A few recent posts dealt with the “connected worker.” These are all workflow-oriented solutions. After talking with Chris Sullivan, CEO or Nymi, I learned about really connected workers. Previously I had seen Numi partner with Quupa for real-time location. Nymi has a raft of solutions. This partnership with Rockwell Automation through the ThinManager acquisition is a big deal for Rockwell Automation.
Nymi Inc. and ThinManager, a Rockwell Automation technology, have partnered to provide a full-feature, integrated, on-body solution that allows businesses to use ThinManager to deliver biometric-enabled touchless authentication with zero-trust security principles and access controls through the Nymi Band.
ThinManager offers numerous features that allow the modern factory to lower energy cost, implement sustainable technology, and increase operational efficiencies. They are a natural fit for Nymi and its workplace wearable wristband, designed to help businesses remain secure while improving productivity, compliance, and active worker health and safety.
As the world’s only workplace wearable wristband that, once authenticated at login, continuously authenticates the user’s identity until it’s removed from the wrist, the Nymi Band gives ThinManager users a powerful, secure form of authentication used for specially configured access control, logins, and e-signatures with just a tap. Other Nymi Band applications include social distancing and contact tracing.
“We see our product working side by side with ThinManager to help companies be secure, safe, and efficient in their day-to-day operations,” said Andrew Foxcroft, Vice President of Nymi. “The enterprise-class, secure industrial wearable Nymi Band, combined with ThinManager’s knowledge of the modern factory, provides a solution to address pain points in Pharma and highly regulated manufacturing processes.”
“We are very excited to collaborate with Nymi to provide additional cutting-edge user authentication options for our customers,” stated Tom Jordan, Marketing Lead for ThinManager.
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.”
Universal Robots becomes the first collaborative robot manufacturer to develop an educational offering that provides an Industry-recognized certificate. This enables the cobot leader to provide a comprehensive collaborative robot curriculum for students that now launches as part of the Universal Robots Program for Education.
As collaborative robots emerge as the fastest growing segment of industrial automation, cobot curriculum developed by an industrial leader is increasingly sought after in schools and manufacturing industries. “With the Education Program we’re addressing a tremendous need to provide cobot training as part of an integrated course,” says Joe Campbell, senior manager of applications development at Universal Robots (UR). “This hands-on learning initiative will be instrumental in addressing the skills gap and get state-of-the art cobots into classrooms, offering students instant employability and manufacturers access to an upskilled workforce.”
The Education Program provides a clearly defined pathway for students to master cobot programming and deployment as part of an Industry 4.0 career in robotics and advanced manufacturing. Schools can now purchase the ready-to-go package that includes the complete curriculum, a UR cobot arm, and the hardware and software required to build actual industrial applications.
Accelerates student access to cobots
The 32-hour course has been developed with assistance from Ritch Ramey, coordinator of RAMTEC, (The Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative) overseeing robotics training at the 24 Tri-Rivers career centers in Ohio, representing the largest, most comprehensive robotics education center in the nation. “Being able to offer a complete turnkey training program with an industry-recognized credential gives schools increased access to both private grants and government funding when bringing cobots into classrooms,” he says. “It will make all the difference in the acceleration of student access to a real industrial robot that is both safe to operate in a classroom and easy to use.”
Upon completion of the course work, a student receives 32 course credit hours and a Universal Robots industry-recognized certification. The course can be taught in high schools, dual-enrollment courses, and in colleges.
In addition to the formalized core curriculum, the Universal Robots Program for Education Package consists of:
- UR Cobot Unit (UR3e or UR5e)
- 24 course licenses
- Gripper Demo Kit
- UR Academy Hardware Set
- One conveyor assembly including conveyor, encoder, two sensors, and I/O simulation test box
- Ten 3D printed training elements for exercises
- One 3D printed dual TCP
- Six 3D printed workpieces
For institutions that already have cobots, a retro package is available with course curricula, classroom support hardware and software.
Fitting the trend of the connected worker.
AVEVA has partnered with Poka, a connected worker platform, to bring the AVEVA Teamwork application to market. It will offer the connected worker a more integrated experience within the larger AVEVA Connect, cloud platform. “Poka is excited to partner with AVEVA, a leader in industrial digital transformation with a global network of support and service partners. This partnership will help accelerate industrial workforce transformation globally which has become even more urgent as a result of constraints imposed by the pandemic, “commented Alexandre Leclerc, CEO, Co-Founder, Poka.
It is designed to connect plant workforces with core digital systems and unlock visibility into operations. Whether providing training videos, digital logbook, or answering a call for help AVEVA Teamwork will help solve many of the challenges associated with traditional training and knowledge transfer methods.
AVEVA Teamwork combines digital content, skills management, and communication features into a single, worker-centric application to support the unique needs of the plant floor.
With the AVEVA Teamwork application, plant workers will be able to use tablets to scan QR codes strategically placed throughout the plant, giving them instant access to standard work instructions, trouble-shooting solutions, equipment KPIs, and more. They will also be able to post important production updates and send out calls for assistance in the form of text, photos or videos to communicate with one another in real-time to resolve issues and identify improvements directly from their daily routines.
“AVEVA Teamwork brings yet another cloud inspired innovation to our growing software portfolio which will enable organizations to capture experienced worker knowledge and create sustainable video-based learning content, thereby reducing training time and costs for new operators by up to 50%, “commented Rashesh Mody, Senior Vice President, Monitoring And Control Business Unit, AVEVA. “Industrial workers will now have the benefit of being able to learn continuously, on-the-job, while also contributing to collective knowledge and best practices, and likewise industrial organizations also now have the knowledge and tools they need to drive continuous improvement in productivity, waste, quality and safety.”
This news is a bit old dating from the end of September. Last year during “normal” times, there was a lull of a couple of months in news of upgrades and new things. This year during “not-so-normal” times, I’ve been flooded with releases, conversations, virtual events, and even some work.
This release discusses another virtual learning program. This week I reported on advances in the Honeywell Process training technology and program. In the days when I was traveling, I visited the Emerson training center for updates on its virtual training program. And there have been others—Bedrock Automation, Inductive Automation, and more. This release begins with the tease-line “Pre-pandemic reports had virtual learning growth approaching $330B in the next two years (obviously, that’ll increase).”
Indeed, I’m encouraged at the advances. I first saw computer-based education ideas when I attended a National School Boards Association conference in the mid-80s while an elected school board member. As a geek, I was less-than-impressed. Things have improved.
This release is from the IT side of the Manufacturing Connection—IT company Neotys has implemented an on-demand, virtual training program with IT company and training innovator OrasiLabs.
Performance tester revamps education, delivery with Orasi’s cloud-based learning platform
Orasi, a DevSecOps innovator accelerating software application delivery and adoption through automation, unveiled momentum details from its virtual training engagement with Neotys. With OrasiLabs, the train anyone, anywhere, anytime cloud-based hands-on learning platform by Orasi, Neotys implemented a flexible, scalable, hands-on virtual learning experience that empowered Neotys to increase revenue, and deliver training to teams, customers and partners, for its performance testing solutions.
When COVID-19 mandated Neotys to adopt a remote workforce culture, Neotys needed to swiftly augment its traditional, in-person training approach with a modern, virtual, on-demand model.
“Neotys’ global, mobile workforce demanded a more flexible, superior education experience than Zoom-style environments, which always seemed to fall short of the hands-on learning required,” said Bill Nicholson, VP of Customer Success in North America for Neotys. “Given the constant evolution of technologies we ask employees to know, use and train customers and partners on, Neotys needed a virtual training platform that made it easy for instructors to facilitate learning for anyone, from anywhere, at any time.”
“Given the shift to working remotely, and the pressing need for organizations to quickly educate employees, customers and partners on ever-changing technologies, virtual learning industry growth is on the rise,” said David Hand, VP for Orasi. “Demand is high for collaborative learning environments that speed retention and productivity, while reducing the inefficiency and cost of traditional teaching methods.”
OrasiLabs is an AWS cloud-native, comprehensive learning lab to train and collaborate with groups of any size, in any location, with minimal manual effort. It enables companies to deliver the highest quality content without wasting time configuring complex training environments. Employees achieve maximum knowledge retention and rapidly apply what they learn.
“OrasiLabs was quick and efficient to implement, as each student employee, customer or partner needed only a computer and Internet connection to participate,” said Nicholson. “Security was fast to establish, quality content was simple to provide, and the advanced over-the-shoulder teacher/student collaboration feature allowed students to immediately absorb information and foster ongoing communication.”
OrasiLabs revolutionized how Neotys manages training and development worldwide, expanding Neotys’ ability to bring and sell performance testing products to the market. Neotys has seen an increase in positive feedback for virtual training as compared to in-person training and a consistent rise in student ratings since it started using OrasiLabs. OrasiLabs saves time, reduces overhead costs and automates processes to simplify the delivery of application training, and provides an enhanced learning experience for everyone. Visit https://orasilabs.com/free-trial/ for a 14-day free trial.www.orasilabs.com.
Orasi is a DevSecOps innovator enabling the acceleration, security and adoption of software applications through automation. Working with world-class partners, Orasi provides solutions and services that offer full lifecycle support and integration to ensure confident delivery of transformative applications. Headquartered in Kennesaw, GA, Orasi works with hundreds of global brands, including Fortune 500 companies, in a variety of industries. Orasi has been recognized multiple times as a “Top Workplace” by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more information visit us at www.orasi.comor at Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Neotys is a leading innovator in load testing and performance testing for Web and Mobile applications. It has nearly 15 years of development investment into NeoLoad – the performance testing platform designed to accelerate Agile and DevOps processes. For more information about Neotys or NeoLoad, visit: neotys.com or contact [email protected].
· Honeywell’s Immersive Field Simulator incorporates virtual reality to provide plant operators and field technicians with a detailed, accurate training environment
· Improves training times beyond traditional classroom-based learning and minimizes situations that can result in operational downtime
Many technology pundits have commented that Virtual Reality is a solution looking for a problem. I’ve long believed that, aside from gaming, VR is most useful to us as a training tool. I’ve drawn that idea from the many demos I have seen over the past few years. And it just keeps getting better. This week I had an opportunity to talk with Vincent Higgins, global director of technology and innovation for Honeywell, and receive a demo of the training capabilities Honeywell has developed so far using VR. The product is called Immersive Field Simulator.
After talking with Higgins, I remain convinced that we have only just begun to tap into the capabilities of VR for production and manufacturing.
Honeywell announced the introduction of an advanced industrial training solution that combines 3D immersive technology with industry-leading operator training simulation to create a collaborative learning environment for plant operators and field technicians. Honeywell’s Immersive Field Simulator is a virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality-based training tool that incorporates a digital twin of the physical plant to provide targeted, on-demand, skill-based training for workers.
“Faced with increasingly complex technology and an experienced workforce nearing retirement, operators need robust technical training and development solutions that accurately depict real-world environments,” said Pramesh Maheshwari, vice president and general manager, Lifecycle Solutions and Services, Honeywell Process Solutions. “Traditional training approaches often fail to meet the mark when it comes to helping panel and field operators and maintenance technicians in process plants become better at their jobs. The result can be reliability issues and increased operational incidents.”
The Immersive Field Simulator offers a smooth, virtual walkthrough to familiarize workers with the plant. It includes avatars that represent virtual team members. The simulator’s cloud-hosted, device-agnostic platform, which incorporates flexible 3D models, grows with the user as plant operations change. The simulator is customizable to meet specific instructional needs and project team members and plant subject matter experts can easily create customized training modules.
Honeywell’s Immersive Field Simulator transforms training for today’s digital-native workforce, enabling employees to learn by doing while increasing knowledge retention, minimizing situations that can result in operational downtime improving competencies across a variety of areas.
“With our end-to-end solution, console and field operators can practice different operating and safety scenarios, including rare but critical situations, in a safe, simulated environment,” said Maheshwari. “This approach significantly improves upon current training tools and methods. VR-based training boosts confidence and retention while improving overall professional skills. Experience shows that students using VR can learn significantly faster than in the classroom.”
Honeywell’s Competency Management program, which includes the simulator training, is built upon decades of workers’ experiences using integrated control and safety systems. Honeywell has incorporated this experience into state-of-the-art competency-based offerings that improve worker performance and safety.
To learn more about the Immersive Field Simulator, please visit Honeywell’s Competency Management program.