We look at how you can use RealWear together with Microsoft Teams to elevate frontline worker safety.
If you’re in the manufacturing industry, you know the safety and well-being of your frontline workers are paramount. Modernization and integration of technology are improving safety for manufacturing teams like never before.
Using technology like RealWear in conjunction with Microsoft Teams, manufacturers can quickly resolve issues, decrease turnaround time, increase customer satisfaction and reduce the number of safety incidents.
In the previous blog post in this series, we explored several tools available in Microsoft Teams that go hand in hand with enhancing manufacturing operational efficiencies. In this post, we’ll explore how Microsoft Teams embeds a partner-centric approach to increase safety and efficiencies throughout the frontline workforce.
What is RealWear, and How Does it Integrate with Microsoft Teams?
RealWear is a hands-free, wearable technology that connects frontline workers (FLWs) within industries like manufacturing and utilities to other employees, such as support engineers. Because RealWear integrates with Microsoft Teams, FLWs can connect to engineers simply by using voice commands – leaving their hands free to do their work. By using voice commands, manufacturing workers can connect to coworkers across the organization with a live video stream of what the FLW sees.
Photos and chat features are important information to capture and communicate on demand. RealWear also has document storage ability, so accessing manufacturers’ guides, blueprints, safety documents and more becomes optimally efficient as it is all accessed hands-free.
Automations: Tracking and Reporting Frontline Worker Safety
Microsoft Teams automates tracking and reporting functions using a combination of tools such as Forms, SharePoint and the Power Platform. If you create low-code or no-code apps, it makes entering and collecting data more user-friendly. Layer in Power BI to aggregate dynamic views of data collected throughout the platform and you’ve created a dashboard to quickly view data and analytics.
Let’s look at a few specific features.
Gone are the days of the messy paper trail. When you implement a simple digital automated solution, Microsoft Forms quickly collects data in real time and allows collectors to access forms via mobile devices. With the click of a button, Teams collects and preserves data in a central location. Creators can easily update forms without the hassle of printing new versions. The newest version of the form is available as soon as you publish it.
Like the safety checklist, incident reports created in Microsoft Forms collect and store data in real time. Because of the sense of urgency around incident reporting, adding Power Automate alerts parties as soon as someone reports an incident, expediting the reporting and resolution process. The Teams chat functions accessible on RealWear allow for immediate collaboration around the incident, keeping all participants informed.
Using a checklist for equipment means you have a recorded maintenance history and issues. By using voice command in RealWear, adding an image of damaged equipment to the record helps to track the issue. Providing a clear picture of the history of a piece of equipment helps to track costs and lifecycle, which can inform cost-savings initiatives down the road.
RealWear in Real Life: A Manufacturing Frontline Worker’s Story
Rajit is an electrical technician working at a large plastics manufacturing facility. He is asked to perform maintenance on a local conveyor system. Because Rajit is the only technician in plant one, he uses his RealWear headset device to quickly call and connect with an engineer. Using voice commands, he accesses the Microsoft Teams program on the device to connect with Jim, a more experienced engineer who is at another location.
Jim can see exactly what Rajit sees in real-time through live streaming. Rajit is focusing on the electrical panel which controls the conveyor systems. Jim suggests Rajit snap a photo of the panel and add it to his equipment checklist. Using voice commands, Rajit takes the photos, completes the checklist and sends it via chat to Jim. Rajit and Jim accomplish all this using Microsoft Teams together with RealWear.
RealWear Benefits Extend Beyond Safety
By providing raw, real-time data, you and your FLW team can make operational decisions and valuations quickly. Tracking dynamic data through Power BI offers a real-time view of operational analytics so you can focus on what matters most – people, process and productivity. In addition, you can redirect the costs associated with highly customized third-party applications to other company initiatives when deploying these low-code and no-code solutions.
With RealWear, manufacturing frontline workers no longer need to be disconnected from their colleagues. With this improved connectivity, manufacturers can quickly resolve issues, decrease turnaround time, increase customer satisfaction and reduce the number of safety incidents utilizing Microsoft technology.
In our next blog in this series, we will summarize the effectiveness and efficiencies of Microsoft technology for the frontline worker. We will also highlight the importance of creating a governance plan around technology and provide tips on creating a strong communications and training plan to aid in higher adoption rates.