RTLS - A tool for the recovery of industry

We have unprecedented challenges ahead of us but we can prepare.

In the new "normal" of social distancing, plant safety takes on a whole new meaning. As production is restarted, companies across the U.S. are trying to determine how best to protect their employees while ensuring optimal output with a smart, long-term technology investment.  We are ready to partner with you to help tackle some of the challenges you are sure to face.

Do you have a use case? We can work with you to prepare a solution.

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Social distancing and contact tracing with RTLS

Manufacturers have many dynamic new challenges at the top of their mind - ranging from safety to cost. We have the technology to adopt, adapt and react quickly.
rtls hot spots
Identifying Hotspots

Optimization of high traffic areas where violations occur frequently. 

RTLS trace movement
Path and Interaction Tracker

If employee becomes sick, past interactions can be reviewed and action taken.

rtls reporting
Re-usability for other use cases

Infrastructure can be used for other tasks - production control, asset tracking, WIP, etc. Employee monitoring could be reactivated.

Social Distancing Violations

Ensure employees are maintaining a safe distance.

The top concern for many companies is how to make the work place as safe as possible while putting mechanisms in place to ensure long-term success.  What might that look like?  

 

Safety concerns might include:

  • Implementing new guidelines such as appropriate social distancing.
  • Monitoring employee interactions while respecting their privacy.
  • Improving employee, union and executive confidence to accelerate plant start-ups.

How RTLS could help:

  • Provide visual feedback to employees when social distancing violations take place.
  • Maintain records of social distancing violations.  For example: Who was involved, by capturing unique identification number (UID) of tags? Where did the violations happen on the premises? How long had the violations occured?
  • Contact tracing to alert employees who have been in close contact with an employee who tests positive.
  • Blockchain techniques to address employee privacy.

SieTrace

The SieTrace application and existing RTLS solutions can help plant managers and operation managers optimize facility layouts and protect employee health reliably and efficiently. By monitoring customer defined unsafe interactions, SieTrace can help minimize virus transmission and provide vital contact tracing with a recorded history of employee interactions.  Learn more about SieTrace.

As economies continue to open, the rise in demand will also go up.  This will require companies to ramp up production in a sustainable way.  And that means making modifications.

 

Considerations for resuming production:

  • Ensuring production line changes are optimal.
  • Operating with a dynamic workforce.
  • Modifying shift change procedures to optimize production.

Using location data to make better decisions:

  • Hot Spot Analysis can identify risk areas where violations are concentrated and allows process changes to be validated.
  • Identify employees at work stations and ensure they have been trained.
  • Monitor when and where violations are taking place.

One of the challenges presented by the pandemic are the addional costs that now have to be considered, which were not on the radar for most companies before.

 

Unexpected costs due to pandemic:

  • Keeping cleaning and disinfecting costs down.
  • Avoiding addtional shutdowns and lost production.
  • Dealing with material shortages such as partitions and cleaning supplies.

Leveraging precise location technology to minimize costs:

  • Accurately determine where an employee has moved and clean affected areas instead of entire site.
  • Identifying high risk hot spots can allow for corrective actions and prevent time consuming searches.

There is a great deal of uncertainty around what the next few months will look like and the ability to respond quickly and flexibly will be key.  A RTLS solution provides benefits that go the distance.

 

Challenges beyond today:

  • Addressing COVID-19 recovery and gaining future benefits.
  • Utilizing this new data with digital tools for future safety/production improvements.

RTLS is a smart investment:

  • Social distancing might be here to stay or it might not.  But, RTLS infrastructure can be used for other tasks beyond current social distancing needs, such as production control, asset tracking, WIP tracking, etc.
  • Location information can be used by other platforms such as for plant or human simulation.

How does the RTLS solution work?

  • A battery powered transponder (approx. 6 month battery life) communicates wirelessly with Gateways (antennas) that are installed in the facility.
  • The exact location of the transponder is calculated by triangulation.
  • Provides accuracy down to 1 foot.
  • The hardware has been established for use within industrial applications.
  • Data can be stored on-premises or on cloud-based applications. 
RTLS reporting

White Paper: Restarting your manufacturing in a COVID-19 world

How do you leverage the digital thread to safely and productively adapt to the "next normal"?  In this white paper, we show you how to navigate this new paradigm using a tried and tested Simulate-Validate-Iterate method using a combination of software and hardware.  

The components

Flexible, adaptable infrastructure

Take a decisive step towards a digital enterprise: SIMATIC RTLS is extremely easy to install, and capable of adapting in stages to increasing demands. Extra units can be added at any time – without additional configuration cost at all. The following elements cover the entire locating infrastructure.
SIMATIC RTLS portfolio

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Our team is ready to discuss your specific use case. Please get in touch.