Part of the work of the HyperCOG project is to understand how future technologies will impact on today’s work environment within the plants of the SPIRE sector. The hard and soft skills that will be needed in the future will be identified to support current and future workers in dealing with the technological, process and culture change introduced by digitalisation. Finally, the best ways to teach these new competencies will be identified and implemented.
We spoke to Cynthia Lamothe of ESTIA about the progress in this area of the project.
Could you give an update on the progress of WP6 so far?
So far, we have been able to examine the situation as it is at the Solvay site. The objective has been to acquire a good understanding of the organisation, processes and people (typology of workers, competences…) related to the scope of the project.
The ESTIA team has been spending days and nights with the Solvay teams in order to observe the work they perform and carry out some interviews. We want to thank them for sharing these moments with us, explaining their jobs and for answering our questions – even the simpler ones!
On the first day, when we had to wear all the security items for the first time, it was very difficult for us to have good visibility with the helmet, the mask and the glasses. We were not used to wearing all these items and it was very difficult to see. When we met the first workers, we asked them their names, and they politely answered our question. Some hours later, we realised that their names were written on their helmets!
We have discovered very specific jobs with highly skilled workers who make decisions for the system to work and for the batteries to produce properly. They break everything down with a high level of expertise and are adept at teamwork.
As a result, we are finalising three deliverables : the map of operators jobs and competences, the typology/profiles of worker, and the qualitative information report with a SWOT analysis based on worker feedback.
How does this tie into the work of the other work packages and the overall project?
For now, interactions with the other work packages are quite limited as we are in the process of understanding what is going on at the site today without the HyperCOG solution. However, in the next steps we will need to understand the solutions that we are implementing in order to be able to explain and train the workers who will need to use it. The role of WP6 is fundamental, because putting in place a solution that nobody wants or can use properly would be nonsensical.
What are the next steps in your work package?
As a next step, we will need to understand and explain the future solution for Solvay, in order to detect the competency gaps between the way workers work today and the way they will need to work tomorrow. This will then lead to the training content definition. As soon as the COVID-19 situation improves, we will also need to perform the analysis at SIDENOR and CIMSA.
How have you found the effects of the pandemic have affected your experience of working in a project such as HyperCOG?
WP6 requires close work in situ with the workers of the three sites. Unfortunately, until now we have only been able to go to the Solvay site. As a result, the first deliverables that we have issued, are based only on Solvay. Whenever we can go to Sidenor and Cimsa, we will complete them.
What part of the project are you most excited about?
Meeting workers and discovering their work environment. We are excited about the the prospect of meeting the SIDENOR and CIMSA partners soon (we hope).