EUnited encourages support for the Good Work Charter

June 14, 2022

The European Engineering Industries Association (EUnited) is inviting companies and organizations to support the Good Work Charter, developed by the European Robotics Industry. The Charter defines 10 principles for shaping the future of work. It serves as a guideline to actively pursue a human-centric approach to automation in a world where humans interact ever more closely with robots. By joining the supporter campaign, companies publicly demonstrate their commitment to follow the Charter’s principles in the workplace.

“The Good Work Charter is a groundbreaking initiative for sustainability and corporate social responsibility with regard to the future of work in Europe,” EUnited Robotics Chairman Wilfried Eberhardt said.

Companies that use robotics in their production as well as manufacturers of robotics and automation technology can become supporters by signing a declaration of endorsement. Signatories are asked to provide concrete examples of implementation to demonstrate how they follow the Charter´s principles.

The Charter wants robots to relieve workers, e.g. of the dull, dangerous and dirty work that is not well-suited for human nature. Employees should work like humans and not like machines. Robots should assist humans and create opportunities for their professional development. Altogether, 10 focus areas define how to attain human-centric workplaces with a high degree of automation.

How companies implement Good Work standards

The following examples illustrate how companies already put the principles of the Good Work Charter into practice. 

Working like humans, not like machines: A very important but rather repetitive task is to scan books. National libraries, magazine publishers or companies of all sizes want to digitize their archives. Robot manufacturer IGUS, based in Cologne, Germany, developed an automated book scanner. This machine relieves human colleagues from endless page turning. All they have to do is to decide which books to scan (Automated book scanner I      

Human robot collaboration and fusion skills: Employees at a BMW Group plant are supported by a KUKA cobot. In the assembly process, workers previously had to lift heavy differential cases that are difficult to grasp. Now, the robot helps handling the ergonomically demanding job of adjusting the front axle drive by the millimeter. Humans and robots are working hand in hand to install the differential cases for the front axle transmissions in less than half a minute (HRC system at BMW's production plant | KUKA AG).

Inclusion and participation: The collaborative robot, Sawyer, supports people with disabilities at a sheltered workshop in Iserlohn. The system projects individual assembly steps onto the work surface, thereby guiding the employees through the process. Once the part has been assembled, other employees perform the visual quality check with Sawyer’s support. The goal of the project by Iserlohner Werkstätten and Rethink Robotics is to create systems that can help to prepare people with disabilities for their first job (Rethink Robotics News | Rethink Robotics).

Ease of use: Robotics is no longer only a domain for a select group of highly trained roboticists and engineers. The mission of Danish Startup Nordbo Robotics is to “democratize robotics” by providing a technology that allows everyone to automate tasks with no prior programming experience. Its Mimic Kit allows workers to intuitively record movements and transfer them to the robot. This provides new opportunities for employees to improve their professional perspectives (Nordbo Robotics Mimic Kit I 

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