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Video: Edmond Mikhael of Honeywell on connected industrial worker concept

by Martin Menachery on Jan 31, 2018

Edmond Mikhael, general manager, Honeywell Safety & Productivity Solutions, META.
Edmond Mikhael, general manager, Honeywell Safety & Productivity Solutions, META.

As industrial operations in a refinery or petrochemical plant become ever more challenging, complex and dispersed, safety threats can emerge suddenly and without warning.

But, if they are armed with critical real-time data, safety managers can make better informed decisions that protect workers and prevent or mitigate a major incident, maximise uptime and increase productivity.

Each year, industrial companies have to deal with safety incidents in high-risk environments, whether it is hot works, confined spaces or an emergency response. The direct costs to businesses can be considerable, but the price tag for failing to act, before an incident becomes a crisis, can be even more costly.

A connected approach that combines wireless portable gas detectors with location data and software allows safety managers to remotely monitor readings instantly, whether it is toxic gases, oxygen deficiency, flammable gases, particulates, radiation and other atmospheric hazards. The critical data received means they can immediately determine the location and severity of an incident. It also means that they can find out if a man is down and make better decisions on how to rescue the worker and potentially evacuate others who might be at risk.

A ‘connected safety’ solution that integrates smart, wearable sensors with a cloud-based software platform, already exists to enable safety managers to continuously monitor the worker environment and exposure to potentially hazardous environments. Armed with intelligent, real-time data, safety managers can make well-informed and intelligent decisions that drive further improvements in health and safety.

The combination of smaller sensing technologies, reduced power consumption, ubiquitous wireless connectivity and the smart phone as a personal hub come together to enable this solution to become a reality. Weaving these vital threads together, safety managers can now capture and transmit valuable data to the cloud, which opens up an enormous amount of health and safety applications.

Connected industrial worker solutions have the ability to enhance operational efficiency in a number of ways. For example, by enabling portable and fixed gas detectors to automatically communicate localised data on atmospheric and environmental values directly to the control room, in real time, manufacturers, oil refineries and other industrial operations can identify trace gas leaks and monitor equipment continuously, scheduling maintenance at opportune times, to maximise operational uptime.

In addition, worker productivity is enhanced. Firstly, the connected worker no longer has to stop every few minutes to record information manually, thus reducing downtime. Secondly, workers have more confidence knowing that the equipment they are using is fit for purpose and that their exposure levels are being monitored closely. Thirdly, workers have the ability to focus more on the job in hand, thus improving efficiency and mobility, and reducing errors.

Honeywell estimates that these added capabilities can significantly increase overall productivity. This is corroborated by studies on the benefits of connected workers, which estimate an increase in output of roughly 8-9%, with a reduction in costs of approximately 7-8%.

Check out the following video to know what Edmond Mikhael, general manager, Honeywell Safety & Productivity Solutions, META, projected as the advantages of the connected industrial worker concept and its related technological advances, as explained during ADIPEC 2017.



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