How AI-based facilities monitoring improves safety

Wednesday, 16 February, 2022 | Supplied by: ADLINK Technology Inc

How AI-based facilities monitoring improves safety

Facilities monitoring in manufacturing, warehousing and other industrial sectors is key to ensuring workplace safety, enforcing safety protocols and protecting against trespassers.

Securing a large facility like a warehouse or port relies heavily on human supervision, which has its limitations. SAIC Anji Logistics, a systems integrator in China, sought an AI computing platform that could analyse up to 30 video camera feeds simultaneously. In addition, the platform had to be highly reliable, compact and capable of operating for long periods of time in harsh environments.

SAIC Anji Logistics also wanted to employ a heterogeneous computing platform that had a mix of computing cores to accelerate specific types of AI workloads. With heterogeneous computing, AI workloads run on the best-suited computing architecture, resulting in faster computation and less power consumed for a particular function, compared to a homogeneous platform with only one CPU architecture.

Most available AI computing solutions are server-based and not suitable for many warehouse applications because they are bulky, overpowered and not industrial-grade; and their sheer size makes it difficult to deploy them on warehouse floors.

These design challenges were overcome by the ADLINK DLAP-4000, a compact, industrial-grade deep learning acceleration platform. Some of the benefits include:

Restricting dock access to authorised personnel

Every year thousands of workers are seriously hurt in loading dock accidents due to congested workspaces, unwieldy loads, noisy environments, adverse weather conditions and working four feet above ground level at a rapid pace. It is critical to keep loading dock areas clear of unauthorised individuals who could suffer serious injuries from accidents, like a high-speed forklift crashing into a truck and causing it to roll over. AI-based vision systems deployed in ‘no-go’ areas can detect workers entering or lingering at loading docks and activate a siren to inform them to leave.

Spotting pedestrians at vehicle-only entrances

Security guards dispatched at vehicle-only entrances must also ensure pedestrians do not sneak or stroll across the gate access area and onto the premises, possibly causing an accident around a loading dock. To help guards, AI-vision solutions notify them when pedestrians are around the gate.

Boosting out-of-hours monitoring

Warehouses primarily rely on security guards to protect the premises during off-hours, like evenings, weekends and holidays; however, patrol duties, fatigue or negligence could lead to trespassers entering the facilities undetected. In contrast, AI vision solutions work continuously and steadily to pinpoint unexpected human presence.

Identifying obstructions in loading dock areas

AI vision solutions can recognise equipment and vehicles that are out of place, illegally parked or have not moved for a long time.

Maintaining appropriate worker levels

Loading docks can become overcrowded and accident-prone, or understaffed and overtaxed. It is possible to control crowd size using an AI-based system that broadcasts an alert if the number of workers on the dock is unsuitable and dangerous.

Enforcing usage of protective gear

Loading docks are highly dynamic and sometimes dimly lit environments shared between forklifts and workers. AI-based vision systems can detect ill-equipped workers, issuing a safety warning to remind workers to put on protective gear, like safety vests with reflective stripes and helmets.

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