Case Study- How Hands Free Wireless Communications Changed Operations

Process: A fruit processing & packing plant gets exceptionally busy during certain times of the year. During those times supervisors, maintenance and forklift operators are so busy they race from place to place within the plant performing various job functions with few breaks in between.

Problem: The busiest employees have difficulty coordinating through the use of portable radios, because the plant is large and very loud. In addition, hearing protection must be worn at all times. COVID requirements of face coverings and physical distancing have also made clear and effective communication exceptionally challenging.

Concern: A lack of effective communication reduces productivity and increases risks of injury and/or damage to equipment. Also, close contact between employees in order to hear one another is no longer allowed and creates additional health concerns.

Challenges: Employee’s on the plant floor need to be able to communicate with one another as well as front office administrators via radio and phone in a noisy environment. Because the plant is large with various conveyors and other noisy machines visibility between employees is limited with the range between them exceeding 1000 ft.

Solution: Bulwark Safety Systems delivered a Sonetics- Apex 3 Series, 10-User Portable System. This system included quantity 10, APX379 Wireless DECT7 Bluetooth Connectivity Hands-Free Full Duplex Headsets and a Battery-powered portable ComHub with DECT7 Wireless Base Station with a line of sight range of up to 1,600 ft.

The client liked the system so much they called back two weeks later and requested we expand the system for up to 20 users. Bulwark returned and converted their portable system into an installed system, adding a digital intercom, four additional base stations and 10 more APX379 Headsets. Bulwark will be linking their portable radios to the system to allow hands-free headset users to communicate with front office personnel and any other employee still using a portable radio and vice versa. This will allow nearly all supervisors, maintenance and forklift operators to communicate hand’s free without the need to carry a portable radio all while protecting their hearing. The Plant Manager said it best: ”It’s changed the way we operate here!”

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