New smart factory in Hamina focuses on safety and security
The Empower Smart Factory in Hamina, Finland is a ground breaking facility. The factory provides centralised maintenance services for different industrial sectors using state-of-the-art technology. Empower will also consolidate in Hamina the development of digital smart technology products and services. Safety and security will be at the heart of the operation – from occupational safety to information security.
Industry is in the midst of a remarkable digital transformation. Modern factories and other production facilities are increasingly using real-time digital systems, advanced data analysis and artificial intelligence. These technologies will support and streamline working in many ways. Next-generation technology will help us design, predict, schedule, measure, track and monitor things. Combined with smart solutions, it will also help us optimise production and develop our operating methods.
Safety benefits everyone
No factory can run without personnel. Employees are needed for planning, manual tasks, transportation, maintenance, control duties and production monitoring. Nowadays companies understand that employee safety must be in the top category of operating principles, and they are willing to invest in it. We at Empower have brought down our accident frequency rate close to 5 from the 30 of our early decades.
Safety and productivity are interlinked. Accidents compromise the quality and reliability of our deliveries, undermining productivity. Even if we use redundant systems and have multiple employees performing the same tasks, absences due to accidental injury have a regrettable human cost, and they negatively impact our image as a company and reduce customer satisfaction. Our level of occupational safety also has a significant impact on the cost of our insurance policies, which in turn have decreased significantly along with the low accident frequency rate.
Smart Factory harnesses smart technology for industrial service
At the new Empower smart factory, we take safety into account in every sense of the word. Empower's human resources department has participated in the creation the factory concept from the start to ensure that we include as many as aspects of well-being and occupational safety as possible. For example, the factory is not lit by noisy and flickering fluorescent tubes but modern LED technology that allows the lighting to be adjusted. In addition this is saving energy and costs during the life cycle of lightning. All workstations are designed to be ergonomic and have excellent ventilation and acoustics. Everything is measured in real time, from temperature to humidity to the combustion gas extraction system.
Although some old machinery will be moved to the Hamina factory from Kotka, it will be modernised with digital measuring equipment.
"Even if the content of the work may not change for every employee, the improved conditions will increase occupational safety and comfort."
Work stages will be divided into smaller segments for digital monitoring. The EmSight Lite equipment developed by Empower will monitor parameters, such as machine operating times, part completion times and working efficiency, to collect data for analytics. The sensors installed in production machinery measure things like vibration, movement and production conditions (moisture, air pressure, temperature, etc.). The analysis of these measurements allows us to identify areas that may need improvement.
EmSight Lite also tracks the effect of corrections and repairs. The sensors are integrated into production automation systems, meaning that the machines and systems can communicate with each other. The system can be upgraded into learning smart technology that monitors and optimises working conditions on its own. Workloads can also be optimised and made more agreeable using the collected data and smart technology.
Making safety strategy a genuine part of work and understandable for employees
Developed by Empower, EmSafe is a real-time location tracking and analysis system that helps prevent work-related hazards. The system can predict when and where persons will be moving by tracking the movement of employees on factory grounds. The collected data can be used to, for example, schedule gritting for when it is needed most.
Gritting a working area just before work starts will make tasks easier and safer to carry out than on a slippery surface. Factory floors can be made safer by sweeping and washing. EmSafe detectors will also warn of collisions and other hazards. When information technology applications have such a direct impact on work, everyone down to drivers and factory floor workers will see that the company's digital strategy benefits them as well.
Security – modern and reliable information security
Information security is a critical component of a company's overall security. It is also an important factor in ensuring continuity and safety of operations. We have started a determined effort to develop the information security of industrial systems. By investing in development and the recruitment of top talent from the information security field, we wish to ensure that
"Information security is not only a part of Empower's corporate strategy, but also an area of expertise where we can offer state-of-the-art services to our customers"
Attacks and the breakdown of information technology functions disrupt production and affect operational results. Cyber criminals have a formidable arsenal of tricks: for example, advanced attackers have been able to falsify the information on digital displays by recording process data and playing it back on a loop while an attack is underway. To the control room staff, everything looked to be in order.
The data and systems owned by companies are highly valuable, but sadly vulnerable. Common malware, "bulk attacks", can be cleared up by software vendors relatively quickly, but the dedicated heavy attacks that companies face require in-house preparations. This is the skill set that we focus on in Hamina. All of the data that a company owns, such as customer and business information, must be appropriately protected. This is also a matter of reputation: you can only keep trust if you can keep safe the information you have received.
We possess versatile competence in information security development. Our services include information security reviews, arrangements for the European Union Directive on security of network and information systems (NIS Directive), and the design and building of seamlessly integrated production security solutions. Most notably, we can offer our customers a complete information security package. We provide occupational safety and information security expertise and solutions that can be integrated into factory operations. Get in touch with us and let's see how we can help!
Matti Karhu, Vice President, Digital and Expert Services and Timo Wiander, Information Security Manager