Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

May 16, 2022

By Krystie Johnston

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ABB recently hosted Billions of Better Decisions - Empowering the Workforce with the Industrial Internet of Things, a panel moderated by Molly Wood, Climate Investor and Journalist, and Managing Director of Launch. There she interviewed three industry experts: Peter Terwiesch, President of Process Automation at ABB, Ahmed Hashmi, Senior Vice President, Digital at bp, and Michael Wade, Professor of Innovation and Strategy and Director of Global Centre for Digital Business Transformation at IMD.

Their discussion focused on the convergence of digitalization and sustainability and the critical role of the industrial IoT. This article highlights what these experts address as the mega trends of digitalization and sustainability and how leaders can use the industrial IoT to make better decisions and tackle the massive threat of the climate crisis.

These High-Level Findings are Weaved Throughout the Panelists’ Conversation

The panel was prompted by a recent global study of industrial IoT decision makers released by ABB, Industrial Transformation’s New Imperative, where several high-level findings were brought to light. In this study, ABB looked at the critical relationship between digitalization and sustainability and found that 94% of respondents agree that digitalization is essential to achieving their own businesses' sustainability goals. It also revealed that only 35% have implemented industrial IoT at scale. Additionally, 72% of companies are increasing investment in industrial IoT specifically to address sustainability aims. And finally, the study showed that perceived cyber security vulnerabilities are the number one barrier to improving sustainability throughout the industrial IoT.

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Digitalization and sustainability are mega trends in industry today. The global pandemic has made the world pause and think more about these trends, as have current events in Europe and new reports on the environment like the one from the IPCC. While the world combats growing challenges, it is becoming more evident that the industrial IoT can help organizations make better decisions. Companies and individuals are feeling pressure to perform while balancing protection of the climate. They need clear lines to be drawn with respect to what they can do to develop and implement their sustainability goals and they need tools to help them do that.

Many Companies are Setting Aims and Developing a Plan Using Existing Technologies

For instance, bp has set an aim to be a very different kind of energy company by 2030, one that delivers integrated energy solutions to their customers. This has required a reinvention of the company, as Hashmi explains, “We call this “reimagining energy” and when we came up with this idea, it required a reinvention of bp. We gave ourselves a new purpose, a net zero ambition, a strategy and sustainability frame, as well as a new financial framework and investor proposition. Of course, the focus now has moved on to executing this strategy, and this is where I like the topic of today’s panel which is around the linkages between digitalization and sustainability, because there are many and digitalization is a key enabler.”

An example will help explain how the tools and technologies in place today can help improve sustainability. During the panel discussion, the representatives from both ABB and bp talk about methane emissions. Methane gas is a potent chemical with greater heat trapping potential than CO2. Reduction of these emissions will have a considerable positive impact on the world. Technologies existing today can reduce emissions and improve operating efficiency – a clear example of how digitalization and sustainability can intersect – and an example that is both good for business and good for the environment. “There are technologies that we have today that we developed with something other than sustainability in mind, that can really have an impact” ABB’s Terwiesch notes.

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Analyzers, sensors, GPS signals, and drones all help to mitigate methane leakages and are all tools that are available today. They may have been designed with performance in mind, but they can be used towards sustainability goals as well. Wade knows that successful organizations are good at integrating digital technologies into a broader organizational and cultural transformation. His work explores ways to improve innovation and creativity, leading effectively in a digital age, and the link between digitalization and ethics. He points out that,

“There are all kinds of ways that digital tools and technologies today can both improve - we do not have to give up improving our performance - but they are also helping the planet. And this is a new mindset that we are seeing, forward thinking, forward-looking companies adopting today.”- Michael Wade, Professor of Innovation and Strategy and Director of Global Centre for Digital Business Transformation at IMD

Managing the Data

These digital tools and technologies not only improve performance and the planet, but they also come with a lot of data. The volume of data that is available is something that technologists did not anticipate a few years ago. It has great potential to become a tool that companies can use to create solutions. For example, Hashmi describes how the data collected from methane reduction is helping bp to make better decisions.

He says, “Today we are moving two billion data points each day from our field operations into our central database. I would not have imagined this a few years ago. I would have thought we would get to a few million. And that data is contextualized, it is organized, and it is the life blood of decision making. So, I am quite excited about the future, I think the technologies are there, I think the will is there, to invest, the capability is there; it is about prioritizing these investments and about making them stick across the company.”

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Harnessing the Industrial IoT

ABB’s report is a step in the right direction in pointing the way for organizations in harnessing the industrial IoT. Terwiesch maintains education is a key component. Only a generation or two ago, people trained for one job and did that for their entire career; but today, people need to update themselves often to avoid being outdated. Terwiesch sees companies as having an obligation to train and support their workforce, to facilitate this evolution, and to contribute back into academia thus optimizing these rapidly evolving solutions. He thinks it is important to keep up with the development of technology – and that this is another aspect of sustainability. Obviously, a decade or two ago, no one anticipated that the technologies that were developed to enhance performance or efficiency would be applicable to sustainability as well. Or that the amount of data from these technologies would be vital to making better decisions. Transparency of data is critical to this evolution; however, this practice comes with inherent challenges such as partisanship and security.

These challenges will be worked out on a global scale. The report notes that future competitiveness, efficiency, and reputation are big drivers for companies. The panelists agree that having this data will help everyone make better decisions. However, with transparency of this data, there is nowhere to hide – so the questions are, how can organizations balance transparency with the desire to hide bad news? How will the data be organized and contextualized? Who should have access? Wood asks this question to Hashmi, who mentioned earlier that this data is the life blood of decision making.

Hashmi says, “I think if we look at the state of hardware today, [it] has far achieved the vision that we laid out years ago. What is needed now is this ability to assemble these disparate data bits and make sense of them.” - Ahmed Hashmi, Senior Vice President, Digital at bp

He mentions that safety is an area where data is not hidden because it has been made personal and imperative. It is the right thing to do. He continues, “In sustainability, I do expect that once the data are reliable, sharing will improve. And I think that is where some work is needed to integrate these disparate data sets and create actionable insight. There is a lot of unactionable insight out there right now. You get data and you are swimming in it. I think this next wave must be not so much about kit and hardware, it must be about integration of data, and it must be about really accessing knowledge. And I do not mean AI and machine learning, that is high-level, what I mean is simply good contextualization of data that can equip our people to make better decisions. And it is happening, it is happening in places; it has not really joined up the 21st century corporation yet, but that is my hope and vision, that we will be, not before too long.”

Transparency of Data

Of course, the data was not initially collected with the purpose of improving the planet, so there is work to do – even to the existing data, let alone collecting new data – to help people and automation make better decisions toward sustainability. New priorities need to be set; new algorithms need to be developed. Wood questions if the data will be shared, and if drawing insights from the data is the next crucial step.

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Wade agrees that it is. There is a lot of data available, and it holds a wealth of insights. He says, “The more we share the data and learn from each other, the better the impact is going to be for all of us and the planet. Organizations need to put aside their traditional competitiveness, and, for the greater good, share data in a responsible way that can help the planet.” This will require compromises to be made – both as consumers and as organizations – and there will be tradeoffs between what is best for performance and what is best for the planet.

Terwiesch sees the potential for transformation as dependent on connecting systems and people to look at the data together and provide expertise remotely—not just in writing better algorithms. He says,

“I am convinced that as this further matures and as the reporting becomes more consistent, more streamlined, with well agreed standards, I think this visibility and transparency will lead to more accountability and lead to more speed and driving issue resolution.” - Peter Terwiesch, President of Process Automation at ABB

ABB’s report indicates that companies are acting. Bp, for example, is leading by example in transparency. As Hashmi observes, the company has launched a massive reinvention and sustainability framework to achieve their set aims. He knows that the boards of companies want to stay relevant in the future and are looking at holistic, balanced performance metrics. He believes it is the job of technologists like Terwiesch and himself to ensure that companies have the right wiring and capabilities to fuel that transparency.

Where Decisions Are Made

This brings up an important point about where decisions are made. Wood reflects on a recent panel she conducted with chief sustainability officers who, over the last few years, have started coming together and breaking the silos that previously blocked them in their separate divisions. She questions, “Is it enough to say, ‘this is obvious – we all have to be on the same page’?”

Wade answers, “You have sustainability and digitization. Managing the governance around that is not a trivial task; it takes real effort and energy for organizations. It requires a lot of cross bridging between different groups and departments, breaking the silos as we talked about before. Some of the heavy lifting that must happen; people need to talk to each other that do not normally talk to each other - and agree. And this is not easy.”

Looking ahead, actions that an organization can take towards digitalization and sustainability today are to make them a priority and set a clear direction. Using digitalization for energy and resource efficiency, as well as introducing renewable energies to create combined process power management are additional steps that energy intensive industries can take. Take stock of where you are in terms of your capabilities in digital and make the connections required to implement your strategy. And finally, invest in people and in partnerships. We are all in this together.

To learn more about ABB’s Billions of Better Decisions research, visit https://global.abb/topic/ability/en/better-decisions

According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself. - Leon C. Megginson

Contribute Your Product Knowledge to Develop the Industry’s Harmonized Data Model (HDM)

IDEA Harmonized Data ModelHave you heard about the industry’s Harmonized Data Model (HDM) initiative? IDEA, in partnership with NAED, is calling all product experts to get involved and be recognized by the industry. People who join the Product Expert Task Force will impact the future of the electrical distribution channel.

In the next 6 months, subject matter experts (SMEs) will be harmonizing the categorization for dozens of product categories. It’s an opportunity for industry experts to participate as a SME in the HDM initiative.

 

 

 

For more information Go Here.


 

 

McKenna

By Rhonda Cox, Regional Sales Manager, Western Canada, EGLO Canada

It is with pleasure that EGLO Canada annouces the nomination of McKenna Agencies as our representation in the specification market as well as electrical distributor channel for the markets of Alberta, Yukon, Northwest Territories and parts of B.C.

Covering various interveners within the specification market (engineers, architechts and designers), McKenna Agencies is a privately-owned-andoperated company whose history under its current ownership dates back to 1988. 

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Sonepar CioffiRenato

Sonepar has officially signed an agreement for the acquisition of 100% of shares in CioffiRenato. Founded in 1974, CioffiRenato is a company active in the distribution of electrical material operating in the Lecce province, with its headquarters in Casarano.

In 2021, with its two branches serving all the area, the company recorded sales of around €10 million. It employs 17 associates and 2 sales representatives. Thanks to this acquisition, Sonepar, already present in Puglia with six branches, will strengthen its business in the region.

 

 

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Chris Farrah

Electrozad have recently announced the retirement of Sales Representative Chris Farrah, on July 29th, 2022. Chris began his career with Electrozad on February 20th, 1983. His first position was doing deliveries as a truck driver, then advanced to a warehouse position, then a Customer service/Counter sales representative.

Finally in 1991, Chris was promoted to the position of Sales Representative where he continued to excel and increase his relationships with customers and vendors for the remainder of his career. Chris had been a valuable member not only of Electrozad's business but of the Electrozad family too. 

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Franklin Electric

 

Franklin Electric Co., Inc. released its third annual Sustainability Report this month, once again providing transparency, insight and data related to the Company’s performance toward Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives and goals. The commitment to these initiatives and goals led the Company to be named to Newsweek’s 2022 list of America’s Most Responsible Companies.

This year’s report includes several details related to product advancements, employee health and wellness programs, and manufacturing initiatives. 

Read More


 

 

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Doug Bunting

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Doug Bunting as Senior Sales Manager, Western Ontario District effective Aug 2nd, 2022. Doug will continue to report directly to me. Doug is a well-known industry veteran who has held many leadership positions over his 35 years with Westburne.

In this role, Doug will drive commercial sales activities and will help recruit, mentor, and develop our team of commercial account managers, branch staff, and project managers. He will focus on accelerating sales growth in the Western Ontario District and will play a key role in supporting vendor and customer relationships.

 

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Greg Parsons

It is with mixed feelings that Stanpro recently announced that Greg Parsons, Vice-President of Sales, will be retiring at the end of the year. Greg has been with Stanpro for the last 18 years as well as four years with Standard prior to joining Stanpro. Greg has been a key contributor to the success and growth Stanpro has known. He has been the face and leader of the sales force; he has built strong long-lasting relationships with customers and partners and he has been a pillar and mentor for many.

With Greg retiring, Stanpro are very pleased to announce the nomination of Adam Silverman as the National Sales Director. This nomination is effective immediately. 

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Jennifer Penton

Magic Lite is proud to announce the appointment of Jennifer (Jen) Penton to the position of National Sales Manager. Jen joins the team with a proven track record having spent the last 10 years in business development and project management with engineering consulting firm GHD.


Prior to this she earned a PhD at the University Of Western Australia. As the daughter of Magic Lite founder and CEO Tom Penton, Jen is very familiar with the company and its operations and is looking forward to bringing her passion and drive to the family company.

 

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AES Acquisition

RESA Power, LLC has recently announced the acquisition of Advanced Electrical Services, Ltd. Based in Alberta, Canada, Advanced Electrical Services (AES) is a NETA accredited company that has two locations in Calgary and Edmonton from which it has been providing electrical testing services since 2008 throughout Western Canada.

AES specializes in providing medium and high voltage services and products into the renewable energy, mining, commercial, utility, and oil & gas market segments in Western Canada. RESA Power was acquired by Investcorp, a leading global alternative investment firm, in December 2021 and this marks the first add-on acquisition under their ownership.

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