A global consumer electronics manufacturer building a new plant in Texas wanted to maintain 24-hour noise monitoring of the site but found it cumbersome to dedicate resources to checking remote monitors multiple times per day and manually logging data.
The company reached out to SITEX for a solution that would completely relieve the burden of round-the-clock noise monitoring.
SITEX delivered with the latest in wireless cloud technology, using a solar-powered on-site system that connects to a centralized software monitored from SITEX headquarters in St. Louis.
The solution measures noise output in real time and uploads the data at selected intervals. Recording and reporting the data takes a literal fraction of the time it did with manual monitoring, and the company receives a custom daily report of noise levels. Compared to the old way of doing things, the wireless solution saves on human resources and eliminates the risk of human error in the data.
In addition to OSHA standards, states and municipalities are increasingly passing updated noise regulations, putting pressure on construction and industrial companies to proactively address the noise levels emanating from their worksites and facilities.
As one particular example, a global consumer electronics manufacturer is building a new plant outside Austin, Texas. The state has regulations that limit noise to an average of 80 decibels (dB) over any 24-hour period. The county has even more stringent standards, which cap the noise output at 65 dBs over any 12-hour period. However, if the company monitors around the clock, they are given a cushion of an extra 10 dBs, pushing the limits to 75 dBs.
Initially, this company attempted to handle its noise monitoring in-house, setting up four microphone units on outside points of the site. Before long, it realized how cumbersome it was to have someone checking the monitors multiple times throughout the day and logging that data. Looking to conserve time and resources, it turned to SITEX for a solution.
SITEX analyzed the site and delivered by installing the latest in wireless cloud technology. Solar- and battery-powered, the system is connected to a centralized software that SITEX can monitor from its headquarters in St. Louis. The solution can measure noise output in real-time and upload the data at selected intervals. Furthermore, alerts send notifications anytime something falls outside of normal, such as unusually high decibel levels, low battery power, or if a monitor stops communicating with the rest of the system.
Most important, recording and reporting the data takes a literal fraction of the time it did with manual monitoring.
“What used to take hours now takes about 15 minutes,” explains Chris Byrne, Director of Environmental Services at SITEX. “Every day when I get into the office, I pull up the software, download the information off the four monitors, export it in a spreadsheet, and send it to the client before noon. And we’ll do that for the next 16 months.”
Compared to the old way of doing things, the wireless solution saves on human resources and eliminates the risk of human error in the data.
“In the past, we would install ‘dumb’ monitors on the site perimeter,” Byrne adds. “Someone would have to walk around four times a day to check them and make sure they were still functioning. Then, at the end of the day, we would pick up the monitors, download their information and enter it into a spreadsheet before re-charging the monitors to be put back out in the morning. That part was another two hours or more of work and opened the door to mistakes because of the manual data entry. If you hit a wrong number anywhere, it completely throws off the data.”
Byrne also sees a frustrating trend from companies who want to monitor their noise output but look for shortcuts to doing it – such as smartphone apps that claim to record noise levels. While some of these apps might (the operative word being “might”) provide accurate readings of a singular place at a specific point in time, it’s a method that might not hold up against legal scrutiny and still requires the human resources of manual recording.
When a third-party expert like SITEX conducts the noise monitoring with its leading-edge technology, companies get the assurance of reliable and accurate data that will stand up in the face of examination while also saving the company time and resources since it won’t have to research and purchase the right equipment, install it, and learn how to use it.
“That transfer of risk is important,” Byrne points out. “We can provide confirmed, third-party verification of data in the event of any regulatory or legal issues.”
Even when companies aren’t anticipating unusual or extra noise output, Byrne advises them to consider noise monitoring every few years to keep a data sample on file for insurance and regulatory purposes. Having SITEX come on-site, set up the monitors, and compile the data for a few months provides an easy, accurate, and legally solid contingency plan for any noise-related complaints or issues.
Cloud-based, wireless monitoring – which is being tested for other applications like dust and gas monitoring – is just one example of how SITEX is pushing the entire field of industrial safety forward, not only to make workplaces safer but to do it in a way that saves valuable resources and money