The Internet of Things (IoT) Only Runs With Humans
For decades, industry has focused on connecting their machinery with sensors and automating processes, in turn finding ways to replace their human workers. This concept, commonly known as the Internet of Things (IoT), has found limited success in the industrial realm. When companies remove their human workers from the equation, they lose the edge that is a human worker who can think and act as no machine can.
Industrial facilities can work without technology but not without workers. Workers are the base for any work that happens on the facility. While mundane, repetitive tasks are being replaced by machines, workers still need to run the machines, analyze the data and troubleshoot any issues that arise across the facility.
80% of the current global workforce are frontline workers. How can industrial companies upskill this large portion of their workforce? The answer comes when you consider the bigger picture. IoT is actually a subset of a larger concept called the Internet of Workers (IoW).
Organizations Should Be Upskilling Workers, Not Replacing Them
Unlike IoT, the Internet of Workers (IoW) is the concept of connecting the entire workforce to the internet through smart, digital devices. IoW focuses on upskilling and empowering the worker, similar to the concept of a Connected Worker but far more advanced.
Not just the digitization of processes, but focusing on the daily activity of the worker. Most importantly, an IoW platform delivers multimedia communication to the field, connecting field workers similar to the connection available in the office. When the whole workforce is connected, information flows freely back and forth.
Connected worker platforms only focus on digitizing processes or sending information to the frontline worker, not receiving it from them. There’s no two-way communication or data transfer going on. IoW focuses on the frontline worker, enabling digital transformation for increased safety and productivity.
In today’s fast-moving environment, companies need to deliver. This can only happen if workers can adapt and continuously improve to reshape the quantity and quality of their work. Workers succeed when supplied with the right tools to do their work. Yes, the tools. Traditional tools such as their level, square or tape measure are important but equally as important are their digital tools.
For years, digital tools built for personal and office use have evolved and transformed over time. Many of these tools have not made it to the industrial field and those that have do not meet the specific needs of the industry. The industrial field moves faster and needs streamlined functionality for the frontline, field worker. While the field worker is typically familiar with digital tools and their functionality in their personal lives, they have not had the opportunity to expand their work with them in the field.
Work Is Optimized With An IoW Platform
Digital tools play a large role in IoW platforms and connected worker solutions. An aspect that many connected worker solutions have not addressed is how devices can stay connected. IoW addresses this by offering a private LTE network as part of the platform. This provides an end-to-end solution, guaranteeing connectivity for the digital tools in an IoW platform, such as a smart radio or a mobile application.
Putting connectivity and devices together along with robust software, an IoW platform delivers converged communication to the field unlike what’s currently available for industrial workers. With an IoW platform, all workers, contractors and employees, gain the ability to communicate with each other, regardless of their company. Workers can rely on continuous communication, therefore, you can rely on your workers to get their job done.
All Workers, One System
A differentiator for an IoW platform comes from all workers being on one, cohesive system. Many companies are hesitant to put temporary employees or contractors on their internal systems. Also, these internal systems rarely allow for contractor to contractor interaction. Other systems are only built for the field or only built for the office. IoW is the only platform that eliminates theses gaps.
When companies utilize an IoW platform, all workers can be connected and communicating, regardless of their company affiliation or where they are working. The contractor who needs to know the same notifications the employees around him are getting. The technician who spends her morning assisting engineers in the field, but has to be in the office for afternoon meetings. The unit operator who needs to communicate to the crews in his unit as well as other unit operators in the facility. The contractor who has to make another contractor aware of an equipment issue that will impact both of their work packets. All workers, all on one, cohesive system.
weavix™: Industry’s First IoW Platform
Focused on the worker, weavix™ is Industry's first IoW platform, delivering the power of connectivity to the field to enable digital transformation. With weavix™, companies can increase safety efforts, communicate across barriers and increase productivity.
If you want to learn more about how IoW can impact your industrial facility, contact a weavix™ specialist today.
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