smartFoodTechnologyOWL - TH OWL
smartFoodTechnologyOWL - futurefoodfactory

EP3: Basic technologies for cutting assistance systems in the food sector

Completed project

Companies in the meat processing industry have been experiencing a persistent shortage of skilled workers for several years, especially in the area of fine cutting. Compared to coarse cutting, which is already carried out to a large extent by automated systems, fine cutting is still primarily carried out by manual, skilled workers. Due to the shortage of skilled workers, companies are increasingly relying on the employment of unskilled personnel. However, the induction of new workers is generally difficult: the high cultural diversity of the workers to be inducted results in major language barriers, making communication between the employees and thus also the transfer of the necessary knowledge more difficult.

In the long term, this will create a need among companies for digital solutions that support the induction of new workers and counteract existing problems such as language barriers. A promising approach for the realization of such familiarization systems is offered by digital assistance systems developed for the support of industrial assembly and maintenance activities. These systems based on stationary or mobile augmented reality (AR) technologies allow relevant text- or image-based information as well as virtual markers to be superimposed directly into the field of view or the workspace to generate interactive instructions.

In Explorative Project 3, these assistance system solutions are to be investigated with regard to their transferability and applicability for the training and further education of workers in the field of fine disassembly. The goal of the project is the realization of an assistance system that enables the interactive teaching of cutting operations of different levels of difficulty and at the same time mitigates existing problems such as language or cultural barriers. This is intended to secure the training of new employees in the field of fine cutting in the long term.

Benefits for the OWL University of Applied Sciences

The cooperation between ILT.NRW and inIT will consolidate and further expand the interdisciplinary research strength of the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences. At the same time, the transfer of research and development services to the region is intensified through the cooperation with the Tönnies company and thus contributes positively to the profile of Lemgo as a research location. In addition, the development of a new research field resulting from the described cooperation is a strategically important goal.

Benefits for the practice partners and other third parties

The envisaged assistance system is to be used both for persons to be trained and for training purposes for experienced employees. The saving of unnecessary committees is just as decisive as shortened or more resource-saving training and learning times. The systems can also be expanded with little effort to include additional training scenarios and mapped to other fields of activity, enabling cross-industry application.


Project leader

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. phil. Dr. rer. soc. Carsten Röcker

Right panel

Clicking outside this panel wont close it because clickClose = false