18 December 2008
Wanted: Partnerships to develop energy alternatives
By Jim Pinto
The development of practical energy alternatives is a burgeoning growth market.
The automation industry has all the background knowledge and experience needed to make a significant impact in this technology arena. Automation companies should look for and develop partnerships for this market.
The solutions to energy alternatives are to be found in technology. The future brings hope with several energy technology alternatives: solar cells, hydrogen fuel and energy-cells, clean coal, carbon dioxide recycling, synthetic fuels, and safe nuclear power. New nanotechnology materials and production methodologies are showing great promise. These are just examples of the possibilities.
The automation industry has all the background knowledge and experience needed to make a significant impact in these vital technology arenas. Now, I am not suggesting your company can develop new energy solutions single-handedly. That is probably far beyond its scope and capabilities. What I am suggesting is that you can look for and develop partnerships to tackle the problems.
If you are an automation supplier, do not chase yesterday’s customers. Simply waiting for Exxon or General Motors to upgrade their plants and factories will not win you much new business. Selling to the automobile companies that also have shrinking budgets and dwindling business will not generate new growth and success for suppliers.
Look around for new energy projects that will bring, not just expansion of your current business, but new burgeoning growth. Some of these companies may already be your customers; but perhaps you are talking with the engineers who are involved with old, shrinking projects, not the new burgeoning developments. Take time to ask what new projects are being planned, areas your company has never been involved with before. And get involved.
When you find new energy-related projects, do not wait to be asked to bid controls and instruments after the project is ready for production. You will simply be one of the crowd. Instead, seek out what your company can contribute and offer partnership involvement; proprietary information access, and low-cost development involvement in exchange for preferred-supplier status. The companies that get involved in this way will be the big winners.
If you are an automation end user developing new energy solutions, do not go the old-fashioned route of handling projects on your own with proprietary secrecy. You will find there are automation suppliers who have significant, applicable experience and are willing to share their own development ideas and instrumentation approaches. Select your best suppliers as partners. Get them working with you to help develop automation solutions for new energy alternatives. This will make a difference in budgets, timing, and more importantly, innovation.
The development of practical energy alternatives is a burgeoning growth market where immediate technology and business leadership is needed. Significant growth and success awaits the companies that succeed. Look for energy development partnerships. Find ways for your company to get involved.
The Coming Oil Crisis – Energy Alternatives:
Book: The Bottomless Well – review & buy at Amazon.com:
Wikipedia – Energy Development:
American energy independence
Behind the byline
Jim Pinto is an industry analyst and founder of Action Instruments. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or view his writings at www.JimPinto.com. Read the Table of Contents of his book, Pinto’s Points, at www.jimpinto.com/writings/points.html.
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