Pumps & Systems staff spoke with Hilton Hammond, Power Quality Business Unit Manager for Fluke, about the major trends to anticipate in 2017 and how the landscape of the instrumentation, controls and monitoring industry will change.

How is departure of longtime, knowledgeable employees due to retirement, etc., affecting your company, and what steps are you taking to fill the resulting employee skills gap?

We believe the departure of longtime, knowledgeable employees is not necessarily a “skill gap” but more a change in skills where technicians are shifting from analog to digital skills. This change is leading Fluke to engage with the technicians in different ways such as online presentation of digital information or through social media.

On another front, the test and measurement tool market is beginning to shift away from the solo-fixer mentality to a more team-oriented condition-based maintenance approach that includes routes, more screening checks as well as monitoring of key indicator data.

What are the most important innovations for 2017 in instrumentation, controls and monitoring?

As industrial manufacturing instrumentation and control systems have increased in complexity, optimizing performance or solving problems with these modern systems is becoming a bigger challenge. Innovations in modular measurement sensors and cloud data analysis are just beginning to help make sense of these systems.

How do you see governmental regulations impacting the market in the coming year?

Government regulations and industry associations play an important role in reaching new levels of sustainability and ongoing improvement in efficient use of natural resources. In the coming year, industry heavy users of natural resources will need to think of ways to make improvements in their processes efficiencies and eliminate waste using management standards like EN 50001. It makes business sense and will go a long way to sustaining precious resources for generations to come.

To read more Q&As from industry leaders, click here.