Health & Safety is a Team Effort: Industry 4.0 and IIoT

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 are forcing companies to rethink their approach to health and safety. Digital transformation uses innovative IoT endpoints and their data to improve the company’s core business, but they make health and safety more complex than ever. When properly deployed and integrated, sensors, endpoints and devices improve the individual safety of workers and identify additional areas for process improvement. 

More connected workers, more devices, more data — this massive influx of information and capability requires an end-to-end solution that addresses new and evolving EHS challenges. A solution that can capture the data produced from edge devices, analyze it and organize it in meaningful ways to improve health and safety programs and processes. Intelex Technologies and Honeywell are working together to create an integrated EHS solution that solves the challenges posed by Industry 4.0 and IIoT.  

The Number of Connected “Things”  

The global IIoT market will grow to $310 billion USD by 2023, and some of that growth will be from the increase in the number of “Connected Workers.” This means that the average industrial worker is going to be wearing and carrying multiple devices to help them do their job. Deployment, management and training for these cutting-edge devices has become a significant burden. It is vital to get the right device with the right apps into the hands of the right worker.   

The Volume of Data and Metadata  

By 2022, Cisco projects that over 15 billion global machine-to-machine connections will generate over 25 exabytes of data and metadata every month. Every device, endpoint or sensor you deploy is capturing, transmitting and storing critical data that you need to improve your business processes and keep your workers safe. When you multiply the data stream from each device by hundreds, thousands or even millions, the signal-to-noise ratio dives and critical business data can be delayed, ignored or lost. This is a challenge with any cyber-physical system — machines capture data faster than people can process and react. 

The Shift from Silos to Synergy  

How does a company derive value out of all their IIoT generated data and metadata in a timely and meaningful way? How do you “USE” your data, not just capture it?   

The simplest way to demonstrate the future of EHS in an IIoT world is to walk through an example, in this case hazardous gas detection. A worker wearing a personal gas detector goes about their daily tasks. Once the gas detector is alerted by some pre-defined gas concentration, it begins to transmit data to a back-end system and triggers an alert in the operation center. Historically, much of what happened next was a result of human intervention: alarms, alerts, incident logging and corrective action. 

The problem with a human-mediated approach is that it is error-prone, not scalable and does not extend beyond the standard response tree to prompt a root cause analysis and automate regulatory reporting. This is an area where Honeywell and Intelex are working together to create an end-to-end, integrated IIoT solution that captures, tracks, investigates and reports on all incidents and near-misses automatically and without human interaction.   

How would the integrated solution improve the previous gas detection scenario? Up front, it will mitigate risk by reporting on worker competence (training and history) and health before device deployment and work allocation occurs. You can identify when a worker is not properly trained or has a history of issues and incidents.   

When a gas detection event is triggered, there is still the manual real-time monitoring and ops center notification. However, in addition to the standard manual response, automated processes happen in parallel. For example, cameras are adjusted for verification and data is validated from fixed gas detectors in the operator’s zone. Gas concentration data and user metadata is transmitted automatically to the Honeywell Process Monitoring software and the Intelex EHS platform where it is logged to trigger and facilitate root cause analysis investigation, update risk profiles and complete regulatory reporting.   

This is just a single example of how the IIoT is empowering connected workers through intelligent personal protective equipment (PPE) and integrated EHS. Each solution delivers real benefits and ROI on its own, but together the integration of devices, people, processes and data work together to create EHS 4.0 and make health and safety predictive and prescriptive.  

Join us at the Honeywell User Group Event in Dallas on June 12th & 13th  

This end-to-end gas detection solution is the first integrated EHS 4.0 solution from Honeywell and Intelex, and there are many more are in development. Both companies are leaders in their industry and are working together to make the future of EHS technology easy and automatic.  Honeywell is the global leader in Industrial Automation and Safety systems that includes connected industrial PPE.  Intelex is recognized as the industry leader at delivering SaaS solutions for environmental, health, safety, and quality (EHSQ) management.   

If you are interested in learning more about Connected Workers and EHS 4.0, please join us at the 2019 Honeywell User Group (HUG) + Intelex Day in Dallas, Texas on June 12th and 13th 2019. We have created an exciting two-day agenda that explores the future of EHS and how to best leverage Honeywell’s Connected Worker solutions and Intelex’s EHS platform.  Click here for more information about 2019 HUG and Intelex Day. We hope to see you in Dallas.   

About the Author 

Kristen is the Vice President, Strategic Alliances here at Intelex. Based in Chicago, Kristen oversees global partnerships with consultancies, independent software vendors, and technology firms. Kristen brings over 13 years of experience in environmental, health and safety management. As a professional engineer, she has hands-on experience implementing environmental compliance programs and strategies for large, multinational manufacturing corporations and defense agencies. Prior to Intelex, Kristen served as Vice President with CH2M, a global engineering and consulting firm where she was responsible for spearheading highly successful environmental sales strategies, which led to double digit growth in the EHS consulting and information management practices, as well as industrial market verticals. When Kristen isn’t in the office, you will catch her chauffeuring her girls to/from dance or going for a run around her neighborhood.  

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