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Manpower Shortage | Solutions | EMEA

Let Cameras do the Checking: Explosion-proof Cameras

Petrochemical plants require constant vigilance. Frequent inspection is required to ensure safe operation of the equipment. Human workers are typically tasked with supervising maintenance facilities and equipment, but with severe shortages in manpower, another solution is also necessary. At IDEC, we are committed to reducing the burden of a shrinking labor force. By switching plants over to remote, on-site monitoring with wireless explosion-proof cameras, daily inspections can be performed efficiently and safety requirements can be met. Cameras can easily cope with changing installation locations, allowing the distributed control system (DCS), located in the control room, to serve as a centralized safety inspection hub. In the unlikely event of an abnormality, camera images provide visual verification and validation of alarms while operators remain safely away from the hazard.

Optimize the Way You Work: Applying Robots

A shortage of skilled workers is prompting manufacturers to rethink productivity. Cobots—robots designed to work collaboratively with humans in a shared space—automate repetitive tasks and give skilled human workers time to accomplish more. Safe cobot environments achieved by using IDEC’s safety products allow companies to take advantage of automation and ease the burden of a shrinking workforce. IDEC supports human-machine collaboration by equipping machines with essential features and capabilities that keep workers safe, including: Visual indications when the robot is engaged in a collaborative operation, protection from unintended operations, and hand guiding for safe teaching.

Free Up Workers to Perform Better: Remote Monitoring and Control

When skilled labor is a scarce resource, companies have to free up workers to do more complex and valuable work. Remote monitoring and control (M&C) systems are designed to automate large or complex facilities so that more work can be accomplished with fewer workers. From the sensors that track machine data, to the software that allows for two-way communication among devices, to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), machines can be interconnected so maintenance workers can ascertain conditions from any location and skilled workers can be optimized. For example, in a chemical plant, rather than running out of a chemical and halting operations while restocking takes place, notification of a low tank level can be sent automatically to operations so that refilling can happen without shutting down the operation. In scenarios like these, workers only have to pay attention when required to do so and can be more productive with other tasks.

Prevent Failure with Proactive Planning: Preventive Maintenance

When there is a manpower shortage, proactively maintaining equipment in satisfactory operating condition is critical to business operations. IDEC provides smart devices that check the status of equipment. For example, tracking and logging the usage and motion of a conveyor belt, comparing those measurements with the normal life cycle of the equipment, and triggering alerts on a smart phone or tablet allows workers to replace components before failure happens. IDEC’s software tools and devices reduce the burden on maintenance workers in factories and all types of production settings.

Let the Data Do Its Job: Predictive Maintenance

When working to conserve labor resources, predictive maintenance—identifying patterns through data logging—can help manufacturers notice fatigue, neglect, or normal wear before they develop into major defects. Proactive repairs based on data analysis can add life to equipment, avoid unscheduled downtime due to failure, and keep skilled workers productive. IDEC helps measure device functionality with sensors, PLCs, HMIs, and IIoT to detect the possibility of failure before it happens.

Boost the Benefits of Your Machines: Automation

Automation has transformed the manufacturing landscape. By taking advantage of IIoT, machines in different plants interconnected with a manufacturing execution system (MES) can maximize machine and plant utilization.IDEC automation provides companies with information to optimize automation and productivity. It provides greater visibility into how time and resources are spent so companies can understand the underlying factors that contribute to cost, time, and operational performance. IDEC offers solutions for assembly lines, inspection lines, shipment and conveyor lines, public transportation, restaurants, and office buildings.