Industry Report

How to make a manufacturing plant safe?

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A review of the safety techniques for manufacturing plants.

Manufacturing facilities are literally full of risks, both which are hidden and are out in the open. It is indeed vital to maintain a safe work environment in any manufacturing plant. Accidents not only cost money, but also a loss of trained workers and reduced production.

Here are a few steps that can help one make a manufacturing plant safe.
Integrated security approach
“Security arrangements for any building, premise, campus or manufacturing plant is incomplete if it is not done in an integrated manner,” says Vivek Kumar, Head Country Operations (INDIA), icomply Limited. He also states that deploying several types of individual security sub-systems such as cctv, intrusion systems, perimeter security, access control, fire alarm systems will not suffice the purpose because it will just give you the quantity and not quality of security. According to him, one does need all above systems however with an integrated approach.

Kumar feels that all the sensors from different sub-systems should be triggered to an integrated security application platform, which resides in a central control room, for a cohesive response action. Explaining this point, he says, “Once operators in control room see the security alerts and video feeds coming in from various locations they should be able to correlate them and follow relevant standard operational procedures given to them by the central security platform.” He feels that these measures will result in quick response time, efficient monitoring and operations, less false alerts, comprehensive incident database and situational awareness.

Automated Verification of Vehicles
Automated verification of vehicles at entry and exit in the premises will help organisations reduce dependency on manpower, chances of data manipulation and achieve higher productivity. Security personnel will have an option to validate and authorise entry and exit of any vehicle with pre-defined data such as name of the driver, contact number, email and company name, mapped against the license plate number of the respective vehicle.

The system will work as follows. At the entrance, the license plate of the vehicle will be verified against the database uploaded. In the security cabin, the pre-defined data such as name of the driver, contact number and company name will be flashed on the screen with a video pop-up as soon as an authorized number plate is detected. The camera will give a signal to the boom barrier to allow entry. The security guards will also have an emergency entry and exit button for any unregistered or registered vehicle. The reports can be generated of vehicles verified or unverified for auditing purpose with pictorial evidence. Thus, Matrix VMS provides a comprehensive solution to make vehicle authorisation process automatic with pre-defined data, to improve productivity and security in an organisation.

Look out for potential problems
The complete work environment should be looked out for any potential problem areas. Many experts suggest that every individual who is a part of the workforce needs to be trained to look for potential issues and invisible spots. It is also essential that policies that enforce safe work environment should be build. Basic safety measures like no loose hair, no baggy clothing, could be examples of policies geared towards safe work environment. Some of the most invisible spots are in the forklift operations and trucks on the dock, since they are outside. These areas of potential manufacturing safety issues are not normally visible to a group of people, so put the onus of responsibility to look for potential safety problems on a handful of employees with operational policies and processes of the safety mechanism built in.

Manufacturing safety in groups
Considering the safety of a complete group is another way to ensure that the whole plant is safe. Also, it is necessary that the complete workforce should be channelled towards a common goal. This will bring in a feeling of accountability, thus persuading others to act in a certain way which mirrors the goal of focusing on safety. This is especially effective in more volatile and variable operations where volume surges result in frequent workforce reduction and expansion. One can give a try at buddy system to ensure safety of the individual and that of the group. The systems make it relatively easy to spot and prevent unsafe behaviour and practices.

Examine processes for fatigue factor, breaks and rotation
Repetitive actions and activities cause most long ranging issues with employee well being. Fatigue factor increases as the day goes on. Repetitive actions require synchronisation with man, machine and environment which begin to slow as the day goes by. These can be overcome with effective and frequent rotations, thus bench strength becomes a key to success. Breaks must be designed with these factors in mind and may be allowed differently for different type of jobs considering these load factors.

According to Capt Akshay Kumar, Managing Director, Slingshot Solutions Pvt Ltd , the complex security environment has become a matter of concern for the manufacturing industry in India. “The Indian sub-continent is witnessing a traumatic phase and is reeling under disturbances of major proportions,” he adds.

There is a growing concern that it might impact Indian and International businesses. Realizing the changing landscape and the need, the perception of the manufacturing sector with regard to security has also been changing. There is a growing recognition that in this ever-changing threat environment, it is imperative for manufacturer to constantly remain alert in order to fight new security threats. Kumar further says, “Challenges may vary from fire to flu but their long term impact is enormous. The ability of organisations to weather disasters, decides their sustainability and future. Furthermore, business leaders are increasingly realising that a strategy and a holistic approach towards security will have much larger impact on the organisation, the society and the country.”

The ability of organisations to weather disasters, decides their sustainability and future. Furthermore, business leaders are increasingly realising that a strategy and a holistic approach towards security will have much larger impact on the organisation, the society and the country. While the perception has been changing and manufacturing sector is increasingly looking for solutions, there are challenges as well. There are challenge in terms of resources, expertise and most important the approach. The big question for manufacturer arises on the level of investments and preparedness since there is no certainty of a secure environment.

While the perception has been changing and manufacturing sector is increasingly looking for solutions, there are challenges as well. There are challenge in terms of resources, expertise and most important the approach. The big question for manufacturer arises on the level of investments and preparedness since there is no certainty of a secure environment.

Speaking about the challenges for the manufacturing sector, Kumar points out the following.
Operation from multiple locations
For a manufacturer with multi-site operational facilities like cement, pharmaceutical and oil and power, the biggest challenge is replication of crisis management facility for all sites. The challenge that manufacturer faces is to have the same security risk management arrangements replicated over each of these locations. It becomes very difficult to replicate all the arrangements in different locations.

Budget constraints
The risk mitigation would require an investment in terms of people, technology, equipment which comes with a cost. Also, these resources are virtually acting as support functions and adding no value to the bottom-line of the organisation.

Preparedness
Mock drills and simulation exercises are good ways to practice crisis management. However, in real life situation could be quite tricky. Transportation may be affected, communication may be at fault or emergency supplies might be unavailable. It requires assistance and hand-holding from experienced experts who have handled and managed different kinds of situations world over.

Fence Mounted Vibration Sensor based Perimeter Intrusion Detection System
Kumar recommends the use of ‘Fence Mounted Vibration Sensor based Perimeter Intrusion Detection System’ when it comes to making the manufacturing plant safe. The SVS Intrusion Detection System arrives to the site fully assembled with the sensors moulded onto the cable; the sensors are over-moulded on a standard outdoor rated cable which is used to provide operating power as well as communication with the control centre.

Sharing details about this system Kumar explains, “This will ensure a hermetically sealed product that will withstand the harsh weather conditions. The processing and the alarm determination algorithm are unique and different from the ones common to other fence mounted systems.”

While the most of the other systems, by nature of their principle of operation, produce signal on a whole zone basis and therefore only rely on the level of this signal. The SVS1000PIDS however provides signals based on an individual sensor and therefor is analysing the environment, an alarm is determined based on exceptions to the normal constant ‘noise’ and therefore improving the false alarm rate of the system.

“The SVS1000 PIDS has been tested by USA and Israeli government Agencies for a long period and found suitable for use at high security sites. It has been installed all over the world in high security sites such as prisons, embassies, industrial and utility sites and alike,” informs Kumar.
Kumar suggests the following tips for the security of a manufacturing plant.
• It is suggested to augment the height of perimeter wall where ever necessary to 8 inches by putting Anti Climb Wire Mesh or Razor Wire Mesh on top of present boundary wall as deterrence measure. A second line of fence should be erected in order to give depths to Perimeter Security Systems.
• As a cost-effective measure, Wall/Fence mounted intrusion detection system with significantly low false alarm rate be installed all along the perimeter wall as detection measure.
• It is suggested to replace Chain Link fence with Anti Climb Wire Mesh or Razor Wire Mesh where ever a segregation of operational area is required from outside. Anti Climb Wire Mesh or Razor Wire Mesh is an ideal substitute of traditional boundary wall. It is economical, easy to install, maintenance free with enhanced security feature.
• All critical and vulnerable areas should be covered with CCTV coverage and fully integrated with Perimeter Intrusion Detection System.
• Perimeter Lighting System needs overhauling and revamping.
• Relocating and installation of Watch Towers at tactical locations.

The following are the main benefits and advantages of the system that Kumar points out:
• The system requires a field processor (SVSHub) every 1500M in oppose to other fence mounted systems that require a dual zone processor every 200-400M.
• For sites up to about 1.5 Km the SVSFence does not require a processor at all and can be plugged in directly into the control hub.
• Control hubs can be networked and communicate with a main server via a standard Ethernet network.
• The hubs and sever can be remotely setup diagnosed and upgraded via wired or wireless internet.
• The SVSFence provide alarm resolution of 3M rather than up to 100m in other systems, this enables to lower the number of fixed CCTV cameras and use more PTZ cameras
• The same sensors can act as Magnetic sensors, Guard Patrol Attendance notification sensors and Temperature sensors. This eliminates the need for special magnetic gate and tamper switches and their interface.
• There is no orientation requirement for the sensor unlike other systems where the sensor has to be levelled and adjusted.
• The sensor can be installed on multiple types of surface including concrete and steel walls.
• The installation of the system is as easy as connecting it to the fence every three meters.

Conclusion
The challenges of assessing security risk stems from uncertainties inherent in specifying each of the factors that determine risk; i.e. threat, vulnerability, and consequences. The implementation of some of the above mentioned methods and techniques can improve the safety of the manufacturing plant.

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