TracLogik, working in partnership with a major UK food manufacturer, has developed and deployed a unique solution to provide an unparalleled level of proactive safety within a high-risk manufacturing environment.
Businesses throughout the UK often manufacture goods within elevated-risk environments. These environments are protected with systems, technology, and procedures to ensure the safety of their employees. However, should an element of the safety-critical system fail, the environment is left vulnerable.
TracLogik was approached to help to solve the challenge of safety critical employees leaving their station, which significantly increased the risk of fire events within the manufacturing facility.
The manufacturing facility contains many lines and within each line a large oven is at the centre. Product leaving the ovens on conveyors can often become stuck, causing a blockage. Product blockages in combination with the heat and cooking oil used within the oven, very quickly result in a significant fire event at the line. Past events have presented significant risk to employee safety as well as infrastructure across facility.
Following previous fire events, root cause analysis identified that a significant contributory factor was the absence of employees tasked with overseeing product exiting the oven and entering the system of cooling conveyors.
As such, a system to monitor the location of these employees and provide alerts should an employee leave the vicinity was sought.
The TracLogik Solution
TracLogik presented a solution based on the combination of TracLogik Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) receivers, TracLogik active BLE personnel tracking tags and TracLogik’s asset monitoring and management software, Asset Command.
A network of high-temperature, industrial specification BLE receivers was installed, within IP67 enclosures to provide sufficient Bluetooth read-coverage within the assigned areas. These receivers, powered by PoE for easy, single-cable installation, communicate via the Internet to TracLogik’s cloud-based asset monitoring and management system.
TracLogik’s active BLE tracking tags were issued to the relevant employees. These tags are credit-card sized, IP67 rated for ease of cleaning (and COVID-secure sanitisation) and contain a slimline lithium battery delivering a battery life of more than three years.
Asset Command, TracLogik’s asset tracking software, receives regular reports from the deployed receivers and interprets the data in real time to assess the presence of the employees within the defined areas.
According to the pre-set shift pattern and work schedule, the system automatically raises alerts to appropriate managers so that they can ensure any gaps left can be immediately filled and the safety of the line and facility is maintained.
Following the successful completion of a trial period with the system installed within the areas deemed as having the highest risk, the TracLogik system will expand to all areas of the facility, providing complete protection.
The alert and notification systems are also updated, in the form of both sirens and simple illuminated status dashboards to give managers instant access to information on the presence of safety critical staff at the various lines within the manufacturing facility.
Significant investment has been made in reactive safety technology, including flame-detection cameras which are able to automatically trigger and direct the plant’s fire-suppression system. However, it is the proactive technology deployment, including the TracLogik Bluetooth personnel tracking system that is helping to ensure the reactive safety systems are never tested.