During the NFPA's Annual Conference, I had a great conversation with a gentleman from Eaton who posed a very interesting question...one I didn't have a definite answer to. He asked me, what is the "iPod" of our industry? Meaning, what is the technology either being developed or in its infancy that has benefits that are yet untapped that can completely reshape the direction of the industry? Who would have thought that when the iPod was first launched with iTunes, that it would completely revolutionize the way people buy, sell, store, browse and transport music?
The one example we discussed was obvious...smart technology. Any technology that is pulling data from a machine and housing it somehwere has untapped potential for what equipment users/owners can do with that data. There are still interfaces being developed to harness all of the data in an easy-to-use format; there are still dozens of data iterances that are yet to be measured.
As systems become smarter and sensors are integrated to pull information on how a system is operating, there will continue to be a data flow that simply needs to be managed.
But, his question has been gnawing at my mind trying to come up with more examples of technologies that could revolutionize the future of the equipment manufacturing industry. What examples can you offer up?