Machine Operator Authentication: Enabling Workforce Tracking and Optimization Through Secure Authentication

Machine Operator Authentication: Enabling Workforce Tracking and Optimization Through Secure AuthenticationOperator identity is often a missing link in manufacturing data. To optimize plant processes, manufacturers need to know not only what machines and materials were used and at what times, but also who was in control. Reliable and secure operator authentication is critical for plant security and IP protection, effective workforce tracking and management, and manufacturing optimization.

At most factories, workers access the building and clock in using a company ID badge, but they utilize less trackable means of authentication to access individual production cells, machines or vehicles. Shared physical keys, RFID fobs or PINs are common for access to production equipment and material-handling vehicles. Some machines have a human-machine interface that requires a username and password, but these may be commonly shared. This means managers have limited visibility into the activities of specific workers beyond clock-in and clock-out times, and no way to track which workers were operating which machines at which times.

Elatec RFID Systems explains why, without operator identify, manufacturers are missing an essential element of plant optimization. Reliable operator authentication at the machine level is needed to link metrics such as material use, product quality and production output to individual workers. By tracking workforce activity at the machine level, manufacturers can gather valuable insights into individual and team performance, allowing them to optimize processes, improve productivity, minimize variation and enhance overall plant performance.