responses courtesy of David Price, Global Marketing Manager, HydraForce, Inc.
The Internet of Things & Connectivity
How do you see the Internet of Things shaping the direction of the heavy-duty vehicle markets?
IoT will continue to shape the market for the better. The potential is nearly limitless. Any potentially unsafe application can now be piloted remotely. Any rigorous/ heavy duty application where sensors could be applied to proactively restrict activities that cause undue strain on an application can now be easily restricted. Fleet managers can manage their entire range of equipment from a dashboard in the foreman’s office and can provide relevant feedback in a timely fashion, preventing unnecessary repairs caused by overworking a machine function.
How has this concept influenced how you approach technology development and new ideas?
As a result of IoT we’ve been forced to consider different design approaches that provide the ecu with continuous input which can be used to dictate machine performance and response.
Hybrids & Electrification
What technological limitations currently exist that are impeding the ability to harness the full potential of hybrid power systems?
There is not currently an immediate energy concern causing further adoption of hybrid technology, so it is very much an environmental play at the moment. Everyone can understand that carbon emissions are bad, but until that pain is felt by their wallets I don’t see much more development happening here, unless it is government mandated.
Is the future fully electric or will there always be a need for engine/hydraulic supplementary power?
Given their power density, hydraulics will always have a place in heavy equipment.
Managing the Data Trend
How is your company utilizing data in new and valuable ways?
We are utilizing big data to tell us what we don’t know about our company. Easily visualized and actionable data sets are incredibly important when running your business. It can greatly effect everything from your forecast to business development to capacity planning.
Where do you see data leading the industry? What is its potential?
The data is only good to your company if you’re prepared to do something with it. Given the recent advances in AI, the sky is the limit. In the very near future you could feed business intelligence to machines which will make their own algorithmic decisions about what work is to be done. On the field or worksite AI will determine when rpms are to high and will back of an actuator. On the shop floor AI will determine which components to build based on future demand and they’ll have the cognizance and embedded communications to place replacement orders in anticipation of future demand and growth.