BALCO embraces smart technologies to combat COVID-19 and boost productivity
Balco Nagar Korba (Chhatisgarh) [India], May 11: Bharat Aluminium Company (BALCO), India’s iconic aluminium producer, has been one of the first companies in India to explore the field of smart technologies in its manufacturing set up to monitor assets and processes and have real-time analytics. Currently, amid the pandemic also, the company has deployed a smart combination of high-end technology and indigenous innovations to ensure the health and safety of employees while maintaining continuity of business operations. BALCO believes in being an innovation driver.
Speaking on BALCO’s vision and manufacturing prowess Mr. Abhijit Pati, CEO and Director, BALCO, said, “The safety and security of our people and assets are of paramount importance to us. BALCO has been one of the early adopters in India to explore the field of smart technologies in its operational set-up. These investments and skills further bolster the culture of safety and productivity that we have meticulously fostered across the organization. These technologies are standing us in good stead in the wake of COVID-19. We are ensuring a future-ready organization that can sustain production against all odds for a self-reliant India.”
For integrating smart automation in its plant operations and to cease any manual intervention, BALCO has set up end to end Digital Dashboards for real-time data and trend monitoring of Power Plant operations, ensuring digitalization of the entire process. The digital dashboard is a key driver which gives access to historical data & digitized reports and reduces downtime time, enables quick decision making and analysis without manual intervention. BALCO has also completed the integration of control rooms of the Coal Handling Plant of 540 MW and 1200 MW power plants and has established a Centralized Control Room to avoid hampering of operations in case of any emergency due to the pandemic.
To bolster its security system BALCO has integrated various technological advancements into its security operations which have proven to be transformational in ensuring the safety of people and asset during the pandemic. BALCO has launched an automated and highly sophisticated Centralised Security Operations Centre (CSOC) which has several cutting-edge security solutions ranging from edge-based security analytics for incident detection and response to effective management of security resources on the ground, besides enablement of intelligence collection. Deployment of CSOC enables BALCO’s Security, Traffic Safety, and Supply Chain Security functions to leverage digital intelligence and data insights for better and agile decision making.
Mr. Deepak Sharma, Safety Officer, RK Transport and Construction (RKTC), BALCO’s logistics partner for coal handling said, “With the integration of digitalization in the traffic management system, the truck movement has become safer and swifter and there are no congestions in traffic. This initiative has brought down the downtime of vehicle movement and has increased productivity.”
Also, to mitigate the risk of unauthorized entry due to the temporary stopping of Bio-metric entry to curb any transmission of COVID-19, BALCO has added a new feature in its Security application- Sentinel which passively fetches data from the ‘ID Card’ based through ‘NFC technology’. The application enables the user to check the real-time status (Active/In-Active/Blacklisted) of ID cards. An auto-generated email is triggered to CSOC on daily basis consisting of data of the number of ID card checked, a list of Officers who have physically checked the ID card, and generating exception reports.
Amid the pandemic, BALCO is ensuring proper care of employees, their families, and business partners who have been affected by COVID-19. A 24*7 helpdesk has been set up by BALCO to provide support and answer queries of the community members and provide ambulance services to the people in need. The medical team has been providing daily information to patients via teleconsultation including information about medicine intake, healthy lifestyle, and symptoms. To implement social distancing at the hospital, a home delivery service of medicines for current and retired BALCO employees is being executed.