Smart wristbands have become a trend nowadays. These devices connect to our smartphones and continuously track our daily physical activities. These bands keep us well informed about any health-related symptoms and the preventive measures we may take to keep ourselves healthy. For instance, after long continuous hours of work, they remind us about taking rest and recharging ourselves to improve our efficiency; they suggest proper exercises to fulfil our daily dose of activities; they alert us about refuelling ourselves with water at regular intervals.
That’s the power of an IoT enabled human being. It ensures the human body, which is like a machine, to remain in a balanced working condition. One may opt to have several other benefits as well. For example, some applications enable a user to keep track of his or her diet, a person’s medical needs like health check-up reminders, scheduled medicine reminders and help to stay in touch with a physician, and some apps will alert a close acquaintance in case of medical emergency. Not just health and fitness, but some of these wristbands also have SOS alert notification, which a person can use in case his or her safety is compromised.
With such a conventional example, I want to convey that how the IoT enabled devices help in adding to an individual’s capabilities. Today, IoT along with other digital technologies, offer tremendous opportunities for the business world. For instance, we may consider a factory floor constituting two primary entities: heavy machinery - both movable and fixed ones, and the human workers, working in this high-risk zone. Apparently, by leveraging the digital technologies, the factory floors in future ought to be a much safer version of today. In this article, we will see how we can make it possible by connecting the two main factory entities: the assets and the workers.
Asset’s fitness, safety, efficiency: Save the machines to save lives, prevent accidents and improve efficiency
The industrial machinery requires constant monitoring and services to enable seamless functioning. Any break-down or stoppage may lead to massive losses with a chain of delays from shop floor to the top floor. By connecting these mission-critical machines to the Internet, we can solve several problems. IoT devices offer quite a few advantages like predictive maintenance, condition-based maintenance as well as scheduled service reminders to maintain efficient working conditions.
Besides the usual maintenance operations, these Connected Assets have a built-in analytics engine that helps in real-time monitoring. They are helpful in case of undesirable work practices like over-loading and over-utilizing of assets, creating an unsafe work environment prone to accidents and life-threatening for the workers. These IoT based machines also possess safety features which are helpful in case of theft and misuse of machines.
Employee’s fitness, safety, efficiency: Create a safer work environment with improved worker satisfaction
Safety and fitness of the factory floor workers are of utmost importance. The work environment is not always reliable and there can be severe repercussions if adequate precautionary measures are not implemented. Despite so many safety measures to prevent accidents, there are mishaps due to human error, lack of attention and other unpredictable phenomena. An undetected gas leakage could be hazardous if the gas is inflammable or if it is poisonous. Over-work by a worker may cause fatigue leading to accidents while working with heavy machinery.
With the development of IoT technologies, innovative instruments in the form of wearables have been devised that can alert a worker in such undesirable scenarios. Devices like smart helmets can detect gas leakages, fatigue level of workers and can even guide the worker for help related to work. These helmets have a feature to alert a central control in case of a man-down situation. Smart watches have intelligent display features to help administrators quickly communicate tasks to the workers. These devices help in improving the overall performance and the satisfaction level of the workers.
The Bigger Picture: Build a safer and smarter shop floor with an IoT Ecosystem