Smart technology is being newly incorporated into all kinds of products and devices. Similar to when the Internet was conceived and new products and devices were being Internet enabled, the same is happening today with smart technology initiatives. In the smart technology realm, the key areas that seem to be getting a lot of visibility in 2011 are clean technologies (cleantech), machine to machine (M2M) technology, and smart appliances.
The smart appliance market is estimated to grow from $3.06 billion to $15.12 billion, from 2011 to 2015, according to the Smart Appliance Report by research firm Zpryme. It is anticipated that the smart appliance market will grow hand in hand with the smart grid, and could present a key driver of wealth creation over the next 12 years.
Countless companies are champing at the bit to figure out the best way to enter the quickly evolving smart industry. Already analysts are predicting that the implementation of smart grid technologies could reduce electricity use by more than 4 percent by 2030, according to the Electric Power Research Institute. What this translates to is a savings of $20.4 billion for businesses and consumers throughout the country.
Overall smart initiatives are affecting how products are designed with the caveat that smart technology incorporated within products optimizes resource use while delivering equal or superior performance compared with traditional technology. New smarter products being developed addresses the challenges of achieving energy efficiency, securing food and water, combating climate change, and managing rapid urbanization. Clean technologies covers a broad scope of industries, including those related to smart initiatives such as energy, water, materials, facilities/buildings, transportation and design/planning.
PLM, CAD, ERP, and SCADA for faster time to market
With all this expected explosive growth, it is not difficult to understand how technology companies will benefit by taking a pro-active approach to support manufacturers of smart products. CAD (computer-aided design), PLM (product lifecycle management), ERP (enterprise resource planning) and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) software will prove to be highly effective in managing and solving the business and operational issues surrounding the development and deployment of products in the cleantech industry. Those vendors of PLM, CAD, ERP and SCADA like Omnify Software, SAP and SolidWorks to make the first investment to target the smart initiatives industry will gain the competitive advantage and be well-positioned to address upcoming challenges such as compliance issues and the formulation of standards and processes that can be tracked and audited if needed.
Today, industry analysts show a lot of interest in identifying opportunities for cleantech product manufacturers as evident through the large investments being made to implement smart initiatives involving in-vehicle and industrial applications, healthcare devices and the connected home/building. The strong focus on this industry is driving manufacturers to quickly churn out new products to support smart initiatives. As a result, product and device manufacturers are streamlining their manufacturing processes and investing heavily in such technologies as PLM, ERP, and CAD programs.
Omnify Software, a company specializing in product lifecycle management, understands the potential of M2M’s promise and supports Frost and Sullivan’s prediction that smart initiatives will motivate businesses to respond with better designed products to serve customers’ future needs for connectivity. “PLM will aid in faster development of devices to prepare for the increasing sophistication and automation of the grid,” said Chuck Cimalore, Omnify Software CEO.