Wearable technology is becoming a part of our everyday lives in ways we never expected. Step-trackers track our activity, sleep monitors track our rest, we wear RFID badges for controlled access areas and bluetooth headsets allow us to have hands-free conversation. Because this technology is relatively new, wearables have not made their way into all aspects of business and industry. Wearable technology for industrial environments, or industrial wearables, are becoming more and more common and will soon be an intrinsic part of any facility that needs to remain competitive. This is because industrial wearables can increase efficiency, improve safety, shorten communication loops, reinvent onboarding and training processes and allow remote experts to weigh in on technical issues. How can this be possible? Let’s see some examples:
Increase Plant Efficiency
One way efficiency can be improved is through understanding the movement of employees through the facility during daily operations. By tracking employee movements new processes can be developed to improve plant efficiency.
Wearables can transmit critical safety information to employees about facility conditions or Lock-Out, Tag-Out (LOTO) status. A wearable device can be used to detect injuries or falls or notify employees when a safety risk is present. Wearable devices can also help to make sure rotation occurs as designed by process to minimize risk or fatigue or repetition causing risk or injury.
Shorten Communication Loops
Industrial Wearables can ensure staff have the information they need through various means. Safety alerts, hands-free radio communications, text messages, access to critical documentation and data directly from sensors or equipment can be piped directly to the person who needs them at all times.
When onboarding and training new employees, wearable technology can act as a training aid. Augmented Reality (AR) devices can overlay critical information on the user’s view. Remote expert systems allows a trainer to ‘see’ through the eyes of a new hire. Instant access to manuals or other training documents is available through wearables.
Leverage Remote Experts
Whether engineering consultants, vendor equipment experts or trainers for new staff, wearables allow remote experts to advise and guide on-site staff. From full Augmented Reality remote systems, to the basic ability to easily query a vendor when an issue arises, Wearables technology brings niche expertise to the plant floor in minutes instead of days.
As adoption of industrial wearables technology increases pace, facilities without wearables will eventually fall behind in efficiency and profitability. Understanding the opportunities industrial wearables present will help facilities decide which aspects of wearable technology will best benefit their operations. There are no cookie cutter solutions that work 100% of the time in any industry. Acensium is an effective partner for implementing industrial wearables technology because our team is comprised of engineers and industrial technology experts who approach each job as a unique task with a defined set of requirements. Acensium leverages decades of experience to deliver results on every project. Contact us today!