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How technology is revolutionising use of site generators

Aggreko explains how the efficiency gains of tailored, load-on-demand generation are winning over the sector.

Aggreko is using smart technology and a reorganised structure to offer tailored generator packages that it says allow contractors to complete projects quicker, cheaper and more sustainably.

The firm, which is based in Glasgow and employs 7,000 people across 100 countries, supplies temporary power, heating and drying solutions to construction projects across the UK and beyond.

It started this year with a new-look UK sales force, replacing postcode-based territories with sector-specific teams that can better understand customers’ businesses and requirements in greater detail.

This is just one part of a major drive by Aggreko that aims to show contractors the benefits of load-on-demand generation to meet their specific power needs and keep down carbon emissions, energy costs and worker downtime.

The strategy includes a major investment in new technology, including Aggreko Remote Monitoring (ARM), that allows both its customer call centre in the West Midlands and remote-monitoring hub in the US to offer an advanced and personalised service to users of Aggreko equipment.

Load-on-demand benefits

Ben Vincent, sector team leader at Aggreko, says the company’s load-on-demand power solutions can assist construction companies in reducing their fuel consumption, lower costs and reduce emissions.

He explains that bespoke generator set-ups also bring added resilience, as two or more smaller generators are used in place of one large unit.

“Aggreko’s field-based sales engineers can engage with site personnel and design-optimised generator set-ups, assisting the site in hitting financial goals and also [benefiting] from a sustainability aspect,” he says.

aggreko site generators

aggreko site generators

“With its own manufacturing facility building generators in Scotland, and 16 depots from Inverness to Plymouth, the company brings different models together in a combination that can adapt to the changing needs of a construction site.

“We can put three or four generators together in a synchronised system that allows power supply to go up and down in line with requirements on site. This means it’s not just one large generator operating inefficiently during times of low power requirement.“

“If a generator breaks down, then the implications can be massive”

Mr Vincent says it is surprising how many contractors, while agonising over how to value-engineer projects to meet tight budgets, procure inefficient, overspecified single generators.

Having multiple generators in a system means one can be switched off to be serviced or maintained without having to down all work on site.

“Customers can be surprised by the benefits of on-demand generators,” he says. “They haven’t been made aware in many cases, but when you show a site the chance to save money and reduce carbon emissions, they tend to appreciate it.”

Avoiding disasters

Another factor in specifying on-demand power is disaster prevention.

“If a generator breaks down, then the implications can be massive,” says Mr Vincent.

“There could be 200 guys standing around doing nothing; no heating in the middle of winter; no security lighting; no usable cabins.

“Everywhere we present our load-on-demand system, people can see the benefit.

“We are a premium provider; our systems can be more expensive compared with others on weekly rental, but we can show the fuel savings that make us more cost-effective over a project’s life cycle.”

Preventing power outages remotely

Aggreko is also investing heavily in new technology to improve the services it offers.

The firm’s investment in an integrated CRM and smart telephony system to show call centre operatives not just who is calling, but exactly what the relationship is between the two parties, is all designed to make that experience smoother, says Mr Vincent.

Elsewhere, embracing technology means Aggreko’s remote-monitoring telemetry system – the aforementioned ARM – allows UK customers to have the health of their generators overseen by engineers sitting across the Atlantic.

“We have a 24/7 remote-monitoring centre in the US,” explains Mr Vincent. “For a small weekly charge, we can monitor an asset in the UK.

“For any minor faults [identified], the US engineers make proactive telephone calls – for example, to advise customers to check oil levels – while for more radical issues that can’t be fixed on site, they’ll dispatch our UK engineers to fix them.

“We are preventing power outages before they occur and disrupt the site.”

Mr Vincent is hopeful that Aggreko will be able to roll out the technology to more contractors this year.

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