Accurate traffic and workflow measurements are essential to bring transparency into industrial processes.
One of the most recent tech developments, which might just revolutionize movement monitoring inside venues, is indoor positioning and indoor navigation (IPIN).
How does it work?
Imagine GPS (with all its benefits) that works inside buildings. Indoor positioning of vehicles and employees is possible thanks to asset-trackers placed on trolleys, forklifts and tow tugs, as well as multiple sensors built in mobile devices, which are carried by workers during their shift. These devices communicate with with Bluetooth-based sensors, which are installed all over the venue (walls, ceilings, etc.).
Such systems, if adjusted properly, enable locating people and objects with 1-2 meters accuracy. The data about movement gathered from a plant or a store is presented in an analytical dashboard, which displays real-time and historical information, heatmaps and movement recordings, as well as detailed statistics for a specific zone, pathway or platform.
These insights ensure optimized usage of crucial resources, identify safety hazards and ease the process of adapting to the changing dynamics of production.
We have piloted this system at an Electrolux factory in Poland, specifically within a pick-up zone at the component warehouse. After four weeks of collecting data, our team delivered precise information about: movement patterns (the usage level of pathways, entrances and other spaces), shifts’ activity level and the time spent in a certain zone and on a given task. What’s more, the system enabled us to monitor the usage rate of vehicles and the occupancy of platforms. Such data helps to identify areas for productivity improvements. Likewise, you can take a closer look at the workflow of your staff to standardize the production processes, boost efficiency and increase output.
We see potential application in emergency situations. After an accident within a plant, managers can easily check the dashboard and see whether all employees have evacuated or if someone is still in danger. Indoor positioning enables monitoring of the exact whereabouts of potential victims, which assists rescue. What’s more, managers can play back the recordings and go step by step through events that caused the accident.
By employing precise indoor-location technology, plant operators can boost production. How much? Well, in the coming years, the IPIN market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 58.9%.
It’s time we use this technology for industrial purposes to optimize processes, make better use of resources and increase the safety of our workers.
Grzegorz Koblański is the CEO of Indoorway.