S.I.BE.G. srl, the “The Coca-Cola Company’s” soft drinks’ bottling company in Sicily, Italy was looking for a way to reopen safely amid COVID-19.

In March, the company set up a task force to define and implement appropriate safety measures, including the adoption of a system that would help observe social distancing rules, according to Gaetano Russo, S.I.BE.G. srl Procurement Manager. S.I.BE.G srl ultimately turned to Partitalia srl, an Italian company which produces and markets smart cards, tags and RFID readers throughout Europe.

The bottling manufacturer invested in 550 “Close-to-me” wearable devices, which would allow staff to reconstruct the contacts history of the company’s Catania and Tirana plant employees for contact-tracing as well as to ensure social distancing was being adhered to. The company’s Catania plant houses both the company’s headquarters with offices, along with a production plant from which between 30 and 100 trucks of soft drinks are sent out every day to more than 30,000 sales points throughout Sicily.

The wearable is a small device that can be word around the neck all day. Through a software program, the wearables construct contacts of staff simply and effectively and remind employees and everyone present in the plant to keep a distance of one and half or two meters from one another.

“We needed something that was light to wear, an acoustically non-invasive device but which performed this function,” Russo shared. “Above all, we also needed a software that could rapidly provide reports about contacts between devices to be able to reconstruct the history of the contacts, in the case of a confirmed case of COVID.”

The Partitalia’s wearable is connected to a software which can download the entire history of each device it has come into contact with at a distance of less than one and a half meters, giving management and security staff an effective means of contact tracing.

Currently S.I.BE.G. Catania uses around 200 of the wearables for its employees, who have been assigned a personal device that they bring with them to work, switching it on at the start of the shift and switching it off when they leave at the end of the shift. Another 100 or so of the devices are used for visitors entering the plant.