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COVID-hit manufacturing industry hopes to restart with these solutions

COVID-hit manufacturing industry hopes to restart with these solutions
The manufacturing industry mainly needs four kinds of security solutions to survive these pandemic days.
Companies in the manufacturing sector are actively looking at security solutions that would help them work through the COVID-19 period without running into health-related complications among employees. Security vendors point out that there has been an increased demand for solutions, ranging from crowd detection using intelligent analytics to network audio solutions.

“The ability to detect groups of people in real-time helps organizations react immediately and appropriately – for example, by making
axis, factory security
Johan Akesson
Director, Business Development
Industry and Critical Infrastructure
Axis Communications
announcements via network audio speakers to manage crowds,” said Johan Akesson, Director of Business Development for Industry and Critical Infrastructure at Axis Communications. “The use of frictionless access control systems is more evident in these times. The combination and integration of solutions such as cameras and the automation systems are becoming increasingly important. While this tendency towards integrated systems has been driven by the Industry 4.0 initiative so far, there’s now a more direct demand due to Covid-19.”

Four key technologies that matter

Bruce Montgomery, Business Development Leader at Honeywell Building Technologies, explained that four technologies combined have improved the factory employee experience and increased efficiency of not only entering a building but also maintaining a safe environment during the time spent inside. 
  1. Thermal technology, combined with biometrics, has allowed customers to create a safer and expedited process for employees to return to work. Thermal reader and thermal camera technology have been deployed successfully in a variety of applications. The integrated solution is leveraging both technologies together to create a safer process. Further integration with access control allows for a smooth and more efficient entry for a large volume of employees into a building or factory.
  2. Facial recognition technology integrated with access control can further facilitate the frictionless entry. Facial recognition has improved tremendously and is considered a highly reliable technology in the security design application. Facial recognition is also providing the ability to collect contact tracing data seamlessly.  
  3. Social distancing analytics and PPE mask detection solutions provide real-time data and information on gatherings and personnel coming or going within a building or large open space areas. All of this can be done with limited human labor, granting staff time to focus on other critical tasks. 
  4. People counting and contact tracing are also technologies that are available for small or large applications to keep and maintain a safer occupancy count. This is especially important in factories with a large employee base to ensure safety procedures are met and to exceed the latest health guidelines and recommendations.

Analytics and automation

A combination of video and analytics that helps assess incoming data is the most popular tool that the manufacturing market has in achieving its goals of security (and safety) management.
Stuart Rawling, VP of Technology and Customer Experience at Pelco, said that at its core, video could be used in a variety of ways to streamline operations and meet the needs of the facility. Integrating program and logic control (PLC) technology (that is, the way the machines are run and controlled), with video analytics capabilities makes more automation possible.
“For example, when you walk into a factory or manufacturing facility, you may see a lot of markers or tape on the floor that signal where you shouldn’t be when the machine is running,” Rawling added. “Using analytics to identify when someone is somewhere they shouldn’t be, integrated with the ability to use an emergency shut-off trigger, has the potential to strengthen the safety protocols in place.” 

A case from Taiwan

Despite being located very close to the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreak, Taiwan was the first to reduce the risk of infection. Some Taiwanese companies have played an essential role in making this possible, with solutions that make it easier for people to function during a pandemic.

“To fight the pandemic, LILIN created a pandemic solution by utilizing the LILIN Aida system,” explained Jack Wu, Project Manager at Merit LILIN. “The first is a temperature measurement solution that can help detect a person who has a high body temperature. High-precision, binocular infrared webcams provide the raw data enabling the system to identify and track high-temperature objects in real-time.”

The second solution is the Aida mask-detection system, which relies on AI image analysis technology to identify when people are not wearing masks, Wu added. The system can be used to enforce strict mask-wearing rules and help with access control to prevent lapses in infection containment measures. In terms of access control, LILIN Aida mask-detection system integrates PoE IO BOX to combine access control for mask detection.
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