April 2013

Powering Businesses: Intelligent Electronics Management

Powering Businesses: Intelligent Electronics Management for the Office Equipment Industry

By: Walter Crowder, Vice President of Sales, Innovolt

We are fortunate to live in a country where constant, reliable power is the norm, however “always-on” power doesn’t always equate to clean power and our electricity system, which was built on technology primarily from the 1960s and 1970s, remains severely antiquated while our daily technology advances every year.  Over the past 40+ years there have been no significant advances in our power supply or the level of protection, and yet the office equipment we deploy and rely on daily continues to grow more digitally advanced.

Despite the growing sophistication of our devices and the age of our power system, modern office equipment continues to be manufactured with limited power protection. This causes our equipment to be vulnerable to damaging power grid activity that can cost up to tens of billions of dollars in lost productivity and data, service and parts annually.

All electronics in office environments have two things in common: all require power to operate and all are significantly impacted by complex power disturbances.  An inconsistent power supply places the reliability and efficiency of our office electronic equipment at constant jeopardy. Factors such as productivity, profitability and end-user satisfaction, are at risk when this equipment isn’t protected.

Our Vulnerable State

Most recently, our nation’s natural disasters and even the 47th Super Bowl have shed light on the damage that can happen when the power goes out. It’s clear that even a minor voltage fluctuation is enough to wreak havoc on electronic equipment.  According to the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI), power disturbances cost U.S. industry as much as $188 billion per year in lost data, material and productivity.

While natural disasters and major events may grab our attention, there are a countless number of uncontrollable variables taking place every day, externally on the power grid and internally within our electronics environments that are non-disaster related and affect the power supply. It is mind boggling to think about the vulnerabilities that exist. In America alone, according to a recent report by the Associated Press, every day, 500,000 people lose power for an hour or more.  Not only do these outages affect our efficiency, they cost us. The American Society of Civil Engineers states that the cost of service interruptions in the U.S. is estimated to reach $71 billion by 2020. While most have historically viewed power variations and related vulnerabilities as easily solvable by protecting against lightning strikes and power outages, the truth is quite different, more severe in nature and far more technical.

Of power related events that damage electronics, less than one-half of one percent are caused by voltage surges and spikes, and a small percentage of failures actually results from power outages themselves. These daily disturbances include a complex array of voltage sags, brown outs, over voltages, power outages and voltage surges and spikes.  No two disturbances are the same, and a single event or events overtime can be   catastrophic to the lifespan and reliability of electronics.

EPRI states that these daily loss-generating disturbances have been referred to as “the most important concern affecting most industrial and commercial customers,” annually costing hundreds of billions of dollars to businesses in the U.S. alone. At the end of the day, power issues can affect businesses through lost revenue and profitability as well as shortened equipment life and lost customers. Additionally, these disturbances can increase service calls as well as costs associated with labor, parts and overhead. It’s time to recognize and fix these issues. Protecting equipment from these types of disturbances can extend the life of electronics; ultimately saving time and money.

How We Protect Our Equipment

As most are aware, office equipment environments often times contain a wide array of equipment including, numerous printers, copiers, servers and potentially hundreds of computers all of which are at the mercy of an unreliable power supply. There are a number of protection solutions on the marketplace however most protection choices have been limited to either under-functioning surge protectors for aftermarket consumer use or unwieldy, and expensive technologies such as uninterruptible power supply (UPS), for use by many large enterprise systems.  Traditionally, UPS technology is quite effective from a technical standpoint. The technology protects against disturbances on the higher end by isolating electronics from the grid and powering them by battery. However, UPSs are prohibitively expensive for most applications and much too large to integrate with electronics such as office equipment, so most often users and manufacturers either use nothing, or turn to inexpensive surge protection that shields electronics from less than one percent of damaging power disturbances, according to reports from i-Grid.  Taking these limitations and underserved markets into consideration, most of the office equipment that we rely on daily remains under protected or not protected at all.

Next Generation Intelligent Power Protection and Management

The current protection landscape for office electronic equipment points to a void in the power protection market.  Experts are realizing current solutions are limited and the damaging activity from the power supply is growing more and more complex and frequent, elevating the need for a next generation, intelligent solution that is effective and affordable for the mass-market majority of the world’s electronics suppliers and manufacturers.

To bridge the gap, a new and more advanced technology has been developed, which provides intelligent electronics protection and management at a price point and form-factor that is accessible to nearly all users. Compared to inexpensive surge protection and filtering technologies, this new type of protection is cost-effective and is a meaningful and proven long-term safeguard for office equipment. Similar to UPS systems, the technology provides immunity from disturbances, and with a greater success rate, more usable form-factor and more affordable price-point.

Recently, the office equipment industry has benefited from the evolution of this next generation protection solution. Launched on the marketplace by Innovolt, this intelligent power protection and management technology platform offers a patented solution that significantly reduces costs associated with power-related disturbances.

Backed by more than 25 years of scientific research, Innovolt’s offering provides quantifiable results that are proven to increase the reliability of office equipment and reduce the total cost of ownership by proactively preventing equipment performance issues at the outlet before they negatively impact business. Innovolt’s solution entered the marketplace to offer a proven solution that can be easily implemented and improve profits, customer satisfaction and loyalty rates.

The technology is accessible to, and effective for all office electronic equipment, regardless of size. For the first time, there is a holistic and intelligent approach to managing electronics, resulting in equipment that performs better, lasts longer and requires fewer service calls.

Re-evaluating Your Power Protection Needs

Do you have a holistic and intelligent approach to managing your electronics? Are you prepared for daily power disturbances that have damaging effects to your equipment? By utilizing technology that manages and reports on power disturbances, office equipment manufacturers and end-users can extend the life of their equipment, resulting in improved product reliability and service-cost reductions.