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John S. Forrester
June 9, 2020
2 Min Read
Siemens is releasing a new solution to help manufacturers monitor the effectiveness of social distancing procedures in their operations.Image courtesy of Siemens
As manufacturing operations across the globe work to reopen their operations following full or partial shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, German industrial technology firm Siemens is releasing a new solution that aims to help production facilities ensure that its social distancing efforts are working.
The company’s SIMATIC Real Time Locating System (RTLS) allows manufacturers to model how staff members interact with other workers, production lines, and their plant’s layout. Data from the system can help operations to refine their workspace layouts, gauge the effectiveness of current safety procedures, and increase efficiency,
“We are helping out customers create a safe work environment, which is extremely important as they look to produce efficiently and reliably under unprecedented circumstances,” Siemens Digital Industries Software President and Chief Executive Officer Tony Hemmelgarn said in a statement. “The combination of real time distancing management and digital solutions will help companies maintain safe work environments today and make educated decisions about ongoing and long-term organization.”
Data on the movement of workers in the facility and provides measurements of the distance between workers. The system uses transponders embedded in worker badges and receivers installed throughout the facility to track worker movements and distances between workers. If two workers get within six feet of each other, a warning is displayed on the badges.
“Combining Siemens’ SIMATIC RTLS with a digital twin of the actual manufacturing environment permits companies to model and simulate how employees interact with the equipment and each other, enabling them to iterate and optimize safety and productivity in the short term,” the company said in a release, “and validate a redesign of the entire operation before more costly physical changes are made.”
Siemens said the data generated by worker movements can help manufacturers to figure out where high risk “hot spots” exist in their facilities.
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