Somewhere in your factory right now, there’s probably someone wearing a Fitbit — a discreet wristwatch-like device that tracks the number of steps they take and how they sleep. There might be someone with a wearable monitor for diabetes or another condition which hooks up to their phone to track health issues for them and communicate with their doctor if necessary.
They might not be in your plant, but there are plenty of people using Apple watches, personal GPS devices (for their dogs if not for themselves), and emergency call devices.
Meanwhile, your engineers are looking things up on their phones and shouting at machine operators.
It would make sense for readouts to be on smartwatches. It would be handy to be able to send video from the field to support teams without having to pull out a phone. And wouldn’t you like to be able to check the Indramat error code with the manual from a kiosk near the machine instead of having to dig it out of the bottom file drawer in the back office?
— That’s if you can find it at all. If you can’t, we will be happy to provide you with an Indramat manual. Just tell us what you need. —
There are also situations in which it would be nice to be able to operate a machine by gesture with an armband, as many gamers now play their video games.
Possible problems with wearables
One of the big concerns about moving trendy wearable tech from the gym and the doctor’s office to the factory floor is misgivings about distraction. True, a Halo that alerts you to your mood throughout the day might be distracting. But we don’t think distraction is a given for wearable tech. You don’t go around gazing in fascination at your wristwatch, right?
We get used to things and the fascination wears off.
While we wait for wearables, don’t hesitate to use your phone to call us if you need support for your Indramat and Indradrive motion control.