As we’re all aware, technology advancement is a happening at a rapid speed in society, but many of us are not fazed by the release of new technology. However, despite there being an increasing rate of innovations and intelligent solutions being introduced to us, there’s often a split reaction between the digital innovators who want to be the first to implement them and those who discard them in favor of traditional methods, and therefore hold back on them.
In this article, specialists in electric motor repair, Houghton International discuss how challenging it can be to extract the benefits offered by new technologies.
The History of Technological Challenges
In today’s world, we often taken advantage of our gadgets, which wouldn’t be possible without one of the most major technological advancement, that is the commoditisation of electricity.
In 1881, Thomas Edison had built electricity-generating stations in London and Manhattan. 12 months later and electricity was available as a commodity, changing industry forever.
During this time, factories were largely steam-powered, comprising large, dangerous parts and machinery. Once electricity was made available, this could all change — but it didn’t.
20 years later, there were still fewer than 5% of US factories using electric motors. Many preferred to rely on steam power as they were uncomfortable with the level of change brought about by the introduction of electric motors. It would trigger a change in thinking that many simply didn’t want to consider.
The issue they had was that implementing electric motors would be disruptive and for many, outweighed the positives brought by implementing them. Production could take place following logic, rather than the direction of the driveshaft. Factories became safer and cleaner too, while the staff themselves began to set the pace.
Switching on an engine with an electric motor, actually was more difficult than it would seem, as it actually led to a shift in the entire factory’s infrastructure. Eventually, change happened. By the 1920s, manufacturing productivity had increased significantly, as factory owners increasingly implemented electric motors.
Between the years that electricity was commoditised and the productivity benefits felt in the 1920s, there was almost 40 years. This gives a clean indication that benefitting from new technology takes times, we can only grasp the benefits of new technology when we fully understand it.
The technological challenges of today
In today’s world, there’s not much difference as we’re still facing an endless battle between the technological and the traditional. Take electric motors themselves for example. While they have been fully adopted into many applications, business owners are still facing decisions on whether to upgrade their model to one that promises further efficiencies.
A development called Industry 4.0 is sweeping industries and is further widening the gap between those who embrace change and those who don’t. Dubbed the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 is transforming industries through automation and real-time data. One example of this is condition monitoring, the process of using technology to monitor the state of machinery to detect significant change and therefore problems.
Implementing technologies such as vibration and lubricant analysis, as well as condition monitoring, acoustic emissions is a key part of predictive maintenance. For those who have enabled Industry 4.0 already, they are already at an advantage, as they are able to anticipate when maintenance work will be required, in turn reducing the impact unplanned downtime can have. Those who are unaware of the potential of Industry 4.0 are unable to access this level of insight, putting them at an automatic disadvantage.
How to benefit from new technology
As more new technology gets developed, how can businesses position themselves to gain a maximum level of benefits from them?
The best question to ask yourself, would to be to how any technological investment will fit within your current operations and outline the benefits it will bring. Consider the amount of work that is required for implementation and whether this and the associated costs are justified by what you’ll gain. If in doubt, enlist the help of a professional to advise you on the right solution.
Currently, technology is key to how businesses across every sector operate. Shying away from digital advancements is no longer an option; choose to be an innovator or delay the implementation of these new developments. Either way, change is happening now — and you can’t afford to stand still.