Introducing PeopleFlow

PeopleFlow is a technology product used to track and analyse the movements of interactions of people and things indoors.

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Spatial DNA would like to introduce you to PeopleFlow.

Process Engineering is about designing, monitoring, and continuously optimising your production activities on the plant or warehouse floor. There are two main optimization methods: the theory of constraints and lean production. Both leverage pen and paper methods to understand how and where bottlenecks occur, and to optimise and improve activities around these bottlenecks. We enable rapid iteration of analysis and optimization by digitising people equipment, tools, inventory, and work in process.

Leveraging the always-on data collection capability of PeopleFlow, we can collect information around workstations, or pick paths where there is suspected waste. Waste can be in the form of motion, waiting, or cumbersome work processes. We often identify these scenarios where inventory is consistently accumulating ahead of a process: a bottleneck.

We can programme our actions to change our process. Whether that is moving raw material stores closer to a workstation, reorganising the flow of work through a work unit, or changing the location of inventory in our warehouse. We then use PeopleFlow data to identify what the impact of the change was and this gives us clues to continue modifications in the process improvement iteration, until we have resolved the issue or created a mechanism to manage the bottleneck. 

PeopleFlow is composed of three parts. The first component is a sensor network. An installation of wireless anchors that detects signals from tags installed on vehicles, inventory, tools, or work in process, or worn by your people. Analytics leverage virtual geofences associated geometrically with the floor plan of your space or dynamically to tags that move through your facility in order for us to catalogue movements and interactions between people and things, people and people, or things and things. The third piece is a user experience presented as a web or mobile based dashboard, as well as an open systems interface and API to connect the movement and interaction data and results into any system of your choice. 

First, we deploy sensors. Sensors are mounted permanently at the site to capture interaction and asset location data. Sensor network enables communication over Bluetooth or ultra wideband. The sensor network and facility maps are located into PeopleFlow to enable positioning, visualisation and search functions. We deploy tags each PeopleFlow tag assigned to an employee equipment or inventory item and captures data on movement and interactions. Then we calculate positions of people and things. Every second the PeopleFlow tag emits a radio signal. This is picked up by multiple sensors in the sensor network and radio triangulation leveraging a time difference of arrival an algorithm is used to determine location. For buildings with location sensors, a 3D position can be determined to under 1 m resolution. The positioning information, tag ID, timestamp, and other associated information, such as temperature and heart rate, is stored on PeopleFlow.

The PeopleFlow platform is to increase the productivity of your facility. Location is a major aspect of your business; leveraging the location of people and things on the plant or warehouse floor, you can model flow and locate by visualising job routes for a production process. Organising these into a process flow visualised as a kanban board. 

Sensor tags on bins or pallets track your work in process, locations and check in, check out of geo-fenced areas the court that correlate to a lane in your kanban board. Items are highlighted when they do not follow the prescribed production flow in a kanban card on your board with a locate button to quickly find them on the floor or in inventory.

Time and motion studies highlight the travel path. Take time and distance travelled of people or things displayed in a spaghetti diagram. This shows you each travel path with an indicator of distance travelled and time taken. A spaghetti diagram gives you the opportunity to reduce motion by shortening travel paths, often by reorganising the location of your raw materials, your inventory, or your workstations in your work units. This is often an iterative process to arrive at the best solution to reduce the time in a production process which increases your productivity through that area of your plant.

And finally, the pandemic has highlighted the need to understand where and for how long staff are interacting, identifying staff interactions, and building social network of these interactions allows us to quickly trace the key contacts of a symptomatic person so we can isolate and monitor potential spread of any outbreak.

Wondering when to call us? You can call us either when your customer needs to integrate or interface with one or more systems for our CityConnect iO integration platform or your customer needs to track or analyse the movements of interactions of people and things indoors for a PeopleFlow platform.

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