Materials Performance

OCT 2018

Materials Performance is the world's most widely circulated magazine dedicated to corrosion prevention and control. MP provides information about the latest corrosion control technologies and practical applications for every industry and environment.

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OCTOBER 2018 MATERIALSPERFORMANCE: VOL. 57, NO. 10 25 people are working off laptops. It's not replacing their jobs, but it makes it so much more efficient, accurate, and error-free." That trend may further accelerate in the years ahead. "You may not have someone walking a pipeline 25 years from now, but you may have somebody operating a drone and analyzing the data and providing feedback, and show- ing where the work needs to be done to fix the problem," Chalker says. For the private sector, this dynamic presents both a challenge and an opportunity. While some of these technologies may present a higher initial cost to clients, an opportunity exists if industry leaders can properly explain the long-term value proposition. "Companies who develop products and services from a life-cycle approach and effectively communicate that increased value will fare much better than those that simply provide the least expensive initial cost," Duran says. "As bud- gets become tighter, decision makers will be more accountable for their corro- sion protection choices and the associated long-term costs." "Companies that perform research and continually search for better solutions will be the leaders," Duran adds. "Companies that continue to focus only on immediate profit margins, without regard to expanding their knowl- edge base or developing their employees, will lose ground over time." Chalker sees a potential role for newer groups based on the emerging technologies. "I think we're going to start seeing new names and faces," he says. "By that I mean companies from outside our traditional industry, like small startups. I think what we're going to see is leaps and bounds advances in technology. Big companies will drive it because they've got the funding, but the ideas and partners will come from little companies you've never heard of." For an association such as NACE, these technologies could offer down- stream opportunities in the form of new and revised standards, training, industry events, and more. "The technological innovation will be in the domain of private industry and academia," Adley says. "But just about anything short of the actual inno- vating, associations have a key role. It starts with having forums where own- ers can hear from the innovators about what the technology can do for them. But as these technologies emerge, like hypothetically, drones—well, there's going to be a need for standards, for how you do aerial assessments of structures. There could be training opportunities for how to use the technol- ogy. That's definitely the case with instrumentation and data interpretation. That, to me, is an area where associations can have a big role. An association can take an unbiased perspective and say, 'This is what those instruments NACE International CEO Bob Chalker, right, addresses attendees at the annual NACE Leadership Program. Photo courtesy of NACE International. are capable of doing, here's the limitations of it,' and make sure that those using it understand the veracity of the data." OU T L O OK A ND CONCLUSIONS For its part, NACE plans to respond to the industry's evolution by expand- ing its focus beyond just the technology and also to the people and pro- cesses in place to lead the development. "For most of NACE's history, we've been focused on the technology," Chalker says. "But the technology in and of itself isn't going to be enough. We have to appreciate economics, management, business skills, and more. All of those things are going to become more and more important." To that point, the association is launching a track on leadership and lead- ership development at CORROSION 2019, to be held from March 24-28, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The conference is NACE's biggest annual event for the industry. "As we move forward, I think [the conference] is going to move to talking about not just the technology but also talking about the strategy, the management, the financials, and the leadership," Chalker says. "We have to give people both the business skills and the interpersonal skills to be successful," Chalker adds. "That's our job." MP

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