Food Production Worker in Warehouse

Innovative Application of Technology Helps Essential Businesses Adapt to What Could be “New Normal” in Daily Employee Site Access Screenings

Countries across the globe continue to be deeply impacted by Covid-19. With retail, travel, and entertainment economies frozen, and millions ordered to shelter in place, the impact on businesses, lifestyles, and the general economy has been swift and far-reaching. But, while streets are empty and the normal bustle of commerce is suspended, there are many businesses that simply cannot shutter under any circumstances. Health care, food production, manufacturing, shipping and logistics – these are just a few of the industries that the world relies upon through thick and thin. In the midst of this crisis, they are the industries that are quickly innovating in order to find ways to confront one of the most devastating public health challenges in history.

For years Ally has proudly partnered with leaders in the food industry to develop sustainable, efficient energy solutions. Now, we’re on the front lines with these same partners, developing real-time Covid-19 site access screening solutions that enhance employee health and keep critical business operations going.

Food Industry Gears

In the Food Production Industry, Employee Health is Critical and Timely, Safe Access is Imperative

The food production industry has several objectives while tackling the challenges of operating efficiently during the Covid19 outbreak:

  • Promote and protect employee wellness
  • Reduce the potential for the spread of illness
  • Enable on-site health care workers to provide secondary screenings
  • Provide safe, timely access to the workplace for hundreds of employees per shift
Frontline Worker

The Starting Point: Close-Proximity, Handheld Screenings

The initial thought process to protect employee wellness was to set up checkpoints at facility entrances where all employees could be screened for elevated temperatures before entering the facility. One way to accomplish this is through the use of handheld scanners, a solution with several inherent challenges:

  • Handheld scanners require close human to human proximity, a potential virus transfer point  
  • Temperature readings may vary due to external factors
  • The time required to manually screen hundreds of employees per shift is enormous
  • Healthcare workers are a scarce resource

Because of the proximity, a handheld scan requires, and the logistics of high-volume site access, alternate modes of screening were assessed.

Where We Are Now: Safe, Efficient, Cost-Effective Screenings

Ally Energy Solutions worked with our long-time food production partners and technology supply chain to identify, assess, source, and deploy a rapid, accurate, safe pre-screening system that utilizes infrared camera technology.

In the past week, the Ally team has configured, pre-commissioned, delivered, set-up and trained operators on the use of a self-contained screening system. The system includes a heat-sensing camera, a PC loaded with pre-configured software and a clear partition shield that provides a physical barrier between the worker being scanned and the staff monitoring the scan, in addition to the 6’ of distance between the camera and the worker.

In the automated system, each employee briefly pauses before a heat-sensing camera, which, from a safe distance, scans the hottest spot on the face of the subject, to obtain a highly accurate internal reference temperature. The process takes mere seconds and results in confirmation of a normal temperature or a flag to proceed to a second temperature reading.

During the first day of deployment, more than 1,000 workers were scanned as they entered the facility. Twenty-five received secondary scans, and 12 had confirmed elevated temperatures that might otherwise have gone undetected. In this manner, employee wellness is increased, the potential spread of the virus is decreased, and an essential food manufacturing facility can continue to operate.

Highly Efficient Daily Wellness Screening Critical to Saving Both Time and Money Now and in the Future

Temperature Screenings May Become New Normal Going Forward

Recently, in an article for the Times UK, Heathrow Airport CEO, John Holland, suggested that temperature screenings could – and should – become a part of airline travel from here on out. We’d go a step farther to predict that temperature screens will become the norm for all essential business operations and beyond.

Here at Ally Energy Solutions, we’re proud to be able to use our skills in creative problem solving, device deployment, systems integration, and customer service to help our long-time partners during this unprecedented time of challenge and uncertainty. Because our relationship-based approach allows us to pivot at a moment’s notice, we can provide the services our clients need in real-time.

Energy Supply, Demand, Carbon and CapitalTM – Ally’s Suite of Services is Built on Innovative, Sustainable, Cost-Effective Efficiency – Where and When You Need It!

Let Ally help you keep your employees healthy, safe and productive.