Social sustainability


The growing attention to the sustainable development issues in manufacturing is increasingly pushing companies to deepen all three pillars of sustainability, including the social one. Furthermore, the fourth industrial revolution defines not only a change in production but also a new way of interaction between human and the production system. Overall, the scientific literature addresses the well-being of the operator and his role in the Industry 4.0 from different and complementary points of view, but highlights the lack of holistic and proactive approaches. In particular, it provides numerous methods and tools for ergonomic analysis; illustrates how technology increasingly supports the operator in carrying out activities; underlines the importance and the boundaries of collaboration between human and automation and reiterates the need for a new factory model based on dynamic adaptation. In fact, there are no frameworks, methods and tools that enrich the physical and process perspective of work to understand other relevant aspects in order to enhance human capital and to consider concretely, constructively and at 360 ° its well-being in the working context. Furthermore, there is a need for new approaches to support the planning and evaluation of work, in a production context characterized by the presence of human workers and CPS. In this context, the research is aimed at defining a sustainable plant model from a social point of view with particular attention to the needs of the operators within the workshop. This model is based on the best trade-off between production objectives and physical-cognitive needs of individuals operating in the production context, measured through a sensorized environment able to monitor vital and environmental parameters within the plant. The analysis of the data through intelligent algorithms allows to identify which activities have a greater impact on the operators and define the corrective actions to be implemented in order to modify the productive environments towards their needs, defining a dual functioning paradigm of human-machine integration. The goal is to define the optimal conditions for the 4.0 operator that interacts with advanced technology systems (collaborative robots, augmented reality technologies, etc.) towards the standardization of advanced skills necessary for the management of the factory of the future.


The activities are carried out in the Virtual Prototyping laboratory

  1. Gregori, F., Papetti, A., Pandolfi, M., Peruzzini, M., Germani, M., 2018. Improving a production site from a social point of view: An IoT infrastructure to monitor workers condition. Procedia CIRP, 72, pp. 886–891.
  2. Papetti, A., Gregori, F., Pandolfi, M., Peruzzini, M., Germani, M., 2018. IoT to Enable Social Sustainability in Manufacturing Systems. Advances in Transdisciplinary Engineering, 7, pp. 53-62. doi: 10.3233/978-1-61499-898-3-53
  3. Gregori, F., Papetti, A., Pandolfi, M., Peruzzini, M., Germani, M., 2017. Digital Manufacturing Systems: A Framework to Improve Social Sustainability of a Production Site. Procedia CIRP, 63, pp. 436 – 442.
  4. Peruzzini, M., Gregori, F., Luzi, A., Mengarelli, M., Germani, M., 2017. A social life cycle assessment methodology for smart manufacturing: The case of study of a kitchen sink. Journal of Industrial Information Integration, 7, pp. 24-32.
  5. Germani, M., Gregori, F., Luzi, A., Mengarelli, M., 2015. Assessing social sustainability of products: An improved S-LCA method. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 467, pp. 529-540. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-33111-9_48
Scientific Manager
Working group