Necessity is credited in the often-repeated proverb as being the mother of invention. The truth is the relationship between the two is more ambiguous.
A great deal of innovative work does not begin because this or that company perceives it to be potentially useful. Some of the best inventions stem from gifted minds considering a problem in the abstract long before the end result’s wider utility is ever appreciated.
But it is the necessity of tackling industrial problems that have proven resistant to traditional solutions which attracts the resources for research and product development, as well as bringing an innovation to market and at scale.
Lockdown, social distancing and associated spending have provided a prompt for process and pumping sectors to focus more deeply on the benefits of automation and sustainability.
What were challenges are now benefits; lower staffing prompted by lockdown has encouraged use of remote and Cloud-based services that ensures risk and costs is reduced.
Our feature on page 5 outlines how much of the developments are occurring within pumping systems.
Refinements to solenoid valaves are helping cut firms’ power requirements in oil and gas. Likewise computer assisted design and 3D manufacturing are overcoming issues of supply when reliant on highly specialised products from limited sources.
Meanwhile retrofits, which have been in high demand in the last two years, are getting smarter as service companies seek to reduce the components involved and with it purchase price and downtime.