b'FUTURE TECHNOLOGIESdevelop such a lighting system far outweighed manufacturers economic ability to sell it to customers, and they shifted their energy and resources to something else.PrefabricationTheelectricalindustry stillstruggleswiththeadoptionoftrue prefabrication by some of our longtime field leaders who are reluctant to trust the pro-cess, Stephens said. These are experienced people who take pride in being craftsmen, notinstallers.Giventhesize,scopeand complexity of projects today, as well as the As for the mostPoEPower over ethernet is changing ourcollaboration,modeling,preplanningand up-and-coming trend industry dramatically, and typical work donenon-traditional methods to deliver the end by electrical contractors is now being done byproduct to the customer. MEP facilities will in the years to come? low-voltage contractors, Snyder said. Manybe able to offset the challenges of workforce oftheconnectedloadswehavetodayareshortages and allow contractors to continue I think that allaccompanied by a cord and transformer, butto experience market growth.in the future, in lieu of 120 volt (V) at theAutomationThe technologies Im most receptacle, well have 24V available, which technology will bewilleliminatetheneedfortransformers.excited to see develop are automation/robot-Snydersaidthatmechanical/bigloadsandics and 3D printing, Stephens said. Theyre unbelievable, Sokoloffheatingandcoolingwillstillberegularstill a ways out, but I think theyll be game voltage for the time being, but that all lightschangers in the electrical industry at some said. Things we cantand convenience power will be low-voltage.point in the future.It will definitely drive changes in what con- DeclineofBrick-and-MortarStores even imagine today. tractors do. Once manufacturers figure outLooking ahead, Sokoloff believes that big box how to get the wattage through a low-voltagestores will be a thing of the past. I think that cable connector, the sky will open. there will still be some main retail centres, Battery-PoweredToolsInthefuture,but with people increasingly buying online shortage of trade workers entering the field,Rubinobelievesthattheindustrywillseeand the high cost of constructing and main-we have to adapt to a more modern process,theincreasedpresenceofcordlesspowertaining buildings, I just dont think that all but changing the mindset continues to be atools. Most of the tools operated off bucketof the malls and retail outlets will be needed challenge. truckstodayaredonehydraulically,butanymore, he said. I never thought Id be an RenewablesSokoloffissurprisedthatwithimprovementsinlithiumbatteries,online shopper, but its so easy. Would you renewabletechnologieshaventpenetratedmanufacturerswillincreasinglybeabletohave ever thought you could download an the market faster. I would have thought thatprovide a means of doing work more safelyapp that replenishes your supply of any prod-wed have more electric cars on the road andandproductively,hesaid.Wecurrentlyuct with the push of a button? With todays more home batteries reducing requirementshave cordless drills and cordless cutters whichconnectivity, its mind-boggling how simple for home generators than we do today, hecan be operated remotely, freeing us from theit is and how pervasive it will continue to be.said. Weve done some major solar projectshydraulic tether of previous toolswhich isAs for the most up-and-coming trend in the at our firm, but I would have thought thatespecially useful in places like manholes, etc.years to come? I think that all technology solarwouldbeabuildingrequirementby and this trend will continue to progress. will be unbelievable, Sokoloff said. Things now; solar panels havent moved as fast as IMEP PartnershipsAccording to Rol, Anwe cant even imagine today.thought they would. upcoming industry trend that I believe wellTrends in 2020 and beyond see is more partnerships between mechanical,Susan Bloom is a 25-year veteran of the lighting electrical and plumbing (MEP) contractorsand electrical products industry. Reach her at RenewableSourcesIthinkthatthethat utilize a common facility to pre-fab asusan.bloom.chester@gmail.com.growthofrenewable-energysourceslikeprojectsMEPneeds.Thesepartnerships wind, solar and battery storage are some ofwillneedtohappeninordertodeliveraThis article originally appeared in the March our industrys most up and coming trends,product and support a construction market2020 issue of Electrical Contractor magazine. Staudtsaid.Icantwaittoseewhatthethat demands more for less every day, heItisreprintedwithpermission.Electrical future will bring, but Im sure it will be goodsaid. The rapid changes in technology andContractor magazine.for all. how work is performed are requiring more www.ecao.org18'