Digitization – A Necessary Connection

Whether we like it or not, the world is going digital. Gone are the quiet evening hours with books and a low lamp light, the limpid and soft hymns of nature floating to your ears atop an afternoon breeze, having a conversation with someone in the checkout line, the practiced beauty of listening to jazz in between the scratches of an old record player, gone is the lost art of writing a letter, the simple joy of waiting by the mailbox—now comes the big boom, the personification voices squawking out reminders and playlists at you throughout your house, 24/7 social media pandemic that seems so omnisciently oppressive it feels written in the very spasms of one’s nerves, the impatience on the other end of text messages when you dare not look at your phone for 30 seconds, all the gutless diatribes of YouTube videos, phone updates, a galaxy of useless and horribly redundant apps that nobody can seem to stop talking about, the internet slipping its way into every single avenue of your life including the bathroom, big brother and who knows what else listening to the exotic sounds your daily activities, advertisements tailor made for you seemingly by the thoughts that run though your mind, the doped-sick image of 21st century man walking in hunched over legions, heads bent toward the inescapable blue lights of the phone, a generation of slaves—god help us all.

Yet it’s not all so bad—digitization offers the path to a more responsible and lucrative future across many industries, perhaps none more so than the power generation industry. In a recent article for Power Magazine, associate editor Darrell Proctor championed the digital age, which he refers to as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. The advent of digitalization offers the industry an opportunity to move away from “reactive maintenance to proactive, predictive maintenance.” This means all operations of a plant, a grid, and company etc., are feeding real-time data to operators and decision-makers that can be tracked and analyzed for future predictive processes. Mohamed Shishani, a deployment leader at Schneider Electric, observed, “How is it ‘OK’ to have a main breaker feeding your equipment not connected and supplying data?” One extremely useful tool brought on by the digital age is the use of Digital Twins as part of asset performance maintenance—essentially these are digital computer models mimicking the actions and operations of real-world applications that spot potential problems before they occur and offer up to the minute data on all monitored activity. Maintenance downtime and service costs have all been reduced by the inclusion of digital twins in major industry leader operations, the article states.

Right behind the power industry in reaping the benefits of this century’s digital wave is the U.S. nuclear fleet. “There is tremendous cost pressure for nuclear plants”, Paul Donnellan, a partner at a Chicago-based growth strategy company says, “The combination of all those pricing pressures is putting a lot of emphasis on maximizing assets and reducing costs. Identifying problems before they happen.” Added Mr. Shishani, “You cannot improve what you don’t measure.”

And that’s where Otek steps into the fray. As a 45 year expert of measurement and control processes, we are riding the crest of the wave that is going to wash the world in digitization by the quarter century mark. Our New Technology Series (NTM’s), Solid State Analog Meter (SSAM), and extremely versatile Universal Panel Meter (UPM) are all powered by our cutting-edge technology that was designed this century, unlike 1890’s analog technology, and designed to maintain our efficient, reliable, and accurate standards. And like all great glittering upheavals, digitization is not without its dark shadow of cyber security threats—which all three of our aforementioned models meet: the NTM and UPM models carry a cyber security compliant classification, while the SSAM is cyber security exempt by the ingenuity of being built without any critical digital assets.

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

And indeed they are—Otek is swimming full bore into the new digital future, with a fond remembrance that our technology stands on the shoulders of that which came before it.

Want to join us? Call our office today (520) 748-7900 for more information on our products and how our technology can be customized to your application needs. You may also email our sales department at sales@otekcorp.com.

Read the full article in the February 2019 issue of Power Magazine.