Industry partners gathered on how digitalization can improve workforce safety


Wednesday 12th of December 2018; Ericsson, Luleå University of Technology, Mobilaris, SSAB and Swerim; all members of the strategic innovation program called Production 2030 exchanged knowledge and experience from their work on building the Positioning technology for the heavy manufacturing industry (POSTECH) test bed with several other industry partners.

The purpose of creating the POSTECH testbed was to create prerequisites for radically improved working environment and personal safety in heavy industrial environments. The basis for this work was to use the latest technology developed for positioning and decision support systems.    

There were several challenges that was needed to be addressed by the testbed and the group designed a testbed focused that solved the issues of;

  • detection of people, vehicles, machines in real-time,
  • sending out warnings before collisions occur,
  • creating digital fences around dangerous areas and sending of alarms when unauthorized personnel entered the area,
  • sending out warnings and alarms in forms of light, sound, text messages including the possibility to directly stop machines and equipment when dangerous situations occur,
  • smooth and effective evacuation support, and
  • showing of the gathered real-time information on a computer or a pad to support the work of the safety manager at the event of a dangerous situation.

The testbed combined the Precise Localization system using Ultra-Wide-band (UWB) technology developed by Ericsson, with the Mobilaris Industrial Intelligence decision support system. The testbed was placed at Swerim’s test facility in Luleå that is used for research related to iron and steel making.

There were doubts if the UWB technology would work when the large electric furnace was active producing steel, since it is generating large electromagnetic fields. But as it turned out the UWB technology is robust and no major interference issues were recorded.

The workshop could conclude that the POSTECH testbed was successful! It delivered the promise of positioning people and machines with decimetre precision in harsh industrial settings. And you get a powerful system when combining accurate positioning technologies with the Mobilaris Industrial Intelligence™ decision support system realizing use cases such as; real-time visualization, digital fencing of stationary and moving objects, evacuation support and triggering of alarms when distances between objects became too short.

More information regarding Realtime Workforce Safety, please contact:

Jan Pudas, Mobilaris Industrial Solutions 
Business Development Manager
+46 70 300 8026

This video shows some of the scenarios (proximity alert, geofences, multiple ways of
notifications and emergency evacuation) handled by the Real-time workforce safety
application in the Mobilaris Industrial Intelligence platform.