be used by the members of the service delivery eco-system, which represent the actors for the delivery of services. In this respect, the purpose of this paper is to lay out a method for generating and selecting the performance indicators related to particular service system requirements. To accomplish this, the proposed method will be defined to optimize monitoring and controlling activities within a service system. In order to be able to produce meaningful results a case study is presented, where the method has been adopted by a company producing domestic appliances.


2014 - Sustainable product-service design in manufacturing industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Marilungo, E; Germani, M.
abstract

The interest of manufacturing enterprises in Product-Service (P-S) is growing; indeed, the transition from selling traditional products to proposing product-service integrated solutions can bring a new strategic advantage and consequently greater earnings. It is particularly challenging for manufacturing companies. However, the majority of manufacturing enterprises is still far to propose P-S solutions ready for the market because they are strongly focusing on the product: as a consequence, they are not well organized for service design, they adopt product-centred design approaches, and finally they lack of structural methods and tools to guide P-S design.


2013 - A Sustainability Lifecycle Assessment of Products and Services for the Extended Enterprise Evolution [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M; Marilungo, E.
abstract

Recently numerous companies are moving from products to services to create new business opportunities and increase the value perceived by the customers thanks to an extended value creation network. The research challenge is to support traditional manufacturing enterprises evaluating the shift from products to services as far as sustainability is concerned. While product sustai- nability can be assessed by several tools, the impacts of PSS (Product-Service Systems) are almost unexplored. This paper adopts a holistic approach to assess sustainability by estimating three main impacts: environmental, economical and social. The methodology is illustrated by means of an industrial case study fo- cusing on washing machines; it analyses the traditional scenario based on tangi- ble product selling with a vertical supply-chain, and an innovative PSS scenario proposing washing as a service within an extended network. Data comparison highlights the achievable benefits of PSS on sustainability.


2013 - A methodology for interoperability and information management in smart home environments [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Papetti, A; Peruzzini, Margherita; Capitanelli, A; Germani, M.
abstract

The environmental impact reduction and the growing world energy demand have generated a strong interest to smart home all over the world. Indeed, thanks to the recent developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT), it is possible to create smart home system by making several objects installed at home cooperate each other and offering new services to end users. However, smart home system design is not a trivial task: the increasing embedded intelligence of smart devices is generating a huge quantity of data, which needs to be properly structured and managed, and the related services must be designed and personalized according to the specific users’ needs. This paper defines a methodology to support smart home system design and improve smart home information management by selection, aggregation and classification of relevant data, and their correlation to smart home services. The methodology implementation shows how it can support the design of services able to bring benefits to the subjects involved. It also represents the first step towards the creation of a standard by data management and device interoperability for smart home systems’ design.


2013 - An Intelligence-based Tool for Energy Management by Device Interoperability in Smart Houses [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Capitanelli, A; Papetti, A; Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M.
abstract

The recent developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) make several house devices cooperate to each other to achieve higher energy performances and offer new services. However, the increasing embedded intelligence of smart devices is also generating a huge quantity of data, which must be properly managed. In fact, it is difficult to easily manage data to make certain functions available and to define a strategy for results maximization. This paper defines a methodology to improve smart home information management based on the selection, aggregation and classification of the sensible data and the correlation with the device typology, nature, and destination of use. Furthermore, a case study focused on washing machine is presented to demonstrate how this methodology can be implemented to realize a supporting tool encouraging service ideation to benefit the different subjects involved. The proposed model represents a first step towards the creation of a standard for smart house information management and device interoperability.


2013 - Combining energy monitoring and LCA/LCCA analyses to improve the sustainability of an extrusion process [Articolo su rivista]
Luzi, Andrea; Marilungo, Eugenia; Papetti, Alessandra; Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, Michele
abstract

Purpose It is well known that industrial processes require large consumption of energy and other resources during the product manufacturing phase. This exploitation of energy is reflected both in terms of environmental impact and in terms of economic impact, which can be measured through specific tools. The measurement of these environmental and economic impacts is an essential step towards both the control of the energy consumption and energy costs and in sustainability energy assessment. In this paper is presented the extrusion process of plastic materials in a big Italian company. This process is highly energy-consuming and for this reason it is necessary monitoring the energy consumption and controlling the process parameters to increase the energy sustainability and, at the same time, decrease the environmental and social impacts. The aim of this work is presenting a methodology to capture the extrusion process sustainability to have a base line useful to compare the results of any other extrusion process assessment. Design/methodology/approach The proposed methodology aims to identify the high energy consuming machineries, components, and devices in the company. To do this, the industrial process must be organised in several functional components which have a specific number of input and output. The first step in this propose is the process evaluation in terms of the definition of the functional modules involved and the identification of the input/output needed in each one. After the collection of these data, the next step is the assessment of the environmental and economic impacts through Life Cycle Assessment analysis (LCA) and Life Cycle Cost Assessment analysis (LCCA). This study is supported by a hardware and software infrastructure among the extrusion process machineries and the SimaPro tool to conduct the LCA and LCCA analyses. Originality/value The innovation of this paper is to consider the Life Cycle Assessment of a process through the evaluation of each its components. The resulted impacts are focused on the process sustainability and not on the product sustainability as is instead largely made clear in the literature. The results of this work are related to the definition of a methodology in the field of industrial processes evaluation; in fact, it has been defined a new approach to conduct the Life Cycle Assessment focused on the industrial process and it has been suggested a method to evaluate the Energy Sustainability in a highly energy-consuming process.


2013 - Design for sustainability of product-service systems in the extended enterprise [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M; Marilungo, E.
abstract

A recent trend in modern manufacturing companies is moving from products to services. Indeed, services allow creating new business opportunities and increasing the value perceived by the customers. At the same time, sustainability is a crucial aspect for industry, which pays more and more attention to realize efficient and sustainable solutions. The research challenge is defining a structured methodology to understand how to design for sustainability considering Product Service Systems (PSS) and evaluating the effect of shifting from products to services. While product sustainability can be assessed by several tools, sustainability of PSS is almost unexplored. Furthermore, PSS requires creating an extended value creation network. This paper defines an integrated product-service lifecycle and proposes a methodology to identify a set of KPIs for both PSS and products and to compare different use scenarios. It adopts a holistic approach to assess sustainability on the basis of the three main impacts: environmental, economical and social. The methodology is illustrated by means of an industrial case study focusing on water heaters; it analyses an innovative PSS “Hot water as a Service” supported by an extended network, and compares it with the traditional scenario based on product selling supported by a vertical supply-chain. The final aim is to evaluate the service benefits and to support company decision-making.


2013 - Electro-tactile device for material texture simulation [Articolo su rivista]
Germani, M; Mengoni, M; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

This paper deals with the simulation of material texture by means of electro-tactile stimuli, which directly derive from real material properties. The research presents a novel tactile display by its hardware and software system architecture and the elaboration procedure to generate the stimulating signals, and validates the adopted simulation strategy by experimental testing. The tactile system elabo- rates data from scans of real material samples and gener- ates electrical stimuli to reproduce roughness and texture coarseness sensations. It also adds a coherent sound feed- back to improve the realism of the simulation. The re- search defines also an experimental protocol based on the theory of Psychophysics to carry out system calibration and tests with users. The scope is to validate the proposed tactile system as a new tool for material simulation, which can be adopted for material virtual prototyping in several fields (product design, textile and clothing, gaming and entertainment, virtual museum, rehabilitation, etc.). Experimentations have been carried out to measure the users’ response to our different material classes (wood, paper, rubber and textile fabric). Experimental results con- cern how good the adopted simulation approach is and the analysis of the human tactile perception simulated by the system. Main findings relate to the system performance and the users’ response in terms of signal recognition and material class discrimination.


2013 - Investigating the Sustainability of Product and Product-Service Systems in the B2C Industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M.
abstract

Numerous companies are recently pushed to move from Products to Product-Service Systems (PSS). The final aim is to increase the value perceived by the market and provide a more flexible and personalized offer by a wide range of services connected with the product use. The research question is: how to understand the performance of new service-based solutions and easily compare to traditional products? Sustainability is nowadays accepted as a guiding principle for both public and corporate strategies. Whereas product sustainability can be validly estimated by several tools, no certified methods have been defined for PSS sustainability estimation yet. This paper proposes the combination of LifeCycle Assessment (LCA) and LifeCycle Costing (LCC) techniques to the whole lifecycle phases for both Product and PSS. Data comparison can be usefully adopted to drive the change towards PSS in industry. An industrial case study focusing on washing machines is presented as a valid example of method application to support decision-making in the B2C industry.


2013 - Platform to support dynamic collaborative design processes in virtual enterprises [Articolo su rivista]
Germani, M; Mandolini, M; Mengoni, M; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Collaborative product design favours the identification of innovative solutions as well as enriches participants’ experience. Nevertheless, design and supply chain integration in product development processes is not a trivial task. Main difficulties are related to the different levels of individual expertise of team members and to the different organization of involved companies. The complex scenario of the extended enterprise triggers research toward the development of efficient methods and tools for supporting the design teamwork. The present paper illustrates an innovative co-design platform that implements an approach to support dynamic collaborative design processes. Starting from the definition of a new design process model integrating different collaborative dimensions, the proposed approach is based on the formalization of the distributed knowledge in terms of interaction rules and representational models. In particular the process variability is managed through a new dynamic workflow system able to handle unpredictable events occurring when multiple partners collaborate. Experimentation is carried out in order to identify main system advantages and critical issues.


2013 - Product-Service Sustainability Assessment in Virtual Manufacturing Enterprises [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M; Marilungo, E.
abstract

New directions in modern industry are creating distributed virtual enterprises and pushing companies towards service-enhanced products. Both trends converge when a Virtual Manufacturing Enterprise (VME) is created to provide product-service solutions. At the same time, sustainability is a crucial aspect for industrial networks. This paper proposes a methodology to assess the sustainability of Product-Service Systems (PSS) in a VME by modelling an integrated lifecycle, defining impact categories and KPIs, and evaluating all the partners’ contributions. The method allows easily comparing PSS design alternatives to each other or with traditional products. The industrial case study is represented by a “washing as a service” solution proposed by a worldwide VME. Sustainability assessment is useful to highlight the service benefits as well as the critical phases, and to support VME decision-making.


2013 - Requirements Engineering for Servitization in Manufacturing Service Ecosystems (MSEE) [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Wiesner, S; Peruzzini, Margherita; Doumeingts, G; Thoben, Kd
abstract

Nowadays, manufacturing enterprises shift to bundle their products with services to satisfy customer needs. This process is called “Servitization”. The European project “Manufacturing SErvice Ecosystem” (MSEE) is developing models supporting Servitization, based on Future Internet architectures and platforms. To allow efficient collaboration for the provision of Product-Service Systems (PSS), the business as well as the ICT environment needs to be adapted. However, stakeholders are typically not aware of all requirements for the transition in the areas of physical resources, organization and IT. This paper presents one of the results of MSEE project: the development of an adequate Requirements Engineering approach.


2013 - Service innovation in household appliances: an industrial case study [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M; Favi, C.
abstract

Service-oriented management is becoming increasingly popular to create new business infrastructures able to self-organize tangible and intangible manu- facturing assets in a distributed and interoperable way. The final scope is to man- age not simply the Product but also Services along the value chain. This paper presents an interesting case study about a great modern challenge: the implemen- tation of such a service-oriented approach and the shift from PLM (Product Life- cycle Management) to SLM (Service Lifecycle Management). It describes busi- ness requirements elicitation towards the creation of an SLM-based ecosystem in collaboration with an Italian company leader in household appliances. The case study focuses on washing machines, analyses the traditional product use and a new service-oriented scenario and defines a list of requirements to be imple- mented for the creation of the future SLM-based ecosystem.


2013 - Smart Home Information Management System for Energy-Efficient Networks [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M; Papetti, A; Capitanelli, A.
abstract

Energy efficiency of smart home systems imposes the intelligent management of a huge quantity of data and the collaboration between multiple stakeholders. Indeed, thanks to recent developments in ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and IoT (Internet of Things), it is possible to achieve higher performances and offer new energy-control services. However, data must be not only retrieved but also translated into significant information and related to interoperable tasks. This paper focuses on smart home energy control and defines a methodology to improve smart home information management in order to create an extended energy-efficient network comprehending the distributed manufacturing enterprise as well as the energy utility and the consumers. The case study focuses on a sub-set of interoperable smart devices and shows how to apply the proposed information management model to make an extended virtual enterprise provide energy-control services.


2013 - Supporting teamwork in contract furniture design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, M; Peruzzini, Margherita; Raffaeli, M.; Raffaeli, Roberto
abstract

Contract furniture design is oriented to develop customized products for the creation of a finished commodity for hospitality, offices, retails, restaurants, stores. It is assuming a growing importance all over the Europe and represents a preferred channel for promoting Made in Italy offer. Numerous competences with different skill, abilities and background are necessary to fulfill market requirements. Stakeholders are arranged into complex inter and intra temporary networks where sometimes- conflicting interests and purposes need to converge into a single and integrated design solution. Contract furniture combines product design with interior and architectural design requests to provide coherent furniture by assembling custom high-quality items from different firms. As a consequence, the design process is complex and collaboration is imperative to achieve the expected goals. This paper explores contract furniture design and defines a technological platform to support team working. The proposed methodology is applied to an industrial case study in the hospitality and retail sectors. Method application brings to define the system platform architecture and its main software modules.


2012 - A Lifecycle design approach to analyze the Eco-sustainability of industrial products and product-service systems [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Favi, C; Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M.
abstract

Lifecycle design approaches are widely used in industry to quantify the eco-sustainability of products and to give them a tangible commercial value in terms of efficiency and costs. They are commonly applied for two reasons: to identify the more advantageous trends in product innovation and to support customer’’s decision-making. Recently, increasing competition and technological developments result in high time, cost and development pressure. These facts induce the need for differentiation for most companies but also for reducing time-to-market. In this context, companies are pushed to move from a product-centred perspective to a product-service one, towards the new concept of ““extended products””.


2012 - A QFD-based method to support SMEs in benchmarking co-design tools [Articolo su rivista]
Germani, M; Mengoni, M; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Efficient collaborative product design is crucial for extended enterprises willing to develop complex products pursuing a short time to market. However, successful collaborative product design depends on the ability to effectively manage and share engineering knowledge and data throughout the entire product development process. Co-design software platforms aim to facilitate cooperation in distributed teams. In the context of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) the advanced co-design software implementation to support the supply chain is not a trivial task. SMEs have peculiar characteristics such as flexibility, ICT skills and financial resources, which are difficult to be integrated within a structured design network. This paper presents a method to define and evaluate a co-design platform dedicated to SMEs in the mechanical product field. System architecture is defined by applying suitable metrics based on collaborative process characteristics in order to assess functionality performance of the available tools. Benchmarking is based on different levels of collaboration recognized in the typical product development process in SMEs. Correlation between process metrics, software functionalities and specific collaboration requirements is managed by adopting Quality Function Deployment (QFD) techniques. A practical case study allows the robustness of the proposed method to be verified and the main advantages and future developments to be discussed.


2012 - A method for roughness and texture simulation via tactile display [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Germani, M.; Mengoni, M.; Morichetti, P.; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

This paper presents a tactile synthesis method to provide roughness and texture coarseness sensations using a selective stimulation approach implemented by a tactile display. Digitizing, elaborating and processing real material surfaces obtain signals. The selection of their frequency range is based on the reactive frequencies of SAI and FAI types receptors. An electro-tactile display provided with a mechanical vibration to stimulate FAII units located at the deeper skin layers has been developed. A SW tool allows to manage selective signals modulation and configuration according to the displayed material. The research aims at overcoming a crucial problem concerning the signals adopted by most electro-tactile displays to stimulate skin mechanoreceptors. The paper focuses on the description of the adopted method and of the implemented software tool to control the tactile display. Preliminary experimentations were carried out to measure the system’s latency, accuracy and reliability. Experimental sessions show a promising system response: minimal latency (30ms), good reliability (>98%) and acceptable accuracy (>70%).


2012 - An approach to assessing virtual environments for synchronous and remote collaborative design [Articolo su rivista]
Germani, M; Mengoni, M; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Received 4 March 2011 Accepted 14 June 2012 Available online 31 July 2012 Keywords: Collaborative design Virtual environments Metrics Design review Benchmarking method 1. Introduction Market globalisation, short delivery times and the rapid evolu- tion of customer requirements highly influence how the product design process must be performed. It is becoming increasingly important to consider different competencies in the early process phases, which implies organising the cooperative work of a geo- graphically distributed team. Generally, team configuration dynamically changes based on specific objectives. To manage this flexible cooperation, a new approach called Collaborative Product Design (CPD) has been developed. In this case, people belong to a virtual design team. However, traditional design tools have not generally been conceived to support the collaborative teamwork in a distributed design space. New technologies have recently emerged that allow creating Virtual Design Environments (VDEs) to facilitate CPD through easy interaction and data sharing among all participants. Though several collaborative software applications ⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +39 71 2204969/2204790; fax: +39 71 2204801. E-mail address: m.germani@univpm.it (M. Germani). URL: http://www.univpm.it (M. Germani). 1474-0346/$ - see front matter Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aei.2012.06.003 abstract This paper considers applying novel Virtual Environments (VEs) in collaborative product design, focusing on reviewing activities. Companies are usually anchored to commercial ICT tools, which are mature and reliable. However, two main problems emerge: the difficulty in selecting the most suitable tools for specific purposes and the complexity in evaluating the impact that using technology has on design col- laboration. The present work aims to face both aspects by proposing a structured benchmarking method based on expert judgements and defining a set of benchmarking weights based on experimental tests. The method considers both human–human interaction and teamwork-related aspects. A subsequent evaluation protocol considering both process efficiency and human–human interaction allows a closed-loop verification process. Pilot projects evaluate different technologies, and the benchmarking weights are verified and adjusted for more reliable system assessment. This paper focuses on synchro- nous and remote design review activities: three different tools have been compared according to expert judgements. The two best performing tools have been implemented as pilot projects within real indus- trial chains. Design collaboration has been assessed by considering both process performance and human–human interaction quality, as well as benchmarking results validated by indicating some correc- tive actions. The final benchmarking weights can thus be further adopted for an agile system benchmark in synchronous and remote design. The main findings suggest defining both an innovative process to ver- ify the expert benchmark reliability and a trusty benchmarking method to evaluate tools for synchronous and remote design without experimental testing. Furthermore, the proposed method has a general valid- ity and can be properly set for different collaborative dimensions.


2012 - Electro-tactile device for texture simulation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M; Mengoni, M.
abstract

The research goal is material texture simulation by means of electro-tactile stimuli. This paper presents a novel tactile display, the procedure adopted to generate the stimulating signals, and the experimental testing. The tactile system elaborates data from scans of real material samples and generates electrical stimuli to reproduce roughness and texture coarseness sensations. It also adds a coherent sound feedback to improve the realism of the simulation. The research defines an experimental protocol to carry out system calibration and tests with users in order to validate the proposed tactile system as a new tool for material simulation. Experimentations have been carried out to measure the users’ response to different material classes (wood, paper, rubber, textile fabric). Experimental results concern how good the adopted simulation approach is and the tactile stimuli simulated by the system are. Main findings relate to the system performance and the users’ response in terms of signal recognition and material class discrimination.


2012 - SLCA to Support Evaluation of Environmental Conscious Production Process Alternatives: An Industrial Case [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, M; Peruzzini, Margherita; Otto, He; Mandorli, F.
abstract

This paper presents an industrial case study of production process re-design to reduce both environmental impact and production costs and to improve overall product quality. The proposed solution is based on the concept of a closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) model. Simplified life cycle assessment (SLCA) has been used to identify and compare the sustainability and environmental performance of alternative production processes, while supporting strategic decision-making. A company producing shower trays whose process eco-sustainability is quite low acts as the focal enterprise for the case study. Experimental results relating to economic and environmental competitive advantages are discussed on both a quantitative and qualitative base.


2012 - Shift from PLM to SLM: A Method to Support Business Requirements Elicitation for Service Innovation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M; Favi, C.
abstract

PLM is a widely recognized approach to reduce time to market, in- crease process efficiency and control product lifecycle. However, service- oriented management is becoming increasingly popular to create new business infrastructures able to self-organize tangible and intangible manufacturing as- sets in a distributed and interoperable way [1]. The final scope is to manage not simply the Product but also Services along the value chain. The great modern challenge is the implementation of such a service-oriented approach and the shift from PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) to SLM (Service Lifecycle Management). This paper proposes a structured method to define a TO-BE ser- vice-oriented scenario and elicit business requirements towards the creation of an SLM-based ecosystem. A case study is developed in collaboration with an Italian company leader in household appliances. It focuses on washing machine, investigates AS-IS and TO-BE business scenarios by adopting Functional Analysis and Business Use Cases (BUC), and then defines the necessary busi- ness requirements to implement a service-based approach and create the future SLM ecosystem.


2012 - Virtual Tactile Simulation: a novel display and effects on users’ perception [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Mengoni, M; Germani, M.
abstract

This paper presents a novel study on the simulation of material texture by means of electro-tactile stimuli and details the effects on the users’ ability to recognize and discriminate different material classes. The research exploits a novel tactile display to simulate material texture and validates the adopted simulation strategy by experimental testing. The tactile system elaborates data from real material samples and combines electrical stimuli and mechanical vibration to reproduce both roughness and texture coarseness sensations. Then, an experimental protocol based on the theory of Psychophysics is defined to carry out system calibration and tests with users. The research aims at validating the proposed simulation strategy and checking the user response on virtual tactile stimuli. Experimentations were carried out to reproduce virtual material texture and measure the users’ ability to distinguish different virtual materials and to recognize the material class. Experimental results provide interesting details about tactile perception mechanisms and validate the adopted approach for tactile signals’ recognition and material class discrimination.


2011 - A knowledge-based workflow to dynamically manage human interaction in extended enterprise [Articolo su rivista]
Mengoni, M.; Graziosi, S.; Mandolini, M.; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Extended enterprises require novel modes of organizing companies and managing collaboration. Although the promise of Information Communication Technologies to connect people, processes and information, it is worth to notice that current implementations are strongly document- oriented and do not enable flexible workflow management overcoming well-known inter-enterprise integration difficul- ties. The long-term goal of the research is the study of a new methodology and the development of dedicated soft- ware tools to facilitate the dynamic collaboration among 21 companies participating to a research project, funded by the Italian Economic Ministry, called CO-ENV. The definition of dynamic workflow system architecture represents the step forwards the implementation of a collaborative platform. Pre- liminary benchmarking of available systems and techniques, the product development process analysis of the project par- ticipant companies and a possible structure of the system are well illustrated. Examples of expected and unexpected exceptions are reported and differences between static and dynamic workflow management systems are discussed.


2011 - A method for systematic usability evaluation of interactive product interfaces [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, M; Ceccacci, S; Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M.
abstract

Purpose: The paper aims at defining a user-centred design method to develop interactive product interfaces that allows to stretch time to market and to reduce prototyping costs. Method: It consists in an experimental protocol to evaluate product interface usability and to correlate the achieved performance with its design features and attributes. It exploits low cost high- fidelity prototypes based on Augmented Reality techniques that allow users to interact with the Graphic User Interface and at the same time touch the object, explore its shape, the material it is realized to stimulate both cognitive and emotional response. Result: Experimental sessions have been carried out on a real industrial case that is the design of an interactive remote control device for bathtubs and showers. Time for the development of the final design solution halves because main usability errors have been detected at the early design stages and no iterative testing sessions have been carried out on the final physical prototype. Discussion & Conclusion: Conclusion provides some discussions of experimental results to highlight the effectiveness of the method to detect usability problems and support the definition of what to improve. Finally two research lines have R. Mneghellbeen drawn to foster improvements in virtual prototyping for interactive design.


2011 - A tactile simulation approach to enhance virtual prototypes interaction [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, M.; Germani, M.; Morichetti, P.; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Materials simulation in virtual prototyping is one of the most challenging issues as not completely fulfilled by current devices. It allows Virtual Reality-based interfaces to provide multisensory interaction and to enhance product experience by mainly stimulating user emotional response. In this context the paper presents a new tactile simulation approach based on material surface properties elaboration and processing to stimulate roughness and texture coarseness perception. The developed approach leads to the development of a tactile display and a software tool to manage the configuration of selective stimulating signals. The main problem the research aims at overcoming, regards with the nature of signals adopted by most electrotactile displays and the way to stimulate skin mechanoreceptors. The paper focuses on the description of the adopted approach and of the implemented software tool in order to control the tactile display.


2011 - An explanatory Study to fill the Gap between co-design tools and industrial applications [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Germani, M.; Mengoni, M.; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

This paper deals with the application of remote collaborative environments in product design, in particular for design review activities. In this context, companies actually face some troubles: limited knowledge about available tools, difficulty in coming to know and using innovative systems, and complexity in evaluating the impact of the technology on design collaboration. The present research suggests a novel collaborative environment (the CoReD platform) that merges system simplicity, project-oriented approach and customizable functions. It defines a metric-based protocol considering both performances and cognitive aspects to assess collaboration quality and then monitors design review sessions within three industrial Consortia. Research contributions are to answer two main questions: how to arrange a low-cost co-design environment and how to effectively evaluate the human-system interaction and collaborative performance in industrial use. Experimental results highlight that the CoReD platform is able to efficiently improve collaborative processes by affecting both product-process performance and human-based collaboration, mainly thanks to: system architecture simplicity, low cost, high customizable functionalities and ease of use for remote design. However, results demonstrate also that significant advantages can be achieved only if industrial partners have a good level of technical expertise and high motivation to collaborate each other.


2011 - Benchmarking of Virtual Reality performance in mechanics education [Articolo su rivista]
Mengoni, M.; Germani, M.; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

The paper explores the potentialities of virtual reality (VR) to improve the learning process of mechanical product design. It is focused on the definition of a proper experimental VR-based set-up whose performance matches mechanical design learning purposes, such as assemblability and tolerances prescription. The method consists of two main activities: VR technologies benchmarking based on sensory feedback and evaluation of how VR tools impact on learning curves. In order to quantify the performance of the technol- ogy, an experimental protocol is defined and an testing plan is set. Evaluation parameters are divided into performance and usability metrics to distinguish between the cognitive and technical aspects of the learning process. The experi- mental VR-based set up is tested on students in mechanical engineering through the application of the protocol.


2011 - Design of a tactile display to support materials perception in virtual environments [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, M.; Colaiocco, B.; Germani, M.; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Materials properties simulation by means of haptic devices is one of the most significant issues in the design of new human- computer interfaces to support virtual prototypes interaction in numerous product design activities. Notwithstanding the several research attempts, a very natural perception of materials has not been achieved yet. We present a novel tactile display. It combines both mechanical and electrotactile approaches to simulate natural tactile sensations. In order to enhance experience acoustic and visual cues are integrated. A signal generation method allows correlating materials properties and simulating signals according to the characteristics of fingertip mechanoreceptors. The final scope is making users perceive the object’s surface roughness, slickness and texture coarseness. Research results are the developed simulation method and the detailed design of the whole tactile display. The preliminary prototype is under construction.


2011 - How to address virtual teamwork in SMEs by an innovative co-design platform [Articolo su rivista]
Germani, M.; Mengoni, M.; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Collaborative product development is crucial for extended enterprises in order to promote innovation facing market competitiveness. Co-design software platforms aim at facilitating companies networking to achieve common design goals. A successful cooperation depends on tools’ ability to effectively manage communication, data sharing in distributed teams and specific interaction requirements. In the context of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the integration of design and supply chains is not a trivial task. Their highly flexible organisation makes difficult to manage multidisciplinary teamwork and advanced co-design software implementation. This paper presents a structured method for defining an innovative co-design platform for SMEs. System architecture can be defined by applying suitable metrics based on collaborative process characteristics in order to assess functionalities performance of available tools. Benchmarking is based on different levels of collaboration recognised in typical SMEs product development process. Correlation between process metrics, software functionalities and specific collaboration needs is managed by adopting quality function deployment (QFD) techniques.


2011 - PLM benefits for networked SMEs [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Mengoni, M; Germani, M.
abstract

PLM is universally recognized as a valid strategy to reduce time to market, increase process efficiency and cut lifecycle cost. Despite the importance for companies to objectively assess these emphasized competitive advantages, the benefits which can be achieved through PLM still remain intangible. Their measurement is particularly difficult for networked enterprises where each company is characterized by different forms of organization, personnel skills, levels of computerization, etc. This paper presents the results of a long-term study carried out on several Italian manufacturing companies, mainly small and medium sized, concerning the quantification of PLM benefits for collaboration. A structured approach is developed to assess the quality of a collaborative PLM implementation and its impact on real processes. The approach is based on a set of indicators of usage, performance and satisfaction. Finally the cost-reduction achieved by means of the new system has been estimated on the basis of the companies’ hourly cost. The results are remarkable and make evidence of great time and cost saving. This study shows a reliable experience on how PLM can successfully support companies to improve collaboration and hence to face the current economic crisis.


2011 - Supporting virtual teamwork in Collaborative Product Development [Articolo su rivista]
Mengoni, M; Germani, M; Peruzzini, Margherita; Mandolini, M.
abstract

The increasing product complexity and the continuous need of improving product quality and services force companies to join into distributed and extended networks. Collaborative product development triggers research toward the development of new methods and tools to manage virtual teamwork to reduce time to market. In this context, the paper proposes a novel approach and a supporting co-design platform to manage interrelations across organisations. Experimentations into four product design chains show improvements in communication, information sharing, knowledge distribution, time saving and easiness of team management. They demonstrate that collaborative product development can be usefully enhanced only if tools and procedures are designed for the specific needs of the virtual network.


2011 - Usability Assessment to Address Interaction Design [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mengoni, M.; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Interaction design refers to design of interactive products and services with a specific focus on their use. Going beyond the traditional instrumental qualities such as usability and usefulness, the present research have a twofold objective: the definition of a structured protocol to define which product features most determine the synaesthetic impression and the evaluation of a proper supporting experimental environment to assess the different perceived qualities of consumer products with high aesthetic and technological values. In this way it is possible to find out which aspects have a greater say in the design definition. The protocol has been tested both on different prototypes in physically and virtually based environments to verify two hypotheses: H1. the analysis of users’ response during usability tests enables designers to indentify the best design alternative in terms of shape, material and technological composition; H2. users’ response is highly affected by the exploited prototyping technique. The best supporting environment will combine different sensorial channels by adopting a mixed set-up Potentialities and limitations of traditional and VR-based set-ups have been discussed by comparing users emotional and cognitive responses during products experience.


2010 - A benchmarking method to investigate co-design virtual environments for enhancing industrial collaboration [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Mengoni, M; Germani, M.
abstract

One of the most significant challenge of Virtual Reality (VR) in industry is to support the interaction with product models while enhancing the collaborative product development (CPD) by improving team working in the extended enterprise. The process success highly depends on how information flows and which representational means and supporting environments are adopted. This paper explores the impact of VR applications on collaboration focusing on co-design requirements, participants behavior and exploited interaction modalities. A benchmarking method is defined to select the proper co-design virtual environment for specific forms of collaboration carried out in different time-space domains. It adopts protocol analysis techniques to objectify both practical and cognitive human factors and it applies Quality Functional Deployment (QFD) matrices to correlate collaboration requirements and tools functionalities. Experimental tests have been carried out on synchronous and remote co-design activities, where VR tools have been poorly exploited. Achieved results highlight main limitations and strengths of the analysed technologies, addressing future developments in collaborative virtual environments.


2010 - A novel knowledge-based approach to support virtual teamwork in collaborative design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Mengoni, M; Germani, M; Mandolini, M.
abstract

Collaborative design can provide creative design solutions and improve product quality as well as enrich the participants’ knowledge. Nevertheless, design and supply chains integration in traditional product development processes is not a trivial task. Main difficulties are related to the different levels of individual expertise of team members and to the different organization of involved companies. The complex scenario of the extended enterprise triggers research toward the development of new methods and tools for managing virtual teamwork. The present research illustrates an innovative co-design platform that implements a novel approach to support multidisciplinary workgroups. Starting from the definition of a new design process model integrating different collaborative dimensions, the proposed approach is based on the formalization of the distributed knowledge in terms of interaction rules and representational models.


2010 - Cabinet with pull-out shelf [Brevetto]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Balducci, P.
abstract

A cabinet (1) is disclosed, comprising an opening (2), a pull-out shelf (7), a column (C), a collar (3) fixed to the column and provided with cam surface (30) and stop seat (31), a sleeve (4) rotatably mounted on said column and provided with brackets (40) that support a curved guide (5) in convex position with respect to the column (C), and a trolley (6) sliding on said guide (5) and supporting the shelf (7). The trolley (6) is provided with cam surface (62). A pin (8) is mounted on the brackets (40) of the sleeve and provided with two ends (81, 82) that act as cam followers to slide on the corresponding cam surfaces (30, 62) of collar and trolley.


2010 - Collaborative design system for supporting dynamic virtual enterprises [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
M., Mengoni; Germani, M; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Collaborative design provides creative design solutions and improves product quality as well as enriches participants’ knowledge. Nevertheless, de- sign and supply chain integration in product development processes is not a trivial task. The complex scenario of the dynamic extended enterprise triggers research toward the development of an innovative co-design platform to support multidisciplinary workgroups. Starting from the definition of a new design process model, the proposed approach is based on the formalization of the dis- tributed knowledge in terms of interaction rules and representational models.


2010 - Design of a novel human computer interface to support HCD application [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, M.; Germani, M.; Peruzzini, Margherita; Colaiocco, B.
abstract

The importance of Human-Centered Design (HCD) drives research toward the development of new UIs (User Interfaces) in order to predict human interaction with products at the early design stages. Virtual Reality (VR) allows carrying out usability tests on virtual prototypes to investigate users’ cognitive and affective response. Application problems regard with the reproduction of synaesthesia qualities in order to make the information processing similar to the one obtained by real sensory stimulation. While visualization technologies seem to be mature enough to overcome the above mentioned limitation, tactile devices are still far from properly simulating materials properties. In this context, the present work aims at structuring and applying a systematic approach to conceive, define and develop a novel VR-based technology, called I- perTouch. The goal is to stimulate the skin mechanoreceptors to generate a meaningful tactile sensation about materials softness, friction and roughness. The system can be also integrated with imaging and sound technologies to create a multi-sensorial product experience. The preliminary architecture results from the analysis of human tactile perception and the benchmark of available simulation devices and techniques. This paper contributes to discuss current issues of existing VR-based technologies in supporting HCD applications and to address technical developments toward the creation of a reliable system for texture perception.


2010 - Method for evaluating VR-based tools for collaborative design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Germani, M; Mengoni, M; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Virtual Reality systems can evermore impact on the quality of collaboration design processes. In the present work is defined a structured method to classify, qualify and select VR-based tools for supporting co- design activities by adopting a set of benchmarking metrics. Attention is focused on the collaboration scopes and requirements, participants’ behavior and exploited interaction modalities. The method has been applied to synchronous and remote collaboration that actually represents the most critical communication form in industry. Three different types of collaborative VR tools have been investigated and compared. Experimental results highlight how the proposed method is able to identify the main collaboration requirements by selecting the most proper supporting technology and show also the contribution to collaboration success.


2010 - Metrics-based Approach for VR Technology Evaluation in Styling Product Design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M; Mengoni, M.
abstract

In recent years, the interest of small and medium sized enterprises towards Virtual Reality (VR) systems is strongly increased thanks both to the improvement of VR tools effectiveness and to the cost reduction of technologies implementation. Due to the growing number of installed systems, many SMEs (Small Manufacturing Enterprises) companies require robust methods for evaluating technology performance. In this context, the present paper presents a metrics-based approach in order to analyze the VR system performance. It is specifically dedicated to the design review process during styling product design. The evaluation parameters are related to the effective communication and preservation of design intent. Metrics are classified in two main classes. The first one is related to the product, the process and the characteristics of VR technology. The second one is related to the design intent meanings preservation along the design process. Two experimental case studies are reported in order to test the approach in different operative fields.


2010 - Performance evaluation of co-design tools for extended enterprise [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Germani, M; Mengoni, M; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Extended enterprise is a well-known concept in modern industry, characterized by multidisciplinary teams and highly collaborative product development (CPD) processes. CPD’s success strongly depends on supporting tools ability in managing team communication, task accomplishment and design intent preservation. This paper aims at evaluating co-design tools performance in industrial context by a metrics-based protocol able to verify the achievement of collaboration goals. Evaluation is carried out by adopting a QFD-based method that comprehends both objective and subjective analysis. The method is tested on an innovative co-design platform that was properly defined for supporting cooperative work in extended enterprise and implemented during the last year. Three different design contexts (conceptual, advanced and interplay collaboration) have been assessed. Experimental results allow quantifying the tool real benefits and even optimizing the protocol.


2010 - Products experience: how can Virtual Prototyping improve usability testing? [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, M.; Germani, M.; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

During product development, usability tests allow the investigation of product performance in terms of effectiveness and user satisfaction. Virtual Reality (VR) systems provide new modes of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) that can support usability testing at the early design stages by adopting virtual prototypes to simulate product ex- perience. The problem is that only posture and occlusion parameters can be easily measured while the emotional and af- fective dimension is difficult to be assessed. In this context, the present paper focuses on two objectives. Firstly, it aims at investigating which product attributes stimulate affective user response by defining a structured protocol to analyze how sample users experience product at- tributes determining affordance and synaesthesia qualities. Then, real and virtual environments are compared in order to address VR systems improvements. Consequently, the second goal is to define a new VR-based environment for usabil- ity testing by considering a proper set of existing technologies integrated with a proposed multi-sensorial system for materials texture and roughness perception. Protocol experimentations are carried out in household appliances.


2010 - Virtual Environment Definition for product model usability evaluation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, M; Germani, M; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Advanced Virtual Reality (VR) based technologies can support product usability testing at the early design stages by allowing the interaction with highly realistic virtual prototypes. These tools provide an easy evaluation of physical ergonomic parameters (posture and occlusion), while the emotional and affective dimensions are still difficult to be assessed. In this context, the present paper, firstly, investi-gates which product attributes stimulate affective user response by analyzing and comparing how sample users experience product attributes in real and virtual envi-ronments. A structured protocol has been properly defined in order to achieve the result. The comparison allowed determining the needed features for improving the virtual scenario by proper Human Computer Interaction (HCI) technologies. Ac-cording to the analysis a new usability testing system has been structured.


2009 - A method to define a co-design platform to support cooperative work in SMEs [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Germani, M; Mengoni, M; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Collaborative product development is crucial for extended enterprises in order to promote innovation facing market competitiveness. Co-design software platforms aim at facilitating companies networking to achieve common design goals. A successful cooperation depends on tools’ ability to effectively manage communication, data sharing in distributed teams and specific interaction requirements. In the context of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the integration of design and supply chains is not a trivial task. Their highly flexible organization makes difficult to manage multidisciplinary teamwork and advanced co-design software implementation. This paper presents a structured method for defining an innovative co-design platform for SMEs. System architecture can be defined by applying suitable metrics based on collaborative process characteristics in order to assess functionalities performance of available tools. Benchmarking is based on different levels of collaboration recognized in typical SMEs product development process. Correlation between process metrics, software functionalities and specific collaboration needs is managed by adopting quality function deployment (QFD) techniques.


2009 - Evaluating the Impact of Virtual Reality Technologies on Mechanical Design Education [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Mengoni, M; Germani, M.
abstract

The promise of Virtual Reality in design environments is to facilitate the interaction with digital models and to enhance the results of design activity. Design education is one of the most recent and interesting applications. Thanks to technological advances in human-computer interfaces, Virtual Reality represents a new way to stimulate design students and to develop innovative teaching methods. The paper explores the impact of Virtual Reality technologies on design learning, with particular attention to mechanical product design. It is focused on the analysis of cognitive and technical aspects of learning processes and the definition of a proper evaluation protocol. The protocol is based on the classification of the most meaningful activities in mechanical engineering teaching and the identification of a set of metrics that enable to objectively evaluate the learning process. Assessing how VR supports design education, an experimental study is proposed. It is based on the comparison of three different approaches performed by two-dimensional drawings, by 3D CAD models and, finally, by virtual reality technologies.


2009 - Performing Ergonomic Analysis in Virtual Environments: a Structured Protocol to assess Humans Interaction [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, M; Peruzzini, Margherita; Mandorli, F; Bordegoni, M; Caruso, G.
abstract

Virtual Reality (VR) systems provide new modes of human computer interaction that can support several industrial design applications improving time savings, reducing prototyping costs, and supporting the identification of design errors before production. Enhancing the interaction between humans and virtual prototypes by involving multiple sensorial modalities, VR can be adopted to perform ergonomic analysis. The main problems deal with the evaluation both of functional and cognitive sample users behavior as VR interfaces influence the perception of the ergonomic human factors. We state that ergonomic analysis performed in virtual environment can be successful only if supported with a structured protocol for the study both of functional and cognitive aspects and with the proper VR technologies combination that answers to the specific analysis tasks. An ergonomic analysis protocol is presented. It allows the assessment of the consumers’ response in term of behavioral and cognitive human factors, comprehending both operational and emotional agents. The protocol is also used to identify the best combination of visualization and haptic interfaces to perform the analysis. An experimental example, belonging to house appliances field is adopted to investigate the application of the protocol in the virtual set up.


2009 - Study of Human-Computer Interactions in Collaborative Virtual Environments [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mengoni, M; Peruzzini, Margherita; Germani, M.
abstract

In the last years, Virtual Reality (VR) has rapidly evolved as well as its technological dimensions and applicative contexts. Most applications regard with those product design process activities involving multidisciplinary competences such as technical Design Reviews (DR). Human- Computer Interaction protocol analysis is particularly useful to highlight how technology influence single users’ behaviours, representational ways and communication modalities. In order to be successful, a Collaborative Virtual Environment (CVE) must naturally support cognitive design actions and natural engagement, stimulating comparison and discussion while reducing time and costs. In this context, our research aims at evaluating performances of different virtual environments for design applications involving multiple specialists with different knowledge and level of expertise. A structured protocol is defined to highlight the main cognitive actions and interaction styles in co-located VR-based collaborative environments in order to assess how VR systems affect multidisciplinary cooperation and teamwork. Experimental test cases are used for comparing the use of virtual and physical prototypes in DR and addressing future research developments.


2009 - The Impact of Virtual Environments on Humans Collaboration in Product Design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Mengoni, M; Germani, M.
abstract

Virtual Reality (VR) has quickly evolved over the last years in terms of technological and applicative dimensions. Human-Computer Interaction is particularly meaningful in the design activities involving multidisciplinary teamwork, collaborating to achieve a common task. It influences users behaviors, representational and communication modalities. A successful Collaborative Virtual Environment has to naturally support cognitive design actions and follow users’ natural communication styles by stimulating comparison and discussion while reducing time and costs. In this context, our research goal is to evaluate performances of different human-scale virtual environments in design situations involving multiple specialists with different knowledge and expertise. We proposed a protocol to highlight the main cognitive actions and interaction styles in collaborative environments in order to assess how VR systems affect multidisciplinary cooperation. Experimental test cases are used to compare performances of virtual and physical prototypes in design reviews activities in order to address future research developments in VR.


2009 - Virtual vs Physical: an experimental study to improve shape perception [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Mengoni, M; Germani, M.
abstract

Product designers, in order to create value, need to enrich their understanding of users products experience and the whole set of activities involved in it. Human-Centered Design (HCD) regards with the development of design principles to support product features definition answering to physical, psychological, social and cultural needs of human beings. Usability tests generally allow the investigation of product performance in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and users satisfaction in order to reduce the gap between the perceived and the designed product quality. Main problems concern with the assessment of emotional usability, the identification of product features stimulating affective response and their translation into design requirements. Usability tests are generally carried out only at the end of the design cycle once a final physical prototype has been realized. As a consequence design modifications increase time to market. Instead of traditional CAD-based systems (Computer Aided Design), Virtual Reality (VR) represents new Human-Computer Interfaces that can support the multimodal interaction with virtual prototypes to perform usability tests at the early design stages. The present paper explores the potentialities of VR to support usability testing mainly focusing on emotional aspects. A protocol study is defined to analyze how sample users perceive product attributes determining affordances and synaesthesia qualities. The protocol adopts qualitative and quantitative metrics to objectify users emotional response while interacting with products. It allows correlating product attributes, in terms of materials, shape and aesthetic features combination, with user behavior and product performance. It has been applied in the field of household appliances. Two different experimental set-ups, physical and virtual, have been used to validate the protocol and highlight the main VR technologies drawbacks.


2008 - A Knowledge-Based Workflow to Dynamically Manage Product Innovation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Graziosi, S; Mandolini, M; Mengoni, M; Peruzzini, Margherita
abstract

Extended enterprises require novel modes of organizing companies and managing collaboration. Although the promise of Information Communication Technologies to connect people, processes and information, it is worth to notice that current implementations are strongly document-oriented and do not enable flexible workflow management overcoming well-known inter-enterprise integration difficulties. The long term goal of the research is the study of a new methodology and the development of dedicated software tools to facilitate the dynamic collaboration among 21 companies participating to a research project, funded by the Italian Economic Ministry, called CO-ENV. The definition of dynamic workflow system architecture represents the step forwards the implementation of a collaborative platform. Preliminary benchmarking of available systems and techniques, the product development process analysis of the project participant companies and a possible structure of the system are well illustrated. Examples of expected and unexpected exceptions are reported and differences between static and dynamic workflow management systems are discussed.


2008 - Benchmarking of Virtual Reality Performances in Mechanics Education [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peruzzini, Margherita; Mengoni, M; Germani, M.
abstract

This study explores the potentialities of Virtual Reality for improving the learning process of mechanical product design. It is focused on the definition of a proper experimental VR-based set-up whose performances match mechanical design learning purposes, such as assemblability and tolerances prescription. The method consists of two main activities: the benchmarking of VR technologies based on sensory feedback and the evaluation of how VR tools can impact on the learning curves. In order to quantify the performance of the technology, an evaluation protocol is defined and an experimental plan is set. Evaluation parameters are divided into performance and usability metrics to distinguish cognitive and technical aspects of the learning process. The experimental VR-based set up is tested on students in mechanical engineering through the application of the protocol.