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AI and IoT for workplace safety
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AI and IoT for workplace safety

March 30, 2024 11:48 am

Dhiraj Podutwar, Business Development Manager, Pilz India, highlights that Machine learning and IoT technologies are essential for workplace safety in manufacturing. By integrating cameras, sensors, and wearables, hazards are detected in real-time, enabling swift interventions and compliance with safety standards.

How can machine learning and AI improve safety protocols in the manufacturing industry?

Machine learning algorithms and AI are crucial in promoting workplace safety across various domains. By integrating cameras, sensors, and advanced algorithms, these technologies can effectively monitor shop floors, detecting hazards like leaks, spills, and obstacles. Additionally, they can analyse data from wearables to assess workers’ health conditions in real time, enabling swift corrective actions when necessary. By identifying potential risks and their underlying causes, manufacturers can implement targeted interventions and training programs to enhance safety measures. Moreover, these systems continuously monitor regulatory requirements, ensuring compliance with safety standards and regulations, thus minimising the risk of penalties and fines. 

What are the safety considerations with cobots alongside human workers in manufacturing environments?

Risk assessment is essential for implementing collaborative robots (cobots). It identifies potential dangers like collisions, pinching, crushing, and entanglement. As rightly said, there is no such thing as a completely safe robot; it is only safe applications of robots! The Pilz Robot Measurement System (PRMS) is designed to assist in achieving safe and compliant human-robot collaboration (HRC) according to ISO/TS 15066 standards. The collision measurement set within PRMS allows for validating human-robot applications by assessing the power and force involved in potential collisions. Additionally, it’s essential to create awareness among employees about cobot-related risks and emphasise the importance of following safety protocols. Our comprehensive, carefree concept allows you to consistently utilise the latest collision measurement products for enhanced safety assurance.

 How can IoT be utilised to enhance real-time monitoring and detection of safety hazards in manufacturing plants?

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Human errors often contribute to accidents, stemming from factors like the physical and mental state of workers on the shop floor. Wearable technology can monitor workers’ physical conditions, including vital signs, movement patterns, and environmental factors. Continuous monitoring of this data can help identify signs of fatigue, stress, or other health issues that could increase accident risks. Additionally, various parameters in the shop floor environment can be monitored to analyse equipment performance, environmental conditions, and potential safety hazards like leaks, spills, or excessive noise. Integrating all these data points with machine learning algorithms can significantly enhance the monitoring and detection of safety hazards.

What role do safety standards and regulations play in shaping the design and operation of manufacturing processes?

Standards outline specific guidelines that machine builders and factories must adhere to to minimise the risks of accidents, injuries, and hazards within the plant. Most countries enforce regulations that ensure the safety of plants and machinery, such as CE marking in Europe, OSHA in the US, NR-12 in Brazil, KOSHA in Korea, GOST in Russia, or CCC in China. Manufacturers, exporters, and operators aiming to export their machinery worldwide often need help with requirements challenges. Pilz offers support throughout the conformity assessment process and helps clarify the necessary safety compliance formalities for local approval.

How can training and education programs for workers contribute to a safe environment in the manufacturing industry?

Plant and machine operators face the ongoing challenge of implementing all necessary safety measures to maintain a secure workplace environment. While training and educational programs significantly enhance workplace safety, they represent just a fraction of the overall effort required. Plant risk assessments are essential for manufacturers to evaluate machinery conditions, enabling the assessment of critical compliance and safety factors within the facility. Manufacturers should also receive education on implementing effective Lockout/Tagout (LoTo) systems to control hazardous energy and protect workers during repair and maintenance tasks. Regular inspection of plant guards ensures compliance with safety regulations, enhancing worker protection and reducing risks and liabilities. Pilz India offers a comprehensive range of services for the standard-compliant analysis and optimisation of your safety status in the workplace.

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