Dave Oakes Tells Us How He Sees The Future of Powelectrics Within a "Connected Sensor Community".

Posted on 04 Apr 2018

As Dave Oakes completes his first quarter as MD, we asked him to tell us more about his vision for Powelectrics. Here he describes how he sees Powelectrics as a conduit between the world of sensors and the Industrial Internet of Things and a key member of the connected sensor community.

“We are increasingly hearing phrases like ‘Big Data’, ‘Smart Factories’ ‘M2M’ and the ‘Industrial Internet of Things’. We are all becoming more ‘connected’ in both in our domestic and industrial worlds. Effectively, each person and thing is becoming part of a digitally interconnected universe, where timely data helps us to define our needs and offers us the means to satisfy them.

Powelectrics have been an intrinsic part of this evolution, with 25 years’ experience in sensing and telemetry. We have developed from being a simple distributor to manufacturing our own award-winning Metron telemetry devices. We have also designed MetronView, Powelectrics’ versatile data collection and manipulation platform, complete with a simple API, so it can be used to feed into other management and control software. But we can go much further…

The next stage is for Powelectrics to become an integral part of a “connected sensor community” together with sensor manufacturers and developers of software-based IoT data management solutions.

Let’s look at the sensing and instrumentation world first. There are some truly amazing products available, but in many cases, the sector retains a traditional model of simple supply and installation. I can walk into a factory and see hundreds of local gauges, digital panels, dataloggers and plcs. Historically, it has been time-consuming and expensive to connect these to a data platform or even local SCADA. When you consider the cabling, programming and licensing and the likelihood of production processes being held up, the costs can easily out-weight the benefits.  

Powelectrics offer the sensor and instrumentation sector a way to connect their products quickly and inexpensively to the cloud, making that data available wherever and whenever it is needed.

Sensors can be used for condition monitoring of processes, making proactive maintenance a reality. Business can use data to plan efficiently eg: minimising disruption by scheduling deliveries only when monitored supplies fall to a user-defined threshold. People no longer need to spend time reading gauges and filling in compliance forms and can spend time on production-related activity.

Powelectrics telemetry solutions can work with virtually any sensor, new or installed. We can respond to new needs for sensor data by adding new connectivity to existing kit and introducing new data streams. There is very little cabling required and no programming skills are needed. Installation is done with a simple wizard and the devices can even be set up prior to dispatch or configured remotely via our software. The cost and disruption is minimal and benefits are immediately evident, as the data starts flowing and alarms are set up straight away.

Powelectrics are establishing strategic partnerships with sensor suppliers, supporting them so that they can offer ‘value-added’ services, ‘connecting’ sensors to the cloud for their customers, offering them the tools to improve their business processes and cut costs. Both our hardware and software are easily branded to show a sensor supplier’s logo and the software is easy to customise, offering dashboards and reports to suit a range of applications.

The communications element of the telemetry offers sensor suppliers an ongoing revenue stream and a reason to maintain regular contact with their customers, meaning they hear about new projects and could offer maintenance contracts on existing ones.

If we look now at the IoT platform specialists, like Nexiona, ThingWorx and IBM. Powelectrics expertise can help them get connect sensor data to their software, via MetronView and its API. We have delivered a number of these projects and we see this as a huge growth sector, as organisations try to maximise the benefits of smart data by streaming in more key performance indicators from their physical processes.

In summary, I see Powelectrics as a conduit between the world of sensors and the Industrial Internet of Things. Powelectrics offer proven solutions, broad application experience, relationships within a wide range of sectors. We are excellently placed to build a ‘connected sensor community’ around those strengths. We are actively seeking partners to join our community and welcome approaches from organisations that share our vision.”

If you would like to have a chat about working with us, please give us a call on +44(0) 18276 310 666. We’d love to hear from you!