CooperVision Costa Rica manufacturing plant earns LEED Silver Certification
Global medical device company, The Cooper Companies, Inc has recently been awarded LEED Silver certification at its contact lens manufacturing facility in Alajuela, Costa Rica.
Housing an environmentally-conscious design, the 100,000-square-foot site is believed to be the only LEED Silver-certified contact lens manufacturing site in the world.
Developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the programme recognises buildings, homes and communities which have been designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. The facility is responsible for the company’s clariti 1-day silicone hydrogel contact lenses.
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Achieving LEED certification is more than implementing sustainable practices. It represents a commitment to making the world a better place and influencing others to do better," commented Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, USGBC. "Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, CooperVision demonstrates their leadership through LEED certification of its Costa Rica site."
The site was found to excel in LEED evaluation categories including energy and water conservation, transportation, waste reduction, and human experience. In addition to a range of features that were operational upon its opening, the Costa Rica team has continued to advance sustainable practices for additional gains. These include recovery of organic waste for composting, reducing hot water use, implementing new energy and water consumption monitoring, and expanding LED illumination.
"Our efforts in Costa Rica have a clearly positive effect on employee wellness, health and productivity. They're appreciated by like-minded customers who see us as partners in their own sustainability initiatives. Of course, a green building such as this is a clear way of demonstrating our environmental practices to the community," said Rolando Torres, Senior Vice President, America Manufacturing Operations for CooperVision. "Earning LEED Silver certification is testament to incredible dedication by our teams in Alajuela, as well as the countless people across the entire company who have supported and encouraged us."
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.