5G, Edge Compute, and Manifest Will Transform Deskless Workers' Productivity, Consistency, and Safety
5G and multiaccess edge computing (MEC) will provide the connectivity and computing power to enable unprecedented access to information and real-time data, previously unavailable to many deskless workers. Consider a frontline worker at a large semiconductor manufacturer that has just been warned of a pressure profile trending in the wrong direction which threatens a managed chemical process and could damage product. She has been trained on what to do but she is working in a new area of the plant and needs a refresher. So, she heads off to find the paper binder outlining the Out-of-Control Action Plan (OCAP). She has little time to retrieve the information, review it, map it to what’s happening on the line, and take the appropriate corrective actions before material will be damaged. OCAPs are not necessarily always as dire as their acronym suggests, but they do require immediate action and can occur regularly. And similar procedures are often required in other verticals such as energy, utilities, defense, and transportation industries as well. Traditional response procedures today, even at some of the most advanced facilities, direct workers to locate a paper binder, or the digital equivalent – a PDF file, that outlines the mitigation steps and the appropriate responsive actions. This approach is fraught with issues ranging from limited or slow access to the documentation to the challenges of keeping the reference and instructional information updated to the limitations of incorporating real-time sensor data for accelerating diagnostics and decision making. Remote locations of equipment, facilities or experts can further complicate access to this critical information.