Automation projects have often failed due to the omission of critical human skills needed for business success. Full automation is perhaps only appropriate where the objectives centre around production efficiency, accessibility and cost reduction. In contexts where innovation, flexibility and the application of craft and artisanal skills to create added value are either beyond the capability of automation or these elements have value in the eyes of customers, then full automation is inappropriate. In such contexts, leveraging effective operations between human workers and technology becomes the key managerial and research concern.
The focus of the Up-Skill project is to develop a better understanding of how businesses, particularly in industrial and manufacturing environments, can lever value from human and machine integration. Businesses are already exploring how they can build business benefit from newly added capabilities such as big data, access to real time process data, the Internet of Things, automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, amongst others. The next step will be integrating those technologies with human capabilities
Up-Skill will improve the understanding of how businesses can lever value from human and machine integration through detailed comparative case studies.