Setting the standards for manufacturing safety to be one step ahead
Technical innovations are transforming the manufacturing industry. We are working smarter and more cost-effective to meet the demands of the market, all while robots, automation, and artificial intelligence relieve us from straining, repetitive and complex tasks.
But how can we make sure to stay one step ahead when it comes to safety issues? How can we even begin to think that we may identify and anticipate potential hazards due to new technology at our workplace, warehouse, or factory when this fast-paced evolution keeps us busy discovering all the possibilities of market growth with cutting-edge technology?
This question has been on Kim Dahl´s mind, ever since he started working at Troax, a leading manufacturer of safety panels. Safety is all about being one step ahead, which is a huge challenge. Yet Troax meets this challenge by keeping an ear close to the factory floor, listening attentively to their customers, and continuously inventing new solutions according to the customers' needs.
STANDARDS SAVE LIVES
“Troax´s mission from the start has been to protect people, property, and processes.”
Kim Dahl, the senior expert within machine safety, quotes the core business that also became his business from day one.
“And it always has to start with people. You need to know that if you head off for work, following required standards and safety procedures, you will come home at the end of the day. You will be safe,” Kim says.
It´s all about
setting the standards
- and saving lives.
When Swedish and international standards regarding machine safety are revised, Kim Dahl takes a major part in this work is also part of Swedish and international technical committees, alongside market-leading players in robotics and automation, working towards the common goal that no human lives will be lost in the workplace.
COMPANIES BENEFIT FROM WELL-THOUGHT-OUT SAFETY
However, safety is not just a question of personal wellbeing. Workplace injuries not only affect the individual who got injured but the entire company. Hence the mission of Troax is to protect not only people and property but also processes. And this area is becoming increasingly relevant.
During the covid-19 pandemic, the industry worldwide has become aware of just how vulnerable your supply chain can be when trade flows, freights and raw material resources are being challenged. The global shortage of semiconductors has led to downtime in the automotive industry which inevitably follows down the ranks of subcontractors.
With the manufacturing industry being so highly automated today with standardized products, you need to stay in continuous production.
Unintended stops cause huge losses.
As a matter of fact, the problem of unplanned downtime costs industrial manufacturers an estimated 50 billion USD each year. Equipment failure is the cause of 42 percent of this unplanned downtime and outdated maintenance procedures not only waste resources but also may expose staff to greater safety risks. Add to this the fact that many safety issues do occur during start-up and shutdown operations. Staff dealing with unexpected downtime also have less time to consider safety hazards.
In Forbes magazine, Naresh Shanker, Chief Technology Officer at Xerox, presents predictive maintenance, powered by IoT resources like sensors and machine learning, as a strong solution to reduce and even eliminate this unplanned downtime in production.
DID YOU KNOW?
• Warehouses in America have seen a huge increase of workers with over 1,000,000 total employees since 2018. Numbers from Europe will show the same trend. It´s time to safeguard the automated warehouse to keep the people, the property, and the process safe. Read more
• On average, employers will spend 120,000 USD on each workplace injury, when calculating both direct and indirect costs, like recovery of lost production. For companies operating at a 10 percent profit margin, you will need an additional 1.2 million USD in sales to pay for the injury. Read more
• About 2.3 million people worldwide have work-related accidents every year. This translates into over 6,000 deaths every single day. Transportation and warehousing have a high rate of fatal work injuries, whereas transportation caused 40 percent of all occupational fatalities in 2019. Read more
PROTECTING PEOPLE, PROPERTY, AND PROCESSES
And this brings us back to the mission to protect not only people and property but also processes. Whether it be the automated warehouse where orders from companies like Amazon need to keep a seamless flow or whether it be the highly automated production line where your new Tesla is being assembled, the process must be continuous and safe, according to set standards.
Not only will an incident hurt production and damage your brand image by negative attention, but it will also excess the administrative effort and ultimately remove money from the bottom line. Therefore it´s time to kill the stop. Process safety is a matter of course in any facility dealing with hazardous material, yet it ought to be on the agenda in every workplace, warehouse, and factory to ensure growth.
So let´s get down to business. How much are injuries and unplanned downtime costing your company every year?
And what are you going to do about it?