Social Distancing Meets RTLS: How Our Customer ASM Protects Employees From Corona in a Creative Way
With the current situation, positive news is especially welcome. One positive note came from our customer ASM. And it gave us hope for the next few months.
In the corona crisis, one terrible news follows the other. At KINEXON, as a digital company, we are very lucky to be able to keep operations running from our home office. However, for many of our customers this is not possible.
We naturally have been following the developments in society, politics and the economy with highest interest. Exchanging ideas and thoughts on a daily basis on how to adapt to the constantly changing circumstances.
Some small, but good news
Last week, we got an interesting message during a call with our customer ASM that is one of the world’s largest supplier of best-in-class equipment and technological process partner for the electronics industry: A use case that we had implemented in a production plant in 2019 was “extended”.
Keeping production running and protecting employees at the same time
In addition to optimizing shop floor utilization, the client is now using our precise real-time localization technology to control social distancing on the shop floor. To be specific, a project manager of ASM told us:
“We must ensure social distancing in order to protect our employees. But we also have to keep production running at the best possible rate to get through this crisis economically. So, on the one hand, we have asked our employees to always keep several meters distance on the shop floor. On the other hand, they should also avoid meeting at shift changes. In our KINEXON Real-Time-IoT platform we can verify if these specifications work on the shop floor.”
Our freedom of movement is limited, but our creativity is not!
The employees wear small KINEXON sensors with UWB radio technology. Anchors installed under the ceiling detect their movements in a defined area. All data are recorded and processed in real time by the KINEXON RTLS. At the same time they are provided within the KINEXON Real-Time-IoT platform for analysis and processing with external data from third-party systems.
How anonymous worker data can help employees
It is important that emloyees were confortable with the technology and not monitored during off time. The implementation of the use case was carried out in close cooperation with ASM’s workers’ council.
In addition, we made sure that the transaction data is recorded anonymously by not being able to link the sensors with information about their wearers. This way, valuable live insights are provided to the controlling department, which helps them to react quickly and at the same time on a factual basis to an ever faster moving market.
As a result, planning errors can be prevented and jobs be secured. And the current situation: ASM employees are being protected against infection with the globally rampant SARS-CoV‑2 virus by using KINEXON RIoT.
The use case was quickly converted to ensure social distancing on the shop floor and thus keep operations running at their best. Of course this is only a small side story. But it should encourage us to remain creative!
Now we are really learning about digitization!
The potential of digitization does not end at the home office. And digitisation is not in its final form. It’s a constant process. It’s not a like a TV that you turn on and the entertainment begins.
It is more similar to building an orchrestra where you can select your instruments, determine what they will play, and arrange them in a selective way. Music can be noise but it can also heal.
Similiarly, a lot of “noise” is also made with digital tools. Now is the time to learn, use, and arrange these tools properly. This is how music is made to heal and provide value.
Immediately ideas began to pop up:
- What about zones around employees that give acoustic signals as soon as a colleague on the shop floor approaches too closely?
- What about automated access controls to ensure that there are never more than x people in a room?
- What about automated signals if an employee does not take the direct route to the sink after a certain action to wash his hands immediately?
- How about if employees wear our UWB sensors visibly and see they flash as soon as a colleague is not maintaining the correct “social distance”?
- Or in clinics: What about autonomously controlled AGVs that bring food to patients to relieve the clinic staff? Or just to pick up the empty trays ?
All of this is already possible with our technology. And this is only a small insight into our recent internal conversation. We all want to overcome this crisis quickly. We are all creative and we all have digital tools at our fingertips that can be used to quickly establish new processes.
So if you are reading these words here: Let us think in all directions and let us now take advantage of what we have initiated with the digitization of our economy!
Hence the call to all our customers, contacts, and all entrepreneurs: Do not discard any idea or approach! If you believe that real-time localization and real-time data analysis can help, contact us! Together we can keep processes running safely and efficiently.
(Author: Alexander Hüttenbrink)
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