IS YOUR COMPANY TEAM ABLE TO CREATE INNOVATIONS FOR THE MARKET? Do you have a list of innovations that you would like to reach?
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- Apr 2, 2020 9:08 pm GMTApr 2, 2020 4:55 pm GMT
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My perception of the electric industry, at least in the Americas and Europe, is that in the last 15 years we have almost an inexistence of innovations. The creation of knowledge that evolved a lot in the 60's to 90's stagnated after that. That is why much more is invested in commercial marketing than in R&D.
Innovation do not mean only developing a new equipment based on superconductivity or high-tech things like this. Innovation depend on the stage of development of a country. Many years ago, to explain this, I wrote the article “Inducing & Assessing New Technologies for the Electric Industry of Developing Countries”. Most of those sentences are even more true in our current moment. You will find the link in the article below.
In a poor country, the improvement, for undue operation by aging, of an old expulsion type fuse used to protect distribution transformers of aerial networks is much more useful than a high-tech fully automatized hybrid switchgear . A good reading to get a wider view on this is the Brochure Cigrè “Contemporary Design of Low-Cost Substations in Developing Countries” Among the several chapters there is one about equipment technologies and another, unique, about “Training & Development of Substation Practitioners”
The dream of manufacturers of electrical equipment for substations is to develop or to improve a product that becomes, in the commercial market, a successful example of a new, cheaper, energy saving and creative product. I am used to hear from people ,in manufacturing companies, that they frequently have ideas for products that looks promising but does not know how to turn them into a commercial product. They mention that the two main barriers are:(a)to do the engineering calculations necessary to define the product conceptual project. (b)after the first step, how to deal with the high costs of the laboratory tests to develop the prototype
The differences between the companies, which overpassed these steps, are not their size or the money available to invest in new ideas. The difference is only in the attitude, vision and creativity of some 2 or 3 persons of the team. Everything starts in having a proper R&D view in the moment of hiring the team, particularly the engineers and designers. This can be achieved when there is a direction with a view in the medium-and long-term future. The most important thing, before all, is to have a basic list of the potential innovations that you would like to reach.