Field Service News and Tech Roundup July 2020 Edition

Field Service News & Technology Roundup is our blog series, where we feature the latest interesting field service and technology insights impacting field service organizations.

Wow! Did July just surf by in the blink of an eye? As Summer paves the way to more Summer, by now field service is in full swing. It is evident projects that were put on hold are getting back on track.

With all the excitement, this month’s Field Service News and Technology Roundup is full of can’t-put-down, must-read articles.

For instance, Green Tech Media released findings from Berkley Lab that U.S. solar plants are now expected to run for 30 years. Meanwhile, The Service Council provided a breakdown of how augmented reality technology limits disruption during the pandemic.

For the full scoop, read on for latest news you may have missed over the month of July.

Looking for past editions? Check them out here.

Augmented Reality (AR) Technology Helps Alleviate Pandemic Disruption
Source: The Service Council
Author: John Carroll, Founder & CEO of Service Council

The saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. In times of pandemics and other hardships, innovative ideas or new uses for novel technology, present opportunities. Augmented reality (AR) technology has been a growing technology utilized by service businesses. Particularly in asset-intensive industries, such as manufacturing.

The Service Council writes about their own findings of how the pandemic has affected members. Health and safety are the priority for many service businesses. The article goes on to discuss how augmented reality has been a game-changer for organizations that conduct remote services, including asset maintenance, and how AR can be applied in today’s specific environment.

The Council also includes a statistic from their recent “Voice of Field Service Engineers” survey, where the majority of respondents noted the lack of collaboration to be significant hinderance to their work.

The article is interesting and worth taking the time to read. You can read the full article here.

Robot Roundup: 5 Innovations in Construction Tech
Source: Construction Dive
Author: Zachary Phillips, Associate Editor

It doesn’t matter if you are in the construction industry or not, I think robots add an ultimate cool factor. I included this as more of a fun read for the week. I mean, who doesn’t like learning about how robots can help humans?

For instance, the first robot featured in the article, Husky A200, is meant to help carry heavy tools for workers. They are not taking the job away but making it easier and more comfortable for the construction worker to get their job done.

There is also the Tunneling Worm from General Electric. This little robot is pretty spectacular. It can burrow, like an earthworm, creating tunnels underground.

Of course, no article would be complete without mentioning at least one robot from Boston Dynamics. Robot Dog helps, again, take some of the manual, labor intensive work off the shoulders of field workers.

For a fun read, check out the Robot Roundup.

The Convergence of Events That Will Change the Field Service Industry
Source: Field Technologies Online
Author: Mark Percy, VP of Technology at Field Squared

Regardless of the current situation, the field service industry is changing, fast. Here at Field Squared, we see it on the horizon: a convergence of events that will change the field service industry. It is an important, often overlooked topic we know should be top of mind.

In Field Technologies Online, our VP of Technology presents 5 converging events and discusses the potential impact for the industry. You may also be aware of a couple of the events yourself. Specifically, an aging workforce may be a challenge at your company as I write this. Or, maybe you, too, adopted multiple systems that are unable to “talk” to one-another.

Honestly, of all the articles in this month’s edition of this blog series, this is the one to read.

A Culture of Innovation in the Power Industry
Source: T&D World
Author: Martha Davis, Senior Director of Content

If you follow Field Squared on Twitter, you may have noticed we tweeted about this article, A Culture of Innovation, because the topic is a focus for many businesses right now. Also, because Martha Davis mentioned the “Utility Death Spiral,” which I had not heard of, and I wanted to know what it was all about.

Trust me, this article is brief but packs a lot in. There is one thing Davis said that really sums up the focus of the article, “To avoid the clichéd ‘utility death spiral,’ the industry needs real solutions that address resilience, customer engagement, digitalization, and attracting the workforce of the future.”

Really, though, the observation applies to many industries. Everyone talks about digital transformation, but it is time to make it happen. Davis presents a few examples of forward-looking organizations who have made their vision a reality.

Check out the story for the details.

Here at Field Squared, we 100% understand how innovation impacts the lives of field service businesses and the mobile workforce. If you don’t know where to start, whether you need solutions to schedule service calls or maintain assets, field service automation software is the foundation to build upon.

US Solar Plants Now Expected to Run for More Than 30 Years
Source: Greentech Media
Author: Justin Gerdes, Contributor

The renewable energy industry is hot right now. Maybe it’s fueled by Elon Musk and the Tesla Power Wall or the solar panels from the acquisition of Solar City. Or, like Justin Gerdes discusses in the article, solar technology has greatly improved over the years making it an even better investment. Either way, this is a fascinating article.

On the surface it may seem removed from the world of field service news; however, in discussing operations and maintenance activities, maintaining assets and selling service contracts, it all comes together to explain why I included this story.

In reality, I also really, really like statistics. This article is chock full of industry stats, since it was written with information from the Berkeley Lab Report.

In any case, if you have time, give this one a read.

A Blueprint for Field Service Work During a Pandemic
Source: Field Squared Blog
Author: Mark Percy, VP of Technology at Field Squared

Right now, businesses are trying to find safe methods to return back to work. Field service is unique, in that the work, for the most part, continued in sectors that were essential. Think utilities, telecommunications and oil & gas.

That doesn’t mean that getting back to the office for operations managers and other staff can be without challenges.

To help navigate the process of getting back to the field as well as the office, here at Field Squared, we put together a blueprint for service work during a pandemic.

The post includes six processes to apply technology in order get back to work safely. We even included a diagram for temperature checks and remediation protocols.

If you have not had a chance to read it yet, it is highly recommended to review the blueprint and take action.

Watch the 60-second demo video to see inside Field Squared’s field service automation software.