Jul 22, 2019
Safety managers must make cybersecurity a priority when integrating technology into their processes for a zero-harm safety culture. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is reforming how manufacturing companies operate. The goal is increased productivity with lower rates of error and incidents that warp overall quality.
The manufacturing sector also has seen continuous improvement in safety processes as a result of ever-changing technologies and evolving processes.
Here are six IIoT trends safety managers should consider when implementing new technology into an existing safety program:
1. Combining IoT Sensors With Computer Vision
Where worker safety is concerned, companies are increasingly using IoT sensors and computer vision to foster well-being and safety. Computer vision serves to replicate the function of the human brain and act as eyes act. These sensors can detect even minute distinctions between in an environmental context and then immediately responds accordingly. Some computer vision systems can automatically stop industrial equipment to prevent injuries if an abnormality is sensed.
2. Fitting Workers With High-Tech Wearables
Many safety manufacturers are supplying their workers with training in protective equipment like goggles and high-visibility vests. These new wearables are intended to keep workers safe. To be clear, classic property, plant, and equipment gear aren't going out of style and aren't meant to be replaced entirely. Rather, these new IIoT wearables are meant to complement what is already working.
Safety glasses with augmented reality components already built-in are a great example of how tech is shaping safety training and safety leadership. There is also a wearable which monitors things like employee posture so that less stress is placed on the backs of workers, for example.
3. Installing Integrated Building Safety Systems
Many buildings are currently being overhauled to come standard with integrated safety sensors built directly into them rather than external devices. For example, panic buttons can be integrated directly in the building itself, should there be an emergency. Once pressed, internal and external authorities are notified and can immediately respond to a threat such as a safety accident or a shooting.
4. Continuing to Focus on IIoT Security to Ensure Safety
Cybercriminals are becoming more advanced and often try to outsmart the technology. Even the most advanced IIoT systems may remain vulnerable to these threats. That's why manufacturing companies must always incorporate cybersecurity into their safety checks.
If these safety measures are not taken, there's a very real chance of malfunction in connected equipment and a higher chance of an accident. IIoT security is a top trend in 2019, and it will likely remain a high priority for any organization.
5. Relying on Industrial Robots That Aren't in Cages
What do you imagine when you think of an industrial robot? When most people think of industrial robotics, they picture a room-sized machine confined to a cage so it can move without potentially harming any human workers. While these robots still exist, they frequently are getting replaced artificial intelligence to help large industrial robots work around humans without any cages whatsoever.
6. Using Location-Based Analytics and Real-Time Location Systems for Improved IIoT Safety
Imagine a computer-based safety sensor alerting plant employees when they have crossed into an unauthorized area.
Checking to see if people are where they should be at a particular point in time is an integral part of keeping them safe. Systems that provide safety supervisors with location-based data from Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) help managers verify their employees are keeping safe.
Kayla Matthews | Jul 22, 2019 - The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is reshaping how manufacturing companies work, increasing productivity while achieving higher consistency levels and lower error rates.
Manufacturing also has seen continuous improvement in safety processes as a result of evolving technologies.
When integrating new technology into your safety program, here are six IIoT trends EHS managers should consider.
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