How to Transform the Way Industrial Data Is Managed at the Edge

Companies in industries such as oil and gas, utilities, and manufacturing are managing more data at the edge than ever before. Data is being generated by workers and assets at the edge of the network in the field, at refineries, on factory floors, and along supply chains.  

At the same time, workers are consuming data at the edge as they evaluate processes and maintain the equipment that keeps industrial companies running. For example, analyzing assembly-line data enables manufacturers to maintain quality control to prevent flawed products from reaching the consumer. Forbes identified data as the key to empowering workers. 

Today, connected worker technology is starting to play more of a role in handling data. In the past, wearables were used in industry to assist workers remotely or to provide remote mentoring as part of training. Now, connected worker technology focuses on handling data at the edge by creating two-way communication between employees in the field and the headquarters. 

Generating Data at the Edge

Industrial companies generate tons of data from information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems. Oil and gas companies, utilities, and manufacturers use connected IoT devices with sensors to manage equipment in the field. These companies need ways to transmit and gain insight from this data so it can be used to optimize operations. 

Industrial infrastructure degrades over time, so equipment needs to be inspected regularly to make sure it doesn’t malfunction. These inspections allow for preventative maintenance to take place. In conducting these inspections, workers create data at the edge that must be passed along to an on-site command center. 

When frontline employees carry out inspections and maintenance, the data they generate becomes part of the history of the asset that can be used during future inspections. 

Consuming Data at the Edge

Workers also consume data at the edge by referring to asset histories and maintenance manuals while in the field. Industrial companies need to be concerned about how this data is coming to workers and what it looks like to them. 

Frontline workers need a way to access data that doesn’t interfere with their hands-on maintenance work. In the past, workers were burdened with clipboards and paperwork that had to be held in their hands and could easily be dropped.  

The data employees consume in the field needs to be digitized so it can be shared with experts at the company headquarters, sometimes in real-time, so crucial decisions can be made. 

The Role of Connected Worker Technology in Industrial Data

CBT Connected Worker is wearable technology that enables frontline workers to generate, transmit, visualize, and consume industrial data at the edge. Connected Worker uses a combination of hardware and software technologies that include a camera, a mic and speaker, a database, and connectivity. 

Workers in the field benefit from a hands-free wearable device that enables them to view real-time data, including asset histories and schematics. With a wearable device, workers can view IoT sensor readings as part of an inspection. Repairs can be conducted using instructions and schematics that can be projected on top of the equipment using a headset.  

Connected Worker allows for two-way communication between field workers and the main headquarters. The camera, mic, and speaker allow experts at the headquarters to share the viewpoint of workers and converse with them. The headset also allows workers to receive information, including images, from headquarters.  

Customized software makes it possible to share the worker’s view on a range of devices, including desktops and mobile devices. Voice commands allow workers to fill out forms and maintenance documentation. 

With Connected Worker, employees can access the data they need to conduct maintenance, as well as to meet compliance and safety regulations, including: 
  • Historical trend data 
  • Maintenance logs 
  • Manuals 
  • Asset readings 
  • Data dashboards 
  • Compliance records and standards documentation 

Realizing the Possibilities of Handling Data With Connected Worker

At CBT, we understand that seeing is believing. You may have ideas for how to use Connected Worker at your company. Even if you don’t, we think that once you see how Connected Worker technology makes consuming data at the edge possible, you’ll realize how the solution will fit into your business strategy. 

CBT can work with your company to explore the possibilities of Connected Worker and realize them through customized software.  

Find use cases for Connected Worker at your company.  Ask for a Quickstart Ideation Session with CBT.


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