Wearable Technology in the Manufacturing Workplace

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You’ve probably heard plenty of news about the Fitbit, the GoPro camera, and the Google Glass. These are a few of the best-known forms of “wearable technology”, a new trend in portable electronics and data-gathering tools that can be toted around on the user’s body. But these aren’t the only wearables that are available on the current marketplace; a host of equally sophisticated devices are now in the development and testing stages and will be released within the next few years. What role, if any, will these devices play in the manufacturing industry?

As most experienced manufacturing managers know, productivity and efficiency are based on complex equations and the convergence of multiple factors that vary with each workplace and each production facility. But in order to crack these equations and control these varied factors, employers need one thing above all else: information. The more data we gather, and the more effectively we crunch those numbers and apply them in practical ways, the more we gain from each hour of time and each ounce of employee labor. Wearable technology can support these efforts in a big way.

How Wearables Help Employees

Imagine a world in which employees always know exactly where they need to be and exactly what they need to focus on at any given time. Then imagine a device that can be worn around the wrist that provides instant updates involving scheduling and instructions. The minute employees arrive in the morning, the device clocks them in and lets their managers know where they are. In response, managers can use the device to send employees to a certain cell or workstation, deploy them into the field, or direct their attention to a machine in need of maintenance.

How Wearables Help Managers

Now imagine a world in which managers always know what employees are doing, where they are, how fast they’re moving, and what they need help with. With wearable devices in place, data regarding productivity can be generated and shared in real-time. And just as valuable, employees can get the support they need, when they need it, using visual interfaces that share complex situations or machinery problems with supervisors.

To learn more about the availability and capabilities of wearable technology formats, contact the staffing experts at CSS. We have our eyes on the future of the industry, and we can help you make the most of upcoming trends.

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