Tag Archives: ANT Telecom

Smurfit Kappa synergises lone worker protection across all UK sites thanks to ANT Telecom

The Smurfit Kappa Group plc, the corrugated packaging company, has unified its complete lone worker protection solutions across 19 UK sites with the assistance of ANT Telecom.

ANT Telecom has been working with Smurfit Kappa since 2011 and initially provided lone worker devices across five of the company’s sites to protect employees when working alone. These devices are designed to provide lone worker ‘SOS’ and ‘Man Down’ facilities in both normal and harsh environments whereby end users can raise an alert when the device’s in-built panic button has been pressed or the tilt mechanism activated.

Nigel Elias, UK HSE manager at Smurfit Kappa, said: “The well-being of all of our staff is something we take very seriously and ensuring protection for our workers, especially when they’re working alone, is paramount. ANT Telecom’s lone worker devices have helped reassure our staff of their safety and give them the confidence that, should an incident occur, an alarm is triggered.”

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More recently, Smurfit Kappa wanted to enhance the lone worker solution and protect lone workers across its other sites. “We needed a way of ensuring that an alert had reached the correct response team and had been dealt with in a timely manner, with complete visibility of the alarm’s audit trail,” explained Elias.

In response, ANT Telecom presented its Automated Incident Manager, a critical alarm management platform that integrates with the hand-held lone worker devices. The solution automatically distributes the triggered alarm’s information to designated local response teams and escalates the alarm if it’s not acknowledged, thereby ensuring the incident is dealt with without delay. 

Elias continued: “Alerting selected responders for each location is key for a multiple-site organisation such as ours. The hosted version of the solution was ideal due to its rapid deployment capability. The effectiveness of immediate alerts and scalability quickly prompted our decision to roll out the solution, along with lone worker Protector devices, across 19 of our sites, in turn enabling us to implement a more effective and robust lone worker process across the group.”

Elias went on to state: “Our workforce isn’t wholly comprised of lone workers. Therefore, a challenge for us was educating staff that, when they’re working on their own, they need to be protected should an incident occur. With ANT Telecom’s help and the business’ consultative approach, we’ve built awareness of lone worker safety right across the company. This is something that has helped the business immensely in terms of improving employee morale.”

To reinforce this further, ANT Telecom provided each individual site with a well-structured training initiative for how the system works. Representatives have worked closely with Smurfit Kappa’s staff and continue to monitor the solution across the myriad sites involved in order to ensure that it’s maintained and working effectively.

Klaus Allion, managing director at ANT Telecom, observed: “We’re thrilled to be working with Smurfit Kappa in building a reliable and wide-scale solution across its sites to increase the Health and Safety of lone workers. We’ve provided Smurfit Kappa with an overall solution that puts both lone workers and stakeholders’ minds at ease. Should an alarm be activated, the response time is going to be rapid.”

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ANT Telecom announces detail of strategic partnership with Motorola Solutions

Automated communications specialist ANT Telecom has joined forces with Motorola Solutions as part of its PartnerEmpower Programme to support its Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) and related communication application portfolio throughout the UK.

Motorola Solutions introduced the PartnerEmpower programme in 2010 to bring forward new opportunities for collaboration in delivering customer solutions. The programme leverages Best-in-Class mobility and communications technology, enabling partners such as ANT Telecom to collaborate with an internationally recognised brand that has a strong reputation for delivering high-quality products and services.

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As part of the PartnerEmpower Programme, ANT Telecom has also extended its own product portfolio to present greater choice to its customers. Products such as Motorola’s Wave and its radio to smart phone integration, as well as its DMR radios (including trunked systems and applications) have enabled the company to further enhance its lone worker and critical alarm management solutions, thereby empowering customers to improve safety and efficiency within their businesses.

Klaus Allion, managing director at ANT Telecom, explained to Risk Xtra: “The partnership compliments our aim of providing better protection for employees and businesses through integrated communication solutions. For over 30 years now, we’ve helped organisations with a highly mobile workforce to communicate effectively with their colleagues, customers and suppliers.”

Allion concluded: “As part of the PartnerEmpower Programme, we’ll also have wider access to alternative avenues to increase market presence, drive sales and strengthen our offer. We’re very much looking forward to seeing how our partnership with Motorola continues to evolve.”

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ANT Telecom concludes research project on companies’ communications, lone worker and critical alert procedures

Automated communication specialist ANT Telecom has recently completed research designed to unearth a better understanding of how businesses communicate and respond to incidents in the workplace.

Within its research, ANT Telecom looked at the range of devices employees were using to communicate with colleagues, including lone workers, as well as incident reporting and response timings and the resulting impact these factors have on business continuity in the workplace.

From the variety of communications business have available to adopt, a GSM mobile solution was the most prevalent, with 76.92% confirming it as their preferred device to keep upon their person. However, the research also showed that an overwhelming percentage (71.43%, in fact) used their devices for voice only, leaving just 28.57% with the means necessary to receive real-time plant processing updates and critical alerts directly to their device.

This approach is likely to affect machine downtime and product wastages as employees cannot benefit from instant alerts if an incident occurs, which is greatly beneficial to keeping production lines and machinery running smoothly.

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However, real-time information is of no value whatsoever if it’s not used effectively. It’s therefore essential to assess how machine alerts could and should be used to facilitate the quickest response possible.

Machine maintenance

Machine maintenance is also a large part of a company’s communication and its impact on production was also a subject raised in the research. The majority (32%) of those who answered confirmed that it would take between zero and two minutes for an engineer to be notified if a problem occurred with a piece of machinery on the manufacturing or production site, but over 38% stated that this would take more than ten minutes, with 6% confirming it would take over 30 minutes for their business.

Those surveyed were also asked if their alert system automatically distributed machine or processing faults directly to a qualified engineer, who would then attend to the fault, and 73% answered ‘No’. Of course, manufacturing plants have been collecting alert information from machines for years. Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems for remote monitoring and control are a standard component of any operating environment, providing a single view of equipment performance on a large screen in a Control Room.

More recently, these systems have gone mobile, offering operators and maintenance engineers alike the chance to view the red, amber and green alerts on a tablet while on, or away from, the factory floor. That’s great, but the way in which organisations respond to these alerts is still, in the main, archaic.

A red alert could prompt a generic page message to which any number of individuals may or may not respond. Alternatively, an operator viewing the red alert on the SCADA screen has to call the engineering team leader who will access a control panel to understand the true nature of the problem and only then identify and contact a team member to resolve the issue.

Impact on productivity

An overwhelming 88% of respondents felt that machine faults impacted productivity in some way, while 44.44% of those questioned thought that the time taken to detect a fault through to a qualified engineer resolving the issue could be reduced. There are numerous ways in which businesses can address this issue in a proactive manner.

Direct integration between a communication system and a control panel, for example, provides immediate information about the nature of the fault. By designing and configuring a smart workflow, it then ensures the communication system automatically contacts the most relevant team, such as electrical engineering specialists, thereby eliminating a number of time-consuming manual steps. Once the designated team member has received the notification, they can confirm their attendance and, critically, provide updates on the repair resolution.

The results of this research highlight some prominent issues for businesses that must be addressed and acted upon accordingly. In an era where increasing regulatory scrutiny is matched by rapid advances in disruptive innovation, there can be no excuse for companies who fail to take advantage of the best available technology. To optimise such technology, it makes sense to partner with a trusted expert, evaluate your exposure and plan for a safer and more connected future.

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