September 12, 2018
Factory2Fit: Helping to Make the First Six Months of a New Job Smoother

CORK, Ireland -- It's often said that the first six months of a job are the hardest. That stage of awkwardness can be mostly attributed to onboarding training. Names can be tricky to memorize, and buildings can be difficult to navigate.

But what if that six month learning curve were able to be cut down just four months? It can be, at least for manufacturing employees, that is.

The solution lies in the form of a skill-sharing app, which harnesses the powers of computer vision (CV) and artificial intelligence (AI). The app, which has yet to be named, melds CV and AI so that workers can use their mobile devices to scan parts and receive informative videos regarding part usage.

It was built by research scientists and software developers at the Research Center's site in Cork, Ireland.

At a glance, the genius concept is fairly simple and can essentially be broken down into two steps:

1. Seasoned employees film instructional videos on a number of different jobs and then upload those videos to an app.
2. New workers can then snap a photo of the part they’re working on and then upload it to the app. The callow workers then receive a list of how-to videos relevant to the photographed part.

The finished product may seem simple (and incredibly helpful), however, its creation was a tad more complex. Cemal Ozturk, Project Lead of Factory2Fit, helped break down the process.

"This is a really great example of how our AI and CV capabilities are helping humans and machines work together in a more productive manner," said Cemal. "There’s a lot of analytical calculations and artificial intelligence development that went into the app’s development behind the scenes."

Rakesh Mehta, the app's creator and Senior Research Scientist at the Research Center is no stranger to working with CV technology. As a top researcher at UTC, he is always working on new opportunities that can improve everyday life. This technology offering for smart factories is just one example, out of many, that embodies how UTC is ushering in the Next Industrial Revolution.

In addition to helping workers get up to speed, the app has some other great features. For instance, managers can assign tailored training courses to employees. Workers can cut down on unnecessary walking distance, through the app’s optimization to assembly processes. It also can reduce assembly times and make recommendations based on technical constraints.

The app is still in its developmental phases and is being tested at manufacturing facilities in France.

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