Describing “connected worker” has changed much over the past 5-10 years. The evolution goes through WiFi to Cellular technology enabling tablet computers and then smart phones. I’ve noticed that the term almost always refers to finding work instructions and occasionally communication on said tablet or phone. 

Marketers may wax eloquently on digital transformation, innovation, employee satisfaction, Internet of Things and other descriptions that they hope convey the latest fad, but in the end what they mean is workflow. And workflow has been around for years.

That being said (and since I have a few more of these press releases, and it relates to one I just wrote about a “Teamwork” app), these are useful tools. I remember studying this concept some 40 years ago realizing the power for effective productivity and quality. We just get faster and better. I like this news, because it describes someone actually using the technology.

Parsable has announced its software solution is being deployed by Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. at its forthcoming Smart Factory model site. The site is the first of its kind for the multinational beverage company and serves as the prototype for the development of other Suntory Smart Factory plants in Japan.

This inaugural Suntory Smart Factory site, located in Omachi, Nagano prefecture, Japan, will produce bottled mineral water and is scheduled to begin operations in summer 2021. Additional sites will consider following the innovation of their facilities throughout Japan. 

Suntory saw Parsable and its Connected Worker Platform as a critical partner for making the successful leap to a Smart Factory manufacturing environment. 

The Parsable Connected Worker Platform will be used to augment Suntory’s frontline worker experience, providing mobile-based, digital tools. The platform will be part of a broader ecosystem of advanced technologies that integrate the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, robotic automation, data lakes, and more into daily manufacturing and supply chain operations.

“Connected worker technology is now table stakes when industrial leaders consider how to improve the safety, productivity and efficiency of their workforce through digitalization,” said Lawrence Whittle, CEO, Parsable. “Suntory’s progressive Smart Factory initiative and investment in Parsable’s Connected Worker Platform show its dedication not only to digitally transforming CPG manufacturing, but also to creating the best working environment and opportunities for its frontline employees. This agreement also broadens Parsable’s footprint in Asia, which is a key market for us.”

With the integration of Parsable into Suntory’s operations systems, Suntory management can guide frontline personnel to perform tasks safely and accurately through multimedia, collaborative standardized work procedures on Parsable’s easy-to-use mobile app, eliminating the need for inefficient paper-based work instructions. Managers can access work execution data and trends via real-time dashboards that allow safety, quality and efficiency issues to be identified for immediate resolution and optimization. 

“We are excited to leverage all that the Parsable Connected Worker Platform has to offer. As we bring to life the concept of the Smart Factory and create the blueprint for highly advanced, environmentally friendly factories in the world, we must ensure that our personnel has the tools they need to more effectively execute their work on the production floor,” said Ryo Takayama, Senior General Manager, Engineering Department, Suntory Food & Beverage Ltd. “The concept of Industry 4.0 is not just reserved for processes and equipment; it needs to empower and connect workers as well.”

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