News | 03.10.23

The role of positioning technology to elevate safety and operational efficiency within heavy industry

Heavy industry is continuously evolving, finding new methods and processes to increase efficiency while protecting people and ensuring sustainable operations.

The heavy industry sector, including steel plants and manufacturing facilities, faces several common challenges when it comes to efficiency and safety. The operations usually involve complex environments with a mix of employees, contractors, machines, materials, logistics, and several activities running in parallel – often resulting in delays, miscommunications, and, most crucially, safety hazards. However, many of these challenges can be addressed by the integration of advanced positioning technology.

Common challenges

Complex workflows
One of the primary hurdles in heavy industry is the complexity of workflows. Multiple teams including employees and external contractors, often spread across large facilities, must coordinate seamlessly to ensure that operations run smoothly. Unfortunately, communication gaps and delays can lead to inefficiencies, costly errors, and potential safety risks. Traditional methods like paper-based systems are no longer sufficient.

Ensuring safety at all times
Ensuring everyone’s safety and responding quickly to emergencies are constant concerns within heavy industry. In high-risk environments, such as steel and chemical plants, even minor mistakes can have catastrophic consequences. Making it possible to quickly warn people in case of a potentially riskful situation or coordinate emergency response can be challenging without the right tools and technology.

Operational inefficiencies
Optimizing workforce efficiency and productivity is a common challenge within heavy industries. Employees often spend significant time locating equipment, coordinating activities, or manually updating schedules. This inefficiency can severely hinder operational efficiency.

Resource and asset management
Managing and tracking assets, equipment, material, and personnel efficiently is vital. Not being able to track the location of critical assets in real-time can lead to downtime, costly delays and bottlenecks in production

The power of positioning technology

Fortunately, modern positioning technology adapted for complex industrial environments has emerged as a game-changer, providing automated solutions to the challenges that have been hard to solve for the industry.

By the implementation of positioning solutions, organizations are able to track the location of assets, tools, materials, and personnel in real-time. This location information is invaluable for optimizing workflows and reducing downtime. It enables companies to significantly reduce time spent on locating equipment, enabling employees to focus on their core tasks and enhancing productivity. The technology also has the potential to improve collaboration and efficient information distribution.

With high accuracy, positioning technology pinpoints the location of people, equipment, and hazardous areas, allowing quick response in the event of a riskful situations or emergencies. This improves overall workforce safety and minimizes the risk of accidents since the technology allows people to act before the risk becomes a reality.

In conclusion, heavy industry faces numerous challenges related to safety and efficiency. However, the adoption of positioning technology can transform operations by offering real-time location tracking, enhanced safety measures, and improved workforce efficiency. By embracing these technological advancements, organizations are finally able to reach significantly improved levels of safety and efficiency.

Protecting people’s integrity and privacy

Positiong technology offers many advantages. However, when making use of technology that enables location tracking it is of utmost importance to protect the integrity of workers and take the necessary technical and organizational measures to comply with GDPR.  A data protection approach builds on three pillars: anonymization of data, protection of the data, and compliance with regulations on data processing. The goal should be to protect people and keep operations running efficiently with as little data collection as possible.

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