Since the 1970s, the application of microprocessor in industrial machinery and the development of computer systems have transformed the manufacturing landscape. The rapid integration and automation of production systems have outpaced the development of suitable human design criteria, creating a deepening gap between humans and systems in which human was seen as an important source of errors and disruptions. Today, the situation seems different: the scientific and public debate about the concept of Industry 4.0 has raised awareness about the central role humans have to play in manufacturing systems, the design of which must be considered from the very beginning. The future of industrial systems, as represented by Industry 4.0, will rely on the convergence of several research fields such as Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS), Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), Internet of Things (IoT), but also socio-technical fields such as social approaches within technical systems. This article deals with different human social dimensions associated with CPS and IoT and focuses on their conceptual evolution regarding automated production systems’ sociability, notably by bringing humans back in the loop. Hereby, this paper aims to take stock of current research trends to show the importance of integrating human operators as a part of a socio-technical system based autonomous and intelligent products or resources. Consequently, different models of sociability as a way to integrate humans in the broad sense and/or the develop future automated production systems have been identified from the literature and analysed.
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