This piece was originally published in the September 2017 issue of electroindustry.
Kyle Seymour, President and CEO, S&C Electric Company
Mr. Seymour chairs the NEMA Board of Governors Strategic Initiatives and Councils Committee.
Our industry is evolving rapidly and is feeling the resulting growing pains. Connected technologies are collecting, analyzing, and reporting vast amounts of data, enabling manufacturers to offer new functionality and services to their customers. However, this exciting opportunity poses some formidable challenges: processing information raises cybersecurity, privacy, and data ownership questions; changing manufacturing practices require a new, properly trained workforce; and new technologies are often undervalued until their worth is sufficiently proven.
I am pleased to announce that in 2018, NEMA will address many of these problems through its Strategic Initiatives program. Each year, NEMA asks its Members to identify the biggest issues facing their companies in an attempt to help electrical and medical imaging manufacturers seize emerging market opportunities and solve imminent challenges. Many proposals were received, and a theme quickly emerged: how to take connected technologies from infancy to maturity.
Four categories of Strategic Initiatives were approved by the NEMA Board of Governors during its July meeting: Internet of Things, Smart Cities, Medical Imaging, and Workforce Development. Each of these broad categories has discrete underlying initiatives that are designed to support electrical and medical imaging manufacturers in the transition from an analog to a digital industry. Each of these is described in more detail on page 8.
There will be winners and losers in the transition to a digital, connected future. Manufacturers that do not adapt to the new technologies risk falling behind, while startups and innovative incumbents seize the future. The NEMA Strategic Initiatives program is designed to help provide NEMA Members with the tools and information they need to ensure future success.
I encourage you to visit www.nema.org/si to find out more about the program and to get involved.