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Hazardex 2019 Conference Presentations - Enhanced worker safety in process industry environments

Author : John Hartley, CEO, Extronics Ltd

21 November 2018

The hazardous process industries are reaching a tipping point. More and more companies are adopting new technologies to help them improve worker safety and increase productivity, but how can we make sure that we’re getting value for that investment?

RTLS is increasingly used in the process industries to improve worker safety, for example through worker location, automatic mustering, emergency assistance alerts, and security.

This paper will look at improvements in RTLS technologies over recent years, and how the growth of complementary technologies - such as Wi-Fi, GPS, BLE, UWB, and RFID access control - has enabled RTLS deployments to demonstrate clear business improvements and higher ROI. We take a look at each of these technologies, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and analyse where they’re most suited to enhancing worker safety.

However, the real value in successful RTLS deployments is combining the available technologies to provide hybrid location solutions so we dive into how technologies can be combined to deliver the best value solution that’s suited to the needs of each deployment.

Relying on only one technology is not enough in today’s world; systems must deliver wider value. Compatibility is a trend that’s clearly seen in the Internet of Things approach to operational needs, so this paper also considers other worker safety capabilities that can be integrated, such as gas detection and vital life signs monitoring.

We walk you through identifying business requirements for RTLS, looking at key points like site size, worker numbers, work patterns, and accuracy. The paper highlights why a ‘one technology fits all’ approach doesn’t work, such as the varied environments and multiple worker roles across large sites, which is only exacerbated for larger companies with multiple sites.

This paper also investigates some of the ways in which infrastructure costs can be reduced to deliver higher ROI. We’ll be using some case studies and use cases to show how hybrid location solutions can work in practice.


John Hartley is CEO of Extronics Ltd.

Straight-talking and highly driven, John cut his teeth at Siemens before going on to found Extronics in 1992. Enthusiastic and highly driven, he has over 30 years’ experience of working in the process industries, especially hazardous areas such as in the oil and gas and chemical sectors. With a technical grounding in automation and instrumentation, wireless networks, and RFID systems including RTLS, John is passionate about innovation and the adoption of modern technologies.

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