IoT Asset TrackingBringing Wearable IoT to Workspace
It has always been a big challenge to ensure field workers’ safety, track them remotely and, achieve better regulatory compliance. Industries are constantly looking to execute the activities of an industrial or field worker more effectively while improving efficiencies, reducing non-productive work, and providing a safe work environment. The convergence of global industrial systems with advanced technologies like wearables, low-cost sensors, and data analytics not only connects machinery but also field workers including laborers, firefighters, and mine workers with a centralized system. An IoT-enabled connected worker solution brings monitoring capabilities to the next level that make workplaces more efficient, transparent, safe, and productive.
Kemsys, being the market leader in offering innovative IoT solutions using low cost, low power BLE & LoRa nodes, had in-house designed BLE-4.0, BLE-4.1, BLE-4.2, BLE-5.0 modules, LoRa modules, LoRa gateways in its kitty, and manufactured by its parent company Kaynes in big numbers. Kemsys decided to put these BLE nodes & LoRa nodes together as a solution – to gain real-time visibility into worker health and safety, and planned for SmartBelt that can detect where a factory worker is and buzz them if they wander into a dangerous or restricted zone. That’s where Kemsys comes in.
The solution is tested at a large scale, in one of the biggest automobile plants, owned by an Indian multinational conglomerate, well known for salt to airlines.
Wearable Safety Belt Design
Kemsys has designed a whole solution around BLE beacons for Local Connectivity & LoRa module for remote connectivity. A vibration sensor is added to provide feedback whenever a worker enters the hazardous area (or) remains for a long time in such area. SOS button is added to report & seek emergency help. Safety belt internal memory is programmed to load & store geofences of gaseous & hazardous areas.
The solution works like this. BLE beacons are deployed across the factory floor & campuses and programmed to be in advertisement/transmitter mode, and periodically beaconing; whereas the BLE beacon in the safety belt is programmed to be in scan mode. As and when, safety belt receives the beacons from neighboring fixed beacons, the safety belt firmware calculates the worker exact location using the multi-point average technique. The safety belt firmware verifies whether the worker is in a safe area / hazardous area, by comparing against stored geofences and accordingly notifies the user by turning on belt vibrations. The safety belt is programmed to sync the current worker location, battery level (as and when it comes across different beacons) with a remote LoRa Server (over Public / Private).
- Define & store Geofences to track violations
- In-built vibration sensor to alert the worker
- SOS button for check-ins and emergency calls
- Indoor Navigation
Safety Belt Smart Features & Use Cases
The safety belt is carefully designed to be battery-powered & low-power, and our field trials show that the battery lasts for more than one week, once it is fully charged. This solution helped our customers in realizing their objectives with ease.
- Tracking workers:
SmartBelt can detect where a factory worker is and buzz them if they wander into a dangerous or restricted zone.
- Tracking unexpected accidents in the field:
exactly where, and when, in some cases to a certain extent “why” by looking at data
- Improved worker performance:
Reporting manager can see “where” employee spends their day, minute by minute. The dashboard can also rank employees based on the criteria you choose, so employees who are under-motivated have a reason to work harder and rise in the ranks. With our next-generation safety belt, the supervisor can also track their workers – “How” they spend daily.
- Record violations of restricted areas:
Whenever a worker enters the geofence / restricted areas, the solution records such violations, and for how much time it has been violated, and notifies the security officer & reporting manager. Also, captures the count in to & out of the geofence ring, and continuously updates the dashboard.
- Worker Check-Ins:
The safety belt contains the SoS button, also called a contact button. Workers can utilize this contact button as a check-in button at prescribed intervals. The supervisor, who is at far, can verify the same. If a worker misses check-in, the cloud can send alerts to security or the supervisor.
- Emergency Calling:
The same contact button can also be used to call for assistance in case of emergency by pressing and holding for 3 seconds.
Customizing further to detect worker in-activity / lack of motion
Buoyed by the field success, and critical acclaim received from the market, Kemsys planned the next series of innovations & use-cases by adding few more sensors like accelerometers & activity sensors to monitor worker bend & twist.
- Inactivity set for 3 minutes, so belt vibrates if no activity in that time
- The employee has to acknowledge vibration by pressing the contact button within 60 seconds after vibration
- If no acknowledgment, the belt notifies security or the supervisor
Kemsys Remote Device Management Platform played big role in remote monitoring
Kemsys team has IoTified all safety belts and integrated LoRa network servers with Microsoft Azure IoT Hub. Kemsys team has ensured that all vital data points are collected & stored in Azure cloud end-points & Kemsys RDM software (Kemsys IP & Accelerator) played a big role in this digital transformation.
Kemsys team has quickly come up with an intuitive cloud application that helps in the following:
- Admins can create geofences
- Supervisors can track their workers & where they spend their day, minute by minute
- Automatic buzz & alerts to supervisors & workers