CHICAGO—In the post-coronavirus world, manufacturers will need to address social distancing on their assembly lines. One solution may be to deploy proximity sensors.

Engineering USA has developed a device called Smart Proximity. The sensors interact with each other by sending and receiving location information. When two devices are “visible” to each other, they provide real-time warning indicators (sound and LED light), asking operators to maintain a safe distance.

“Our mission has always been to deliver technology that helps the manufacturing industry adapt to the continuously changing needs of the world around us,” says Zivile Badaraite, marketing specialist at Engineering USA. “And, in the midst of the current health crisis, our aim is to deliver the solutions [manufacturers] require to quickly restart operations and protect the safety of their [employees] at the same time.

“The restoration of the American economy relies on [people] returning to work and [companies] returning to full operational capacity,” claims Badaraite. “But, to do so, manufacturers are being required to ensure the safety and well-being of their workforce, not only to prevent the spread of this pandemic, but to protect their people moving forward, as the medical community warns of a second and third wave of contagion in the coming months.

“Social distancing will remain the reality for a while,” adds Badaraite. “Smart Proximity was designed with this in mind.”

According to Badaraite, each operator wears a Smart Proximity sensor. It communicates with a gateway, reporting its own unique identifier (UID), the nearby sensor’s UID, the timestamp and the elapsed time. The gateway communicates this information to a server, which creates a graph of relations, monitors and tracks critical events in real time.

“If two operators fail to keep a proper safe distance in a specific time frame, both sensors provide warning signals, such as vibration, lights or sound, notifying [them] to immediately increase to a safe distance,” explains Badaraite.

“Data related to the breach of safe distancing is tracked in the Smart Proximity platform,” adds Badaraite. “If an operator informs the company of contamination, the system will run a report and identify every person who has been in contact with the operator and must be quarantined.”

To learn more about the Smart Proximity, click