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Aggreko Solheim Solar (002) (002)

Interview with Aggreko’s Dan Ibbetson: Predictive Monitoring

Feb. 18, 2021
Dan Ibbetson, managing director, global products and technology, Aggreko, talks about providing power and temperature control for workers on the front lines, decreasing carbon emissions, technology adoption and more.

RER recently interviews dozens of rental company owners and executives about the effects of COVID-19 on the rental industry. Dan Ibbetson, managing director, global products and technology, Aggreko,

talks about providing power and temperature control for workers on the front lines, decreasing carbon emissions, technology adoption and more.

How has business been for you in 2020? How has the pandemic affected your business?

Needless to say, 2020 has been a year like no other. But as a provider of modular, flexible solutions, we’re used to reacting quickly to changing situations. As you certainly can imagine, we have had to be more flexible in how we delivered projects and find creative ways to overcome logistical challenges like closed airports and even borders.

Throughout the year, we’ve continually adapted the way we work to deliver vital power supplies to our customers. We’ve also provided power and temperature control solutions to facilities on the front line of the relief effort- such as temporary hospitals, as well as temperature control and backup power for community recovery centers. On the other hand, it is probably no surprise to you that our event business didn’t turned out as planned in 2020.

Despite all the challenges of this crazy year, we at Aggreko are really proud that our customers still were able to count on us delivering reliable power solutions, temperature control and energy services throughout the pandemic while making sure everybody remains safe.

How do you expect the pandemic to affect business going forward into 2021?

The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of flexibility and highlighted the importance of quickly deployable solutions to meet power generation or temperature control needs effectively.

Also, many organizations have taken this period to assess their priorities and commitments and are looking for ways to increase efficiency whilst decreasing their carbon emissions and implement sustainability goals. We have the expertise and experience to partner with them and help through the energy transition.

How has the pandemic affected and changed your company’s ability to meet with customers, go on jobsites and essentially conduct rental business as you always have?

Our commitment to keeping our colleagues, customers and partners safe remains paramount, and to ensure this whilst maintaining our high standards of performance, we’ve increasingly deployed digital tools, such as our remote monitoring technologies. These innovative systems are operated by trained engineers 24 hours a day, seven days a week– maintaining a high level of control and performance for the assets on site.

Alongside remote monitoring technologies, we are also employing a range of other digital solutions, such as predictive monitoring. This system employs machine learning to evaluate gigabytes worth of data in real-time, identifying anomalous behavior whilst ensuring maximum efficiency and performance.

As we move into 2021, remote and predictive monitoring systems will continue to provide an essential way for organizations to continue operations safely and with minimal disruption, as well as optimizing efficiency-saving customers time and money, as well as reducing emissions.

Have there been any good opportunities that have come out of the pandemic, i.e., more people doing home improvements, work renting to testing centers, etc.?

Whilst one notable impact of the pandemic has been adoption of technology, we’ve also maintained our focus on training and equipping our colleagues with the skills to implement market-leading solutions. Over the past few months, we’ve worked hard to deliver new and updated training schemes to our team and have employed exciting new ways to deliver this training. We have introduced the use of augmented reality, computer modelling systems and remote working software to ensure we were able to share knowledge.

This is a very uncertain time in the economy in regard to the pandemic and so many job cancelations. Does this uncertainty benefit rental in the sense that contractors would want to avoid capital expenditures on equipment and would therefore rent more?

Adaptability and flexibility are very important for businesses in general- especially in times of transition, as we are currently seeing with decarbonization and decentralization of the energy systems worldwide.

Our modular, mobile model allows our customers to enjoy the benefits of this flexibility as well as high performance standards, allowing more choice around the duration and cost of their contracts. This approach allows for adaptability: avoiding CAPEX investments and preventing the risk of costly stranded assets. Providing rental solutions is part of our DNA - we have specialized in the space since 1962 meaning we were well positioned to support our customers through the challenges presented by the pandemic.