1. Business
May 26, 2020

Thermal imaging for Covid-19 shows promise in restoring FMCG factory operations

By GlobalData Consumer

AVT Reliability, a UK-based condition monitoring services company, is utilizing its thermal imaging technology to help companies protect their workforces during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company has repurposed its technology – which was initially designed to identify thermal anomalies in mechanical and electrical systems – to be applied to key-workers that currently risk potential infection when working on-site. The technology will screen employees for a raised temperature, one of the key symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

In April, Amazon also implemented the use of thermal cameras at its warehouses in order to monitor and streamline the screening process of employees. This was after more than 50 of Amazon’s US-based warehouses reported coronavirus infections. It demonstrates the company’s efforts to search for alternative safety measures that will help control the spread of the virus whilst maintaining its operations.

Thermal imaging could help stimulate ‘normal shopping’

Should this technology be implemented en masse, it could help to alleviate some of the pressure on the food and beverages (F&B) industry, and support in stimulating normal shopping behaviors from consumers again. Turbulence in supply and manufacturing processes has massively disrupted the FMCG industry, with different F&B factories coming under a lot of pressure on whether their operations should be permitted or not.

Heineken’s Malaysia branch, for instance, received criticism at the start of April for resuming its operations, with many claiming that beer was a “nonessential” product and thus the factories should remain closed. The meat industry, primarily in the America’s, has also faced controversy over recent months – the premises are often close-quarters, making it hard to control potential infections, however, some governments are reluctant to order the closures of meat processing plants as this will result in supply shortages and price hikes.

Processing and manufacturing needs to be safe

It is important for the future of the F&B industry that operations of processing and manufacturing plants are maintained, however, this should not jeopardize people’s safety. The implementation of AVT’s technology could go a long way in safeguarding not only employees, but also the economy as a whole, as it brings the industry one step closer to stabilized operations.

What’s more, it will also reinforce normalized shopping behaviors. As per GlobalData’s Covid-19 tracker consumer survey, 84% of global consumers in week 8 stated that how familiar/trust-worthy/risk-free the product/service feels always/often/somewhat influences their purchasing choices.

During this uncertain period, it is essential for brands to maintain safe practices should they wish to maintain positive consumer recognition and a favorable market position.