Ahead of the current™
2011 Prediction Comments – January 20, 2011
Posted on: January 21st, 2011 by Bill

I got several comments on my predictions for 2011, specifically on containers and innovations.

Addressing manufacturer innovation, I believe what really started the trend was a drive to differentiate. The Eaton 9395 UPS power module drive many to multi-mode operation with their introduction of their Economy mode. That, and Eaton FINALLY produces a 750+ kVA module, after many of us had waited almost 10 years for it.

This then was taken one step further by Chloride/Emerson with the module that can operate on inverter, economy or line interactive mode. You can argue who started the trend, but none the less, we have newer and sharper tools to use.

For containers, I think it’s just as simple as several owners are now using containerized IT packs. While the first systems did not have on board critical power, many of the applications we now see do (we just finished a job of this ilk). So, some of the ME packaging is following the IT trends. And since several firms now produce ME packs as part of their business (Rosendin certainly does!), there are many influential parties that seek to place their newly developed products. We do have some sales “gravity” toward this issues.

What we have not seen is an adequate or prolonged discussion on the long-term viability of containerized utility systems. While there is certainly a shelf life to IT packs and technology, that shelf life is far longer for MEP system. Similarly, I don’t think anyone has taken a critical eye to the maintainability and life-cycle cost of the pack versus a stick-built system that is typically around for 10 years, at a minimum.

We will acknowledge that we can build a containerized MEP solution more quickly than a stick-built solution, but that should not be the only criteria for selection.

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