Optimization of processes in production with the help of industrial smartwatches – Part 2: Hardware

  • Anna Liebich
  • General

In order to the industrial smartwatch to be used to optimize processes in production, the interaction between software and hardware must function flawlessly.

In addition to important components of the software, the industrial smartwatch must also offer hardware features that can ensure a smooth workflow and production process.

Both the operation and the functionality of the industrial smartwatch must be intuitive and simple so that employees can use it optimally. Only in this way can the use of the industrial smartwatch contribute to lean production.  

Resilience

One of the most important fundamentals is resilience. Production involves working with large machines and special materials. The dirt and dust that is generated in the process must be withstood by the industrial smartwatch.

In order to better classify various mobile devices, as well as smartwatches, there are certain certifications. The IP 67 certification, for example, indicates how resistant an industrial smartwatch is to foreign bodies and liquids. The “IP code” stands for “International Protection” and defines to what degree an industrial smartwatch is protected.

In addition, the code is an officially recognized European standard and cannot be compared with terms like “water-resistant”. The first digit determines how strongly the industrial smartwatch is protected from foreign bodies. On a scale of 0 to 6, 6 is the highest level of protection.

The second digit defines the protection against liquids. For example, on a scale of 0 to 8, 7 means protection against temporary submersion. Besides the IP 67 certification, some industrial smartwatches are equipped with so-called “Gorilla Glass”.

This is not only thicker, but also more resistant than conventional glass. Furthermore, the “Gorilla Glass 3” contains the new “Native Damage Resistance” (NDR) technology, which is supposed to protect the glass even more against scratches.

Optimal operability

To be able to use the industrial smartwatch optimally in production, it is important that it can also be operated with gloves. If this is not given, the workflow will be disturbed, and errors may occur.

Communication 

Communication on the store floor is one of the most important components in production. Cumbersome arrangements and long distances that must be covered cost time. That is why it is important that the industrial smartwatch not only displays messages from the machine, but also enables communication between employees.

Because good internal communication can also increase efficiency on the shopfloor. For this purpose, the smartwatch is equipped with a microphone and a speaker.

In addition, there are various vibration settings, as it is often very noisy in production halls and signal tones could be overheard. Communication can run via WLAN or individual SIM cards. 

Documentation

Documentation goes hand in hand with communication. For this, the industrial smartwatch is equipped with several features. It has a camera to take photos or scan barcodes, QR codes as well as Datamatrix codes. These can be used for data forwarding without having to write texts.

The industrial smartwatch also has an NFC reader. NFC means “Near Field Communication” and is an international transmission standard for the wireless exchange of data over a short distance. Among other things, this enables logging in and out of machines.

Employee-specific devices 

Special attention should be paid to an industrial smartwatch’s ability to be customized for individual employees. This is often neglected, and one device is used for all employees. The employee can choose the appropriate industrial smartwatch depending on their work position and personal feelings.

The aim here is to focus on the employee and enable perfect interaction with the machines for everyone. Employees can thus take on more responsibility. Above all it makes perfect sense for hygiene reasons, especially in a pandemic, for each employee to use their own device.

Security 

The issue of security has a high priority in all companies. Thus, the industrial smartwatch must have the highest security certificates and be capable of encrypted communication.

If an employee accidentally takes an industrial smartwatch home, he or she will not be able to access the system in the company or change settings from there. The industrial smartwatch only works in connection with the network in the company. In addition to data security, there are also important safety precautions for employees.

For this, the industrial smartwatch has a predetermined breaking point on the wristband, so that the smartwatch does not cause any further risks when working on the machines. Further the industrial smartwatch also has an LED light to illuminate dark areas. This is helpful when it comes to repairs in a machine, for example. 

Battery

The basics of an industrial smartwatch also include a sufficiently high battery life. It must be able to easily withstand at least one shift without needing to be recharged.

You can use one charging station for several smartwatches and the wristband should also be changeable for hygienic reasons

Connection

The industrial smartwatch is “stand alone” capable, so no other devices are needed. It can be coupled to a wide variety of systems and gadgets, such as headphones or scanning gloves.

In addition, the industrial smartwatch should run in single app mode. This means that there is only one system and employees cannot be distracted by various other apps. 

All these points should be considered if you are also interested in industrial smartwatches in production. The aucobo system fulfills all the criteria and has many more features that helps optimize production processes.


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