The connected worker aspect of Industrial Transformation involves using digital technologies that better connect frontline workers with their work environment for productivity, safety, and quality improvement. According to LNS Research1, nearly half of industrial companies have deployed intelligent wearable technologies such as smart glasses, wristbands, and sensor-equipped personal protective equipment.
On a recent ProcessMAP EHS Leadership Roundtable, Chief Technology Officer Jagan Garimella shared a presentation on the digital transformation of industrial operations, and how connected worker strategies are an important aspect of this digital transformation. ProcessMAP has been monitoring the progress of companies who are embracing the concept of Industry 4.0 and is helping companies to adopt the connected worker philosophy.
In manufacturing, connected workers are integrated into their environment, empowered with information, and supported by digital manufacturing systems. Some of the challenges to becoming a connected worker include enhancing the employee experience, monitoring workers, improving efficiency, maintaining health and safety of workers, including tracking all unanticipated injuries or near misses, hazardous conditions, unsafe acts and unsafe conditions.
ProcessMAP is leveraging the direction that the manufacturing industry is following. As digitization increases, IoT or the Internet of Things, and technologies come into play. ProcessMAP is following that same playbook for its own research and product development. These efforts include studying how to improve safety, providing data for analytics-driven decisions, whether those are artificial intelligence or machine learning, making a more connected platform for connected workers, or having a boundary-less worker. There is a great deal of flexibility in terms of how technology can easily integrate and assimilate without causing a huge roadmap or potential for disruption.
The goal at ProcessMAP is very simple - to improve safety and help customers to monitor and decrease incidents. The next concern is helping customers to improve safety in their field operations. Whether conducting an audit for compliance purposes or an inspection, or creating any kind of a checklist, or to help determine how to streamline field operations, ProcessMAP is helping provide customers access to documentation, safety data sheets, procedures, and completed risk assessments. ProcessMAP’s innovations are focused on helping customers to improve safety, streamline field operations, and improve compliance. ProcessMAP helps customers to utilize their compiled data to improve insights in terms of charts, dashboards, and other reports.
The premise of the connected worker is human-centric, based on one individual. Whether it is an employee, or a contractor, the connected worker platform is based on human beings and is not just process centric. There are numerous benefits, including being able to improve attention, making working conditions more comfortable, improving employee retention for the long term, and increasing a company’s ROI from investing in training.
ProcessMAP has invested in a zero-code app development platform. Over the last few years, this platform has enabled customers to build their own apps, using technology which is already pre-built and enables them to easily make modifications. A zero-code platform, which might also be called a low-code or a no-code platform, is intended to provide customers with the capability to expedite their digital integration and bring in process solutions for their plants.
The ProcessMAP system collects data that can feed into the connected worker platform, including organization data, departments, facilities, and various geographies. It collects employee demographic information, vehicle information, driver information and more. ProcessMAP’s platform also collects asset information on machinery and equipment, through the asset registry app, that will allow customers to see – and not just tag assets – but also any kind of training documentation, manuals, procedures, and even lock-out, tag-out procedures that a company can associate with those assets. The platform also manages compliance data from permits and required tasks to be performed on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis that are critical for a company’s operations. The platform can collect inspection data, action items, and findings from internal or external audits that companies conduct on a regular basis. Finally, the platform can also manage documents, policies, procedures, and risk assessments.
Customers can choose from pre-configured apps or build something from scratch. Users can customize the platform by dropping or adding fields, swapping sections and can share the apps with users by role, by region, or however the platform is configured. Users can start collecting data on any mobile device, and can export the data out, or now with Insight Integration, users can start looking at the information along with the other data sets from Incident Management, Task Management or Audit Management, for example. This simple process allows users to pick what fields they like, customize, share, and start collecting data. If a user wants to make a change, they can easily go back and make revisions, and expand upon the process to get the data that is needed.
1 – LNS Research, Industrial Transformation Blog, Author Peter S. Bussey, March 12, 2019