Our team was happy to talk with Paul Ludwig, president and CEO, HED Intelligent Controls, about our industry in 2022 and what to expect heading into 2023.
What was your biggest challenge in 2022?
Like many others, our biggest challenge in 2022 has been supply chain issues involving semiconductor chips. To attack this issue, we have taken several corrective steps: First, we have redesigned three significant controller products to utilize available components; second, we are in daily contact with our supply chain partners too and even the broker market to find components where available; third, our engineering team continually assesses alternate components to modify existing product designs. Our staff within the organization has stepped up to prioritize immediate customer needs and required redirection of our focus. As part of our strategy, we keep our finger on the pulse of the economy so we can continue to be informed on the direction of all topics surrounding our industry. We are anticipating that it will impact our business in addition to partners and customers well into mid-2023. Our responsiveness and strong customer relationships built around trust has allowed us to continue to stay ahead of this challenge.
What innovations or improvements do you anticipate in the off-highway industry in 2023?
There are two technological areas we see becoming more of a reality within the US – electrification and functional safety. They are both topics that have already and will continue to impact our target markets. As regulations continue to increase to protect worksites and machine operators as well as reduce carbon emissions, we will ensure our products comply with standards. As functional safety becomes integrated into vehicle designs in North America, we are working closely with our partner TTControl to expand our offering to include safety-rated controllers.
Alternative power sources are a strong focus in passenger vehicles; that is carrying over to the off-highway industry. We anticipate that in 2023 alternative power will continue to be developed as companies like Volvo are already rolling out battery operated electric vehicles. This may include hybrid versions that combine electric and diesel and even hydrogen fuel cells. There is a global initiative for net zero carbon emissions by 2050 that is driving this development. Government is funding many projects with grants and subsidies to push progress in this area. Off-highway OEMs are reevaluating their product development to build these alternative power sources into vehicle designs. Regardless of power source, our products will integrate effectively. We have been working with electric vehicles for quite some time, providing CAN-based controls and telematics solutions. to meet the needs of these new vehicle propulsion architectures.
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