Food Processing at 6 Feet Apart: Wireless Communication Bridges the Gap


Food processing facilities that moved quickly to adjust to today’s COVID requirements are experiencing surprising outcomes. By adopting new technology solutions that enable real-time problem solving and better team collaboration, adhering to these requirements and restrictions gets easier. Implementing new processes and training employees becomes faster and simpler.

With the current U.S. industrial output at near-normal, just 3.6% below pre-pandemic levels according to Federal Reserve statistics, it looks like we could see renewed growth and expansion.

Companies deploying wireless headset communication systems are better positioned to reach production goals while also addressing employee safety concerns amid the continued threat of the coronavirus. Here’s how:

Social Distancing + Close Communication

Six feet; that’s one giant leap for a manufacturing facility where space is often at a premium. Maintaining a personal bubble means that we have to spread out on the floor and be more mindful of those around us. We can no longer shoulder-tap to get the attention of a coworker who can’t hear when you’re calling for them.

Distance becomes an obstacle. If something is jammed-up in a piece of equipment requiring immediate attention, the sense of urgency is high. What do you do to get someone’s attention when you’re not able to directly handle it yourself? Throwing something is frowned upon. There’s a better way.

Wireless headsets enable important conversations at a safe distance. With an average range of 1,600 feet, this kind of coverage easily keeps everyone on the same page.

Doing More with Less Labor

Many plants are experiencing higher rates of absenteeism as workers quarantine at home or care for sick family members. When you’re down people, keeping your team connected and engaged with wireless headsets helps extend the reach and facilitates quicker and easier collaboration. Talk is easy and completely hands-free, letting you stay connected while you’re focused on the work.

In training applications, a supervisor is able to have real-time interactions with a new-hire. Immediate feedback makes for a quicker learning curve and ongoing coaching sounds like a normal conversation and not a shouting match.

Hearing Protection Without Isolation

Combining communication and hearing protection means employees won’t need to remove their headset to interact. Less exposure to loud noise reduces potential hearing damage. And once-needed earplugs or earmuffs that deaden one’s ears to sounds and voices will no longer isolate a worker from their environment. They’re now free to interact with others.

Pre-COVID and donning masks, did we all realize how heavily we relied on lip-reading and observing facial expressions to effectively “hear” people? Mask use not only diminishes our ability to “read” a person, the muffled sound makes it downright difficult to communicate. Headsets with noise sensitivity can amplify one’s voice while filtering out the background, overcoming muffled mutterings that are hard to understand.

Need to make sure you hear an equipment alarm or forklift traffic behind you? Listen-through technology brings in a mix of outside sounds for complete situational awareness.

Reduced Downtime Costs

A proactive team that can identify issues before– or at the very least – while they happen are able to quickly share ideas and come up with a plan. Communicating in real-time without stopping work or shutting down equipment also makes for quicker line changeovers. Employees are able to ask questions and get answers without having to step away from their station.

Building Momentum

What started out as a frantic reaction among all companies to comply with CDC guidelines and OSHA requirements is now morphing into an opportunity for organizations to continue innovating and operate more efficiently while maintaining a safe workplace – a true competitive advantage.

Learn more about wireless communication solutions for food processing.

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