Empowering manufacturers with connected worker solutions

Industrial frontline workers have access to more information than ever, but making the best use of this information remains a challenge. See video interview.

By Chris Vavra May 8, 2023
Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology

Connected worker insights

  • Workers have more access to information than ever, but making sense of all the information being thrown at them is a challenge and can be overwhelming.
  • Connecting workers with all this information has cultural and security concerns, but manufacturers dedicated to finding a solution will reap long-term benefits in an environment that is getting more fast-paced.

Manufacturers have access to more information than ever as their world is more interconnected. The information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) worlds had been siloed off for a long time, but have started coming together the last several years thanks to the rest of the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and other initiatives. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a lot of those future plans as workers adjusted to a new normal. The old ways weren’t going to work anymore.

The idea of a connected worker is giving them the ability to make informed decisions in a fast-paced environment. There is a great deal of information out there to parse through and a connected worker needs to know what data matters and how to best act on this. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data and other concepts can help make the process easier, but it still comes down to the manufacturer and the people working for that company. There are many potential obstacles such as an aging workforce leaving their knowledge behind, cultural resistance to change, connectivity challenges and cybersecurity concerns. All of these are legitimate issues, but in today’s fast-paced world, manufacturers have to adapt and make sure their workers are connected with the technology around them as well as their coworkers.

In a video interview, Manas Dutta, general manager; and Mukesh Kumar, senior director of product management, both with Honeywell, discuss the company’s Connected Worker initiative and address topics such as the barriers for implementation as well as:

  • The biggest challenges the industrial frontline workers face

  • The role a partnership and collaboration (between client and solution provider) play in the development and deployment of connected worker solutions

  • The considerations for selecting the right hardware and software components

  • Ways manufacturers can get their employees to buy into the connected worker concept.

Chris Vavra, web content manager, CFE Media and Technology, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

Author Bio: Chris Vavra is web content manager for CFE Media and Technology.