Wearable devices could offer the food and drink sector a productivity boost

Whether it’s smartwatches or smartgloves, wearable devices are innovation-making tech, aimed at making Scotland work smarter. Can wearable tech help to improve manufacturing processes for Scotland’s food and drink sector?

Wearable smart devices are helping manufacturers save time and improve productivity and safety standards in the work place. The shop floor has become smarter and more connected, with companies investing in innovations that will give them the competitive edge.

Introducing smart devices to the food and drink manufacturing process could improve production across the whole of the supply chain.

The rise of wearable devices in manufacturing

The industry analyst firm, CCS Insight, predicts the global market for wearable devices will be worth £20 billion in 2019.

Research shows that sales of smartwatches, fitness trackers, augmented and virtual reality headsets and wearable cameras will reach 245 million units this year. That’s a staggering 161 million more units than were sold in 2015.

A majority of this growth is likely to be seen in the manufacturing sector. Wearable devices are going to become much more prevalent in factories of the future.

Smartwatches and smartgloves

The founder of ProGlove, a 'smartglove' product, claims that the use of smartglove technology can save 2,000 minutes a day in one warehouse.

Smartgloves, smartwatches and other wearable scanners make processes faster and easier for employees. For example, wearable tech enables users to scan barcodes and QR codes of components and workflow processes without having to interrupt work to pick up a scanner.

Alerts can also be transferred to smart wearables to ensure workers are following the right process, which reduces the number of errors and improves safety. The ability to be hands-free also cuts down on contamination and disinfection processes.

Smartglasses and smarthelmets

Devices such as smartglasses, vests and helmets can present instructions to workers without them having to refer to a separate computer or a manual. This could help save time and ensure more accuracy in the work place.

Smartglasses also have a communications interface and internet connectivity that could, for example, allow employees to discuss issues with an expert, one who can even be off-site.

Innovation support for Scottish food and drink companies

There’s huge potential for wearable technology to improve manufacturing processes in Scotland. AI-powered wearable devices, together with our ability to provide the focus for the tech, could be the innovation that streamlines the manufacturing industry.

Make Innovation Happen is a single source of innovation support for businesses involved in the Scottish food and drink supply chain.

Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise work in partnership across academia, the public sector and the industry to deliver a comprehensive innovation support service.

Make Innovation Happen can help your business by providing:

  • Access to 'connectors', who can offer support, advice and mentoring, as well as direction to appropriate support
  • Ideas and insights on how to innovate through articles and events
  • Funding through the Collaborative Innovation Fund
  • Help to access other innovation services provided by Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Interface and others

Image courtesy of ProGlove

Looking for innovation support?

Our Make Innovation Happen service can help you improve employee, product and process productivity.