Leading Manufacturer Improves Emergency Management Procedures & Gets a Fresh, Modern Look with EIOBoard
- A Savance EIOBoard Client Case Study
"We had a prehistoric method of conducting a roll call during muster."
Brad Field, EHS Manager, LM Wind Power
With headquarters in Denmark and locations throughout the world, LM Wind Power, a GE Renewable Energy business, is a leading supplier of wind turbine blades. The company's mission is to power a cleaner world and unleash limitless energy.
Safety is a main concern when a huge manufacturing facility, limited visibility, and hazardous chemicals are present. LM Wind Power uses aircraft-sized hangers to build its iconic 88.4 meter turbine blades. The shear size is a visibility hazard requiring constant communication among co-workers when someone is working at the other end of the turbine blade. Despite this, LM Wind Power did not have a great system in place to keep track of staff.
Brad Field, EHS Manager, Tech Center Americas, explains that LM Wind Power was previously using a magnetic in/out board, a very outdated system for a business that wanted to look the part of a modern research and development facility. The magnetic in/out board that the company used included printing names on a label, attaching them to magnetic strips, and moving a black magnetic dot to the employee's current location. "We wanted a clean, professional, and technologically advanced look," says Field, "and the magnetic dot system was obviously not it".
"We wanted a clean, professional, and technologically advanced look, and the magnetic dot system was obviously not it."
Of course, even more important than the company image was improving LM Wind Power's process for emergency preparedness and mustering. "We had a prehistoric method of conducting a roll call during muster," says Field. "The physical dot system that we were using was accurate, but it required us to move the entire board outside in the event that we had to muster."
When LM Wind Power decided to look for a replacement for its outdated magnetic dot system, the company's two main objectives were to
- achieve the clean and professional look of an electronic in/out board, and
- have the ease and accuracy of real-time mustering data.
"I wanted to find a digital in/out board that I could display at various areas of our building," explains EHS Manager Brad Field, "especially the entrance where employees passed when entering."
To find a solution, Brad Field took to the Internet, and a Google search for Digital In and Out Board brought him to Savance EIOBoard. "My search started and ended with Savance," he says. "I sat in for a demo, and it seemed to fit our needs. The system was able to do what we needed to do, and it also appeared to be somewhat turnkey."
LM Wind Power's Savance solution consists of EIOBoard, Savance's electronic in/out board, along with a custom-branded Large Screen Display, configured to the exact needs of LM Wind Power. The company chose to provide most of its own hardware.
The EIOBoard system uses LM Wind Power's existing radio frequency badges to update staff statuses, eliminating the risk of human error. Using a touch screen kiosk with a card reader, staff can quickly check in or out on the go. For a longer list of status options or to add a comment, users may also click on their name to enter additional information. The company's custom-designed Large Screen Display board then takes these status updates and broadcasts them to other endpoints, giving employees a quick view of everyone's status in real-time.
"I wanted to find a digital in/out board that I could display at various areas of our building"
In addition, LM WindPower is using Savance Emergency Mustering, a flexible, easy-to-use tablet-based emergency management solution, providing up-to-the-minute status information in case of an emergency. The tablet is equipped with a card reader for quick muster point check-in during an emergency evacuation or roll call.
Due to the limited availability of technical resources on the LM Wind Power side, the implementation and configuration of the system took a bit longer than expected, which meant that Brad Field and Robert Joseph, the Savance Implementation Engineer who was assigned to the LM Wind Power project, got to spend quite a bit of virtual time together.
"The way to a perfect implementation for LM Wind Power was taking the time to meet every need and to revise things, one concern at a time."
"Our support guy Robert was great," says Brad field. "We spent many days and hours on the phone shooting ideas back and forth working to get things done."
The feelings were mutual. "Brad is a great guy, and working with him on the implementation was enjoyable," says Robert Joseph. "He wanted things to work a certain way; however, since some things worked better on paper, the way to a perfect implementation for LM Wind Power was taking the time to meet every need and to revise things, one concern at a time."
Results & Benefits
In the early days of using the Savance system, LM Wind Power occasionally had employees who would forget to sign in or out, but it didn't take long for people to get used to the new system. "After initial 'growing pains', we rarely have individuals who forget to sign in or out," says Brad Field. "It is now second nature to most."
"The look and the muster ability is what we got the system for and it does its job. We now get real-time data that has worked during muster events. "
The other main benefit of the Savance system is the improvement to the company's emergency management procedures. During a drill or an actual emergency, LM Wind Power now has the ease and accuracy of real-time data that they were seeking. This not only provides peace of mind for everyone onsite, but also additional insights for first responders, something that is crucial in an emergency situation. "The look and the muster ability is what we got the system for and it does its job. We now get real-time data that has worked well during muster events," says Brad Field. "I would absolutely recommend Savance to those who are in need of similar solutions."