Manufacturers today strive to simplify complex production processes, with the aim of making it possible to save time and reduce costs, while, at the same time, seeking to increase productivity and profitability in general.
By Francisco Rodríguez *
Notwithstanding the above, the rationalization of long-established processes requires a slow and often discouraging effort. If manufacturers implement quality programs and new technologies correctly from the start, they can easily improve existing processes and obtain immediate benefits.
Technology has evolved greatly in recent years. In particular, IP video and analytics solutions are now transcendental business tools, which provide companies, plants and factories, not only intelligent video surveillance, but also operational tools to create a safer and more efficient workplace. For the 2019, the industry of IP video and analytics solutions focused on security and productivity areas, will have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.1 percent.
First, smart technologies are used to create alerts when rules of behavior or certain processes are violated, which serves to detect criminal acts and other deviant behaviors. Historically, specific movement alarms were very basic and created frequent distractions. Over time, this became inefficient and alerts were often ignored. The scenario: obsolete video analytics that no longer served their purpose.
With the widespread recognition of this problem, smart technologies have improved significantly. Due to the quality of these advances, video surveillance cameras are now multipurpose and work for the benefit of security teams, as well as human resources, commercial operations and other integral departments. Manufacturing and manufacturing operations can take advantage of video analysis technologies by implementing a variety of digital rules that alert operational teams and management to control any type of failure or flaw in the process.
Personal safety, the priority within any productive process
Injuries in the workplace cause downtime and decrease productivity. By creating a safer workplace, employees can work with confidence, while management can demonstrate less corporate risk. Video surveillance cameras can be deployed above the place where workers operate near machinery, moving vehicles, or production equipment.
By creating non-crossed lines in a camera's field of view, the team can create an alert when a person crosses a virtual line near the vehicle's machinery or tracks. This alert can trigger a siren, or even stop a production line, until the worker returns to a safe area. In addition, advanced analysis capabilities such as heat mapping, people counting, face recognition, among others, provide plant owners or managers with useful information about the general behavior of their infrastructure and personnel.
Operativity of machinery and heavy vehicles
Vehicles and heavy machinery are usually restricted to travel routes or specific areas within a facility. Cameras with video analytics can monitor these channels and, when any of them is violated without prior authorization, an alarm, siren or rotating light is triggered in the activated area. For example, in some route traced by a railroad the video of the high performance IP cameras, helps to supervise the contact of electric pantographs in trains at high speeds to avoid failures, maintain efficient operation and, ultimately , improve the safety of personnel that could invade the train route or some other transport.
Protection of assets
The transport belts keep important packages moving and allow constant production. When packages fall off a conveyor belt or do not flow along the production line, an alarm can be sent to operational supervisors to alert them to a problem on the line. Smart video also allows high-resolution labels to be read, which helps logistics coordinators track progress efficiently, minimizing loss and theft.
Additionally, an NVR (Network Video Recorder) added to a surveillance system will allow the transmission of security images over the Internet; what facilitates the control of any camera at all times. This is especially useful in factories and large plants with different locations. The recorders also allow security personnel to perform more active tasks (such as patrolling on foot) instead of watching a video monitor for hours. Additionally, the wide dynamic range (WDR) capabilities in certain cameras allow workers to see details that were previously imperceptible to the human eye, helping to control quality and efficiency.
Intelligent access and exit monitoring
Video analytics deployed in cargo bay cameras can alert operational teams when a delivery truck enters or leaves, allowing teams to be prepared for new deliveries and notify the empty bay coordinators to incoming deliveries The same analysis can be used to create an alert when access roads or parking lots are blocked by disabled vehicles. Objects, personnel or machinery traveling in the wrong direction can also generate a warning.
Rationalization operations, high value competitive advantage
Although the above applications refer to the use of video analysis for operational and security alerts in real time, the technology can also be used in previously recorded video to improve business operations. The various rules that can be applied to live video transmissions can also be applied after the video has been recorded. This helps answer the question of how many times has the same incident, fault or problem occurred in the plants? It is usually formulated after something caught the attention of supervisors and management teams.
Considering all the above, it is advisable not to forget that at all times the privacy of employees must be protected, keeping the cameras in public areas such as administrative areas, manufacturing, outside of rest rooms and bathrooms; prevent damage to any safety equipment, since the cameras that supervise manufacturing processes or heavy machinery can be damaged by falling parts, excessive temperatures or malfunctioning machinery; and also take care that interruptions in the electrical supply or electrical overloads do not damage the systems or interrupt their records, as they can leave the factories vulnerable to theft or other damages. While this type of damage is rare, it is important to have an alternative form of security to protect employees and infrastructure in case this type of disruption occurs.
As smart video capabilities have advanced, becoming more conventional, their cost and effectiveness has only improved. Today, customers of all sizes and all verticals can benefit greatly from video analysis, without punishing their budgets. Technology can even save money for many of them by setting safety response standards, automating certain processes, accelerating response to incidents and optimizing operations. As the global video surveillance industry grows stronger, everything indicates that the market will continue to flourish, while constantly introducing new ways to help ensure the safety of people and organizations around the world.
* Francisco Rodríguez is the Manager of Professional Services at Axis Communications.