The Pumps & Systems staff spoke with Gonzalo Buelta O'Donnell, vice president of OEM sales, at a recent Schneider innovation event, for this year's state of the industry coverage. Jack Creamer, market segment manager, also contributed.
Why are some people resistant to IIot?
I think the resistance is not anymore really in the market. It was a couple of years ago, but I think everybody understands this is the way to differentiate themselves and provide the service and the capabilities that the end user is looking for. Companies are moving with technology and also with people, and the people need to understand that partnering with a big company with a comprehensive offer is the best way for them to make the first step in the IoT partnership.
What are some barriers to IIoT adaptation?
To me, the biggest barrier that they have is that the companies have to decide which is the first step they want to take. The second barrier is that we are in a booming area in the industry. Everybody is full of work. They are building machines because the market is growing tremendous and business is going very well and they are completely focused on developing the orders they have in hand and they have no time to spend on developing the new direction. Usually the new things is when they have a bandwidth to develop these new things.
What IIoT app will upend the industry next?
It’s not a question of technology. The technology is here. It’s how to develop the service that our customers need. Think about one machine that can be connected remotely but with enough intelligence but with predictive maintenance by itself, the machine, knows when they have to order the spare parts. Think about the machine sending a PO directly to suppliers. This is something that will come. The industry is not prepared, but it is something that will come.
The technology is there, but it’s a question of implementation and making it happen.
What should end users know about the year ahead?
Let’s do the change and let’s do the evolution on IoT. This is what our customers need to know and make happen in 2019. That’s my main goal, to go with my customers and do this digital step because this is not only beneficial for us, but for them, because it opens new ways of doing business for them and their customers.
How have advancements in IIoT affected your business? How do you predict they will continue to do so?
IIoT is a major topic that has begun to impact the Pump market, and will continue to drive the Pump Systems market. Because so many pump installations are in remote locations with little local monitoring or maintenance (unlike plant floor applications) there is a great need for remote monitoring of system applications. A key application being preventive/predictive maintenance to both reduce both downtime and overall maintenance expenses. The technology of built in applications such as web servers and cloud are finding their way into various electrical solutions such as VFDs and PLCs. Giving Pump users the ability to remotely monitor applications and take necessary actions driven by hard data feedback.