Wearables On The Factory Floor: The New 'Working Normal'

Keith Tilley, CEO of Intoware, explains how the pandemic is accelerating the push towards digitisation and wearables as part of the new ‘working normal’.

As we are all adopting video conferencing in the office as the new ‘working normal’, on the factory floor increasing digitisation and wearable tech featuring augmented (AR) reality are helping to streamline everything from machinery inspections to avoid bottlenecks on the assembly line.

This is achieved by allowing a remote worker to see the physical world in video and annotate physical objects, using a mobile (Android and IOS), tablet or head-mounted device. It enables the worker to capture every step of a production process by creating instructions for others to follow, from a manufacturing plant here or on the other side of the world.

COVID-19 has accelerated the push towards the new ‘working normal’ as businesses look to optimise productivity, cost savings and increase remote working to ensure staff safety.

Knowledge capture is the ‘game-changer’

WorkfloPlus developed by Intoware is a workflow automation platform using mobile and AR technology from our partner Realwear which aims to digitise audit, compliance and manufacturing processes. As by switching to digital instructions manufacturers can build a huge bank of data for machine audits and they can also predict when failures in manufacturing or assembly processes may occur.

It is the capture and utilisation of this knowledge that is a real ‘game-changer’. By providing real-time analytics, WorkfloPlus is delivering new insights that will help deliver greater efficiencies, reduce costs and drive further innovation.

A manufacturer that is taking advantage of these innovative technologies is Bayer Pharmaceutical. It has recently tested and is now deploying WorkfloPlus with Realwear HMT-1 headsets to help manage its production change over process, in what is a highly regulated market.

As drug manufacturing requires regular cleaning and changeovers between each batch, by using WorkfloPlus it allows this procedure to be taken in a constant and timely manner, to help minimise any “down-time” for greater cost efficiency, while at the same time it provides a thorough audit check that a manual ‘tick-list’ could never deliver.

This is just one example of how ‘disruptive’ technologies are creating a safer, more connected ‘working-normal’ to achieve greater operational visibility, productivity and cost savings. Isn’t it time to fall in love with what the tech can do for you, not just the tech itself?


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