ISHN recently exchanged an email Q&A with Amanda Alexander, global product manager for Emerson’s Location Awareness System.

How does the Location Awareness System work?

Location Awareness is a solution comprised of Location Tags, WirelessHART® Location Anchors, Emerson Wireless Gateways, and a Plantweb™ Insight Location application. The Location Tags are personnel wearable devices that communicate their position to the WirelessHART Location Anchors, which are placed throughout the facility. These Location Anchors wirelessly delivery data to the Gateways, which can be easily viewed and managed through the software, Plantweb Insight.

How does it achieve reductions in recordable injuries up to 70%?

Location Awareness helps address up to 70% of recordable injuries through geofencing and safety alert features. People will still fall, slip and trip, come into contact with equipment, experience exposure in industrial hazardous environments, fires and explosions. Location Awareness, for example, can help you determine which one of your emergency responder teams is closest and can provide the fastest urgent care.

How long has it been on the market?

We are taking orders for projects scheduled for 2020.

What end-users are prime potential customers?

Location Awareness is suitable for any type of industrial facility. Some higher risk facilities, such as refineries and petrochemical plants, may have increased interest in this solution due to their hazardous environments.

How can readers sell management on a safety-related digital ecosystem?

Digital transformation initiatives are key in almost every industrial facility today as the workforce changes and global competition increases. Existing digital safety solutions have been cost prohibitive and difficult to install. Location Awareness reduces those barriers to entry by using a WirelessHART network, giving facilities a streamlined path to improved safety.

Do employees find being “tagged” and followed intrusive?

Essentially, this isn’t introducing new monitoring processes to the facility, but rather evolving them. Currently, people badge in or sign in to process units, certain areas are marked off-limits, and in the case of an emergency, employees have to check in at muster points. These measures have been put in place with the safety of workers being top of mind. Location Awareness transforms these processes with advanced technology and digitization, ultimately increasing worker safety by making these processes more efficient and accurate.