Efficient Plant Jan./Feb. 2021 - 18

feature | training solutions

Train with

Wireless
Headsets

Chris Clarke
Sena Technologies

Bluetooth and Mesh Intercom technologies allow you to maintain
training practices while meeting employee-health requirements.
TRAINING IN PLANTS today is very
different than it was a year ago. The
pandemic has changed the way that plant
workers interact, introducing training
challenges that are as small as maintaining
safe distances and as large as not being able
to travel to conduct or participate in classes
and seminars. One way to overcome these
challenges is to use wireless voice-communication technologies.
Headsets with Bluetooth or Mesh Intercom capabilities are strong, efficient, and
effective communication tools. They are
independent from wifi, cellular signals, and
electricity and are easy to set up. Industrial-grade Bluetooth Intercom is more than
the commonly considered consumer Bluetooth applications. It operates with specific
profiles that connect robust headsets for
voice communication. Bluetooth Intercom
is capable of connecting as many as four
headsets, making it an ideal technology for
smaller groups.
Mesh Intercom transmits voice communication on a mesh network in which

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| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

each device acts as a node that builds the
network, making it stronger and expanding
the range. Mesh Intercom technology can
support a large number of headsets that use
multiple channels for communicating with
different groups, so it's an ideal communication solution for training larger groups.

IN-PERSON TRAINING
In today's environments, in-person
training is still possible, but there are
challenges. While noisy plant environments
remain a common problem, social distancing adds complication, whether the plant is
noisy or not. Bluetooth or Mesh Intercom
communication headsets can be used easily
while wearing masks and maintaining
distance. In noisy environments, communication headsets that have integrated hearing
protection will make it easier to hear
instruction while also protecting hearing.

REMOTE TRAINING
The common practice of gathering workers
at a single location for training or sending

an instructor to a site is generally not safe
during a pandemic. The most-common
solution is virtual training. While that can
work in some instances, it's not always an
option when training must be conducted on
the plant floor. That's where Mesh Intercom
can offer a solution.
Adapters for Mesh Intercom systems
are designed to connect smartphones or
tablets that are equipped with Bluetooth to
mesh-communication networks. This allows
a tablet to broadcast a video conference that
can easily take place on a plant floor with
clear audio. This connects participants on
the floor with remote instructors, allowing
training to be conducted as one large group
with nearly the same clarity and effectiveness as if it were done completely in person.

CASE HISTORY
In early 2020, a large food-processing company planned an executive visit, demonstration, and training session on a new piece
of equipment. Those plans had to change
due to pandemic travel restrictions. Rather
than reschedule the entire program, the
company connected a tablet to their Mesh
Intercom network.
They hosted a Zoom call from the tablet
for those who were remote. The team of
five who were on site were able to do the
training while social distancing since they
were wearing Mesh Intercom headsets on
the same mesh network. The team could
still present and host a discussion at the
machine as originally planned in a safe and
cost-effective manner. EP
Chris Clarke is Industrial Communications Consultant at Sena Technologies Inc.,
Irvine, CA. Sena develops and manufactures
Bluetooth- and Mesh-enabled headsets and
communications solutions that provide safe,
handsfree communication in industrial and
outdoor worksite environments. Learn more
at senaindustrial.com.

JAN/FEB 2021

1/26/21 12:38 PM


http://www.senaindustrial.com http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant Jan./Feb. 2021

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