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How IoT safeguards industry by embracing the human element

By Max Burkhalter
January 26, 2022

One promising aspect of the industrial internet of things (IIoT) involves the integration of persona-based applications designed to support workers in essential roles. While the greater internet of things (IoT) has provided advancements in countless sectors and launched what author/ founder of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab details as The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the influence upon the manufacturing sector has yielded some revolutionary advancements. 

Persona-based IoT comes to the rescue
As defined in a study on The Internet of Things Project conducted by the Informatics Diversity Enhanced Workforce, (IDEW) a persona is "the model of a target user for a product or service."  The Internet of Things Project illustrates the capabilities of technology to forecast and identify traits and behaviors specific to a composite of an individual, with hobbies, frustrations and motivations. This type of modeling provides unique data collection opportunities to help employers and industry understand the wants and needs of their employees and targeted consumers.

CIO Insight data details a worker shortage in the IT skills sector. Regardless of the cause of what is a rapidly shrinking pool of eligible workers, the fact remains that organizations are pivoting resources towards ensuring sustainability for workers involved in the sector. Persona-based IoT collects critical data from multiple verticals in the industrial sector, and offers KPIs and actionable information on how everyone involved in the processes can work effectively and with increased collaboration.

These metrics, when partnered with resources, training and communication tools, work to ensure productivity and worker satisfaction are at the forefront of operational execution.

Programs offered by academia, such as McMaster University's Master of Engineering, Systems & Technology are embracing Industry 4.0 advancements to attract the next generation of IT industry professionals. By delivering specific learning modules, tomorrow's IT graduates will enter the workforce armed with the latest knowledge pertaining to integrated systems and technologies.

Wearables ensure worker safety
By monitoring data as varied as worker posture and surrounding noise levels, IIoT wearable technology is enhancing the individual experience and collectively optimizing productivity. With applications designed to monitor worker safety conditions, mainstays like the hardhat will never be replaced – but can certainly be augmented. Companies like RealWear are set on enhancing the vision capabilities of workers, with wearable tech focused on capturing visual documentation and providing real-time assistance from experts in the field – even when working in remote or isolated conditions. Electronic Parts & Technology (EP&T) highlights tech like the ProGlove, a wearable barcode scanner with all of the sensory bells and whistles one could want — that has already been adopted by major players in the automotive industry. Once cumbersome and requiring a great deal of precision — and patience — to operate, tech like the ProGlove are lightweight, easy to use and relay information at blistering speeds.

Automated assistance
Once relegated to a separate, machine-only section of many manufacturing floors, IoT tech has allowed previously unforeseen human interactivity to become a fixture of industry. Human Machine Interface (HMU)  devices allow humans to interact with machine systems.  Involved in everything from the monitoring and management of autonomous machinery to drone-like deployment in remote areas accessible only by equipment, HMU ensures collaboration between man and machine is driving productivity. 

Powerful solutions
With a focus on ensuring workers are safe and supported with the latest technological advancements, the fourth industrial revolution has the potential to ramp productivity in exciting new ways.

Read more about how Perle is contributing to Industrial Automation with HMIs and serial interfaces designed specifically to ensure worker optimization.


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