Industrial IoT and new sources of energy set to transform the power equipment industry in 2015

The power equipment industry is going through significant changes as equipment manufacturers explore various energy sources and enhanced data capabilities in 2015.

By MSI Data May 29, 2015

The power equipment industry has continued to see changes as energy needs become more complex. This year, more progressive trends take over the industry. How will IoT shape the new power grid? How will manufacturers keep up with alternative solutions and an aging workforce? These are the questions you need answers to in order to stay on top of your customers’ wants and compete in the ever-shifting power equipment sphere.

Here are the top power equipment trends in 2015 and some answers to the previous questions:

1. Power equipment manufacturers also searching for qualified workers

As the story has gone across industries in terms of filling technician roles, those in the power industry have had to deal with an aging workforce and no one to replace them. But with the industry moving forward at such a fast pace, some organizations have had to turn to technology to fill the void.

With the demand for qualified workers so high, it’s unrealistic to expect quality workers just to show up on your door step. Making recruitment a priority can help your department continue to function as a profit center for your company.

And as service emerges as one of the biggest money-makers for power generation businesses, technical workers are going to be in higher demand than ever, and organizations aren’t going to skimp when it comes to recruiting and retaining the best, most skilled workers to their team.

2. Wind and solar power generation could be solution to an antiquated electric grid system

As we move into 2015, concerns over the outdated structure of the power grid have caught a lot of attention. Edward Dodge of Breaking Energy details in his article the insecurity of the current system, giving validity to some initiatives to move to new solutions. Alternative power generation solutions would create even more service channels for power generation businesses because of new equipment and machinery needed to create alternative energy sources.

Chris Mooney of The Washington Post reflects this sentiment, offering solar and wind generation as optimal alternatives to the traditional power grid in his article: “there can be no denying that the U.S. energy system is changing, and that renewables — wind and solar — are booming.” Moving to these new systems will give even more credence to the value of tech savvy service technicians who are able to adapt to new equipment.

3. Introduction of the smart grid and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connected equipment

Like we’ve seen in almost every industry, the advent of the Internet of Things has also proven disruptive to the power equipment industry in the form of the Industrial Internet of Things. As generators, meters, and building systems start to collect and send out more and more data it will be more important than ever to know how to manage it.

That’s the point Adam Lesser makes in his article for Gigaom Research. With the possibility of such drastic changes coming to the power infrastructure, service organizations that are armed with the latest technologies and software will have no problem taking on the shift. This is when staying up to date on tech trends becomes particularly valuable.

4. Power industry starts to look forward with alternative fuels for generators

Power equipment manufacturers in 2015 are starting to discover alternative fueling methods for power generation operations. Power equipment industry publications have covered these trends towards alternative fuel solutions. The advantage is that unlike wind and solar, the power generation does not depend on the weather. Transitioning to new systems could be in manufacturers’ best interest as demand for cleaner options grow.

5. Internet of Things makes preventative maintenance a priority for power equipment

With the Internet of Things becoming so advanced and connected, it will be important that service technicians are up to speed on new functionality. The industrial Internet will make it easy to know when things might be going awry in power system equipment, but it will be up to technicians to know how to work that information into preventative maintenance plans. The ability to know what may go wrong with a system before it happens is of great value to power systems manufacturers, whose equipment is often mission critical to the sites at which they’re installed.

Conclusion: A shift in traditional power equipment means new territory for service organizations

With power equipment manufacturers having to adjust to changing trends in the industry, field service organizations have to be able to meet the changing landscape as well. But with this new landscape comes new opportunities for service in terms of diversified systems to install and care for. Taking advantage will mean staying up to date on advanced technology in order to provide the best service possible for your customers.

MSI Data is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Joy Chang, digital project manager,