Additive manufacturing and 3D printing are more than just manufacturing movers. These strategies offer the opportunity to design a better and far safer environment for people working in any industry. Combining the power of the Internet of Things with clever design with a purpose, workplace safety is about to experience a revolution.
What was once considered a techy toy has now found a home on the factory floor. Remember when Google Glass seemed like the latest gadget for people with a lot of money to waste? Well, “wearables” are changing the way business is conducted in real-time. With incredibly sensitive sensors and personal monitoring systems, these aren’t the wearables of a generation ago. Now, the Internet of Things enables businesses to ramp up innovation using incredible access to analytics.
One offering from a joint venture between Honeywell and Intel demonstrates just what is possible for workplace safety evolution.
In the past, workplace accidents were prevented by analyzing previous accidents, changing procedure after the fact, and essentially working from a state of reaction rather than being proactive. The Honeywell Connected Worker prototype demonstrates how data from the IoT can be used in real-time to become proactive about safety and workplace accidents. The project highlights the benefits of combining communication and safety tech. The tech collects data, analyzes it locally and provides immediate high-level insights for risky environments. With a nonverbal gesture device, workers in hazardous jobs (like firefighters) could indicate they were at risk without communicating it out loud. Motion analysis could be particularly useful in lone worker scenarios or first responder environments. The technology provides an intelligent interpretation of what is happening in the moment.
As technology races ahead, the ability to detect unhealthy doses of hazardous substances, perform on the spot safety testing for heavy equipment in danger of breaking down or even detect driver drowsiness in an 18-wheeler barreling down the highway are all very real examples of the way 3D printing can change the way we all do our work. How might you innovate for a safer workplace?