AK Steel is a world leader in the production of flat-rolled carbon and electrical and stainless steel products. Located across six states, the company’s eight steel plants, two tube-manufacturing plants and two coke plants employ nearly 10,000 workers. Operations rely on a mixed fleet of some [number of trains] heavy trains for safe and timely transportation of raw and refined material as well as equipment and people.
Building on a heritage spanning over 100 years, AK Steel take great pride in prioritising employee safety. This is more than a business objective; it’s an operational culture. And it shows in AK Steel’s safety record, which outperforms the steel industry average by a wide margin. However, the implementation of cutting-edge technology has seen an increased rate of production, and with day-to-day operations including factory employees working in close proximity to moving trains, AK Steel wanted to do everything possible to ensure the safety of its personnel. All sides of the trains would have to be covered by video monitoring, and all captured footage would have to be saved in high resolution for convenient policy adherence assurance and liability reduction. This naturally also asked that the equipment would be able to withstand the punishing environment of the often extremely hot factories as well as the intense vibrations of train sets weighing up to X.
Having searched high and low for a system that could meet their strict hardware durability and video quality standards, AK Steel found the perfect fit in the military-grade EyeRide 800. They chose to marry it with a water- and vandal-proof camera setup: two RV218 cameras cover front and rear vehicle events, offering wide-angle views and extreme IR vision even in very dimly lit conditions; two rigid multi-purpose SV88 cameras provide long-range coverage of the sides of the trains. With no buffering of the real-time video feed, AK Steel are now able to immediately detect safety hazards and stop trains in their tracks at the push of a button.
With employee safety being their top priority, AK Steel wanted the system up and running as soon as humanly possible. EyeRide’s team of certified installers and instructors responded swiftly. The entire fleet of X trains was fitted with EyeRide equipment, and all relevant personnel trained, within X weeks.
"We certainly had the capability to meet urgent client needs, such as when Toyota requires quick delivery of steel for a vehicle launch, but increased factory productivity easily brings increased safety risks”, explains Lonnie Potter, supervisor of operations, “and building on our reputation as a standout employer of choice, we didn’t want to compromise employee safety to meet client demand. Once we had realised the potential of live video, we found ourselves in a race to secure and install the ultimate solution ASAP. Luckily, the choice turned out to be quite simple in the end. EyeRide’s military-grade system is on a par with the tough-as-nails equipment factory workers are used to dealing with, and the video functionality, archiving and unlimited data plans are just what we were looking for. We got EyeRide installed in next to no time, and we haven’t looked back since. Or, rather, we HAVE been looking both back and forward and to the sides”, adds Lonnie with a smile. “Thanks to EyeRide, our remote control operators can now supervise all angles of the trains. For busy factory floor workers and vehicle drivers, that can make for all the difference – in the most definitive sense of the expression."