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Vortherms talks wireless devices on plant floors with Food Engineering

Dec 11, 2023

The operating industry is becoming more and more wireless, giving operators the freedom to move about the plant floor. Jim Vortherms, Director of Control Systems Integration, talked with Food Engineering to delve into the advantages and technical considerations of deploying wireless devices on the plant floor. Vortherms says, “The ideal applications for wireless devices on the plant floor include HMI/UI for process monitoring and control, alarm notification, process KPIs, maintenance troubleshooting, VR/AR (virtual reality/augmented reality), and voice assistance (‘phone a friend’)”. Assuming manufacturers have established fair rules (e.g., during breaks) for the use of personal devices during working hours, company-supplied smartphones, notebooks and tablets can typically make operations people more effective, whether they’re running or repairing equipment or looking at production status and line info.

The article takes a look at user interfaces and their design, the handling of alarms, mobility issues and the future that brings AI and virtual reality/augmented reality to the world of mobile devices, freeing operators to accomplish tasks that weren’t easily possible with older, fixed HMIs. Read the full piece here.