IIoT and the Continuing Evolution of Safety Management Systems

Safety management systems, like other performance-based systems, have evolved over the years. The establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1971 was a catalyst for a renewed emphasis on health and safety in the workplace, driven mostly by compliance. As a result, the 1970s saw a focused drive toward compliance and physical controls for hazards in the workplace. 

As EHS programs began to mature, the 1980s saw an evolution of behavior-based safety, which utilized a scientific approach based on the theories of Herbert William Heinrich in his definitive book Industrial Accident Prevention, A Scientific Approach. (Heinrich, 1941) Behavior-based safety is a broad term used to describe everything from employee behavior audits and feedback to a comprehensive safety management system designed to change a company’s safety culture. 

The 1990s saw a resurgence of knowledge and capability training combined with new methods of transferring information, such as online training. … Read more...

Your Data is Your Most Valuable Asset: Getting Started with Quality 4.0

Data science and machine learning have surged in prominence over the past few years, and digital transformation seems to be on everyone’s agenda. Have you ever wondered why? Even though quality engineering has long been a data-driven pursuit, we now have the potential to get even deeper insights from our data because of several recent innovations:

  1. Computing power per dollar has increased steadily (e.g. through adoption of GPUs).
  2. Open-source software packages with powerful machine learning algorithms are freely available, reliable, robust, and well-maintained.
  3. Infrastructure for data storage and management is readily available and cost-effective.
  4. Cloud-based software, platforms, and infrastructure helps companies focus on their core competencies and scale rapidly when needed.
  5. Algorithms are often more revealing when Big Data is available.

It’s easy and cheap to collect data but using it to generate actionable insights can be more challenging. Think, for example, about the digital displays available to a production … Read more...