Connected Worker

Virtual Remote Guidance | Employee Training | Performance Optimization | Worker Safety | Inspection & Quality Control | Operational Visibility | Maintenance Optimization

Connected Worker

Objective Utilizes tailored software combinations enabled on wearable devices, smartphones and tablets to provide an effective way for field workers to visualize, consume and communicate actionable information.

Technologies Systems Integration, MyRoom VRG, Edgeline Systems, Ubiquitous Wireless Network, ClearPass/Airwave, HMT-1Z1, ThingWorx, Vuforia, ThingMark

Partners CBT, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Aruba Wireless, RealWear, PTC

 

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In an environment where a single spark can risk an explosion and lives, ubiquitous, off-the-shelf personal devices like cell phones are a liability. This has made plant maintenance manual, cumbersome and time intensive. In many ways not much has changed in the last 50 years– workers carry clipboards, and used pen and paper to track data. They lug heavy and expensive intrinsically safe cameras around the plant to document and evaluate the state of equipment. Communications in these kinds of environments are also limited, with workers typically in contact with the control room only via two-way radio. In short, information is not readily available, which translates into inefficiencies, greater cost and risk.

Connected Worker evolves the plant environment from pencil-and-clipboard to the future of IIoT and Edge Computing

Connected Worker brings manufacturing and chemical plants into the 21st century by providing key personnel instant visibility to critical data and enabling immediate, informed decisions. It also reduces the amount of equipment a worker has to bring into the field, enhances training procedures, and improves overall worker safety.

Connected Worker– Highlighted Use Case: Inspection & Quality Control

A broken camera, a loading deadline, and alot of employee ingenuity lead to one of the primary Texmark IIoT use Cases. 

In a chemical plant, rail loading areas are meticulously restricted to ensure worker and plant safety, chemicals are loaded, hatches on the rail cars secured and closed, and photos taken of those closed hatches, as proof of safety.

At Texmark, the loaders used a custom camera for this procedure which they nicknamed the ‘brick’– enclosed in an explosive proof case, the brick was heavy, cumbersome, bulky, and expensive, costing around $3,000.

One day, during routine loading the brick was dropped 20 feet while securing and photographing the hatches. With deadlines rapidly approaching, and clients relying on them, the Texmark team needed a solution. They had been testing Realwear’s helmet for training, but had not explored uses for data collection or for taking video. For Texmark the core functionality had been around communications. 

The lead loader without any training, grabbed the helmet, headed back to the rail loading area and began experimenting– the helmet was hands free, light weight, and the data and photographs instantly available to the plant’s control center. The Realwear helmet is now Texmark’s standard for loading and happily, the ‘brick’ has been retired. 

For Doug Smith, CEO of Texmark, this use case highlights the importance of involving employees at all levels of the organization as new technology is made available. IIoT is not something that should be separate from the workforce, it’s not a replacement– it’s a competitive advantage. 

 

Use Cases:

Virtual Remote Guidance | Employee Training | Performance Optimization | Worker Safety | Inspection & Quality Control | Operational Visibility | Maintenance Optimization

 

Benefits and Value:

  • Enables immediate, informed decision making
  • Reduces the amount of equipment a worker has to carry/maintain in the field
  • Enhances training procedures and optimizes maintenance routines
  • Improves worker safety overall, i.e., reduces worker’s work period in hazardous areas

 

Impact

  • 75% reduction in time to identify asset risks

Formerly, workers had to manually locate unstructured, paper files (asset’s P&IDs, inspection reports, asset drawings, etc). Now, workers retrieve documents digitally, obtain a 3-D rotational view of assets and obtain risk-based inspection graphs.

  • 90% reduction in time to file necessary compliance evidence

Traditionally required taking pictures with cumbersome hand-held cameras with manual download/filing system. Now achieved via handsfree wearable device (HMT-1Z1) that enables picture taking, audio inscription, remote transmission, and instant electronic filing.