Dave Oakes Celebrates 20 Years at Powelectrics!


Congratulations to Dave Oakes, who is celebrating 20 years at Powelectrics! Dave merged Oakes & Co with Powelectrics in February 2001, becoming our Sales and Technical Director.

For those of you who can remember February 2001 … Atomic Kitten were Number one in the charts with ‘Whole Again’ and Sven-Göran Eriksson started managing England’s football team. Well, Sven stayed for 5 years, but it's Dave who has managed the ‘score’!

Dave came to Powelectrics with a vision. He instigated and managed the transition of Powelectrics from respected sensor distributor to end-to-end IoT solution provider, manufacturing award-winning Metron telemetry devices and offering our own cloud. Our first Metron m2m device sold in 2005 and MetronView cloud launched in 2011.

Other highlights include developing the world’s first ATEX-approved GPRS-capable telemetry unit and supplying beer measurement to 22,000 pubs in the UK … sadly, Dave didn’t get to visit them all!

Dave told us “Powelectrics is a wonderful business! We get involved in an astounding range of applications, because there is almost no industry sector or part of the world that couldn’t benefit from knowing what’s happening in the field, especially when you can’t be there yourself …. and then being alerted when something important happens.

Sometimes, that does mean literally ‘in the field’! We’ve provided solutions to individual farmers wanting to stop deer from eating their cabbages …. and to the multi-nationals that ensure fertiliser and feed silos are always stocked. We’ve even provided a remotely activated alarming solution to an MOD firing range, to let local hikers know when they’re about to start firing!

Of course, most digital transformation solutions drive business efficiencies and Powelectrics kit is globally-enabled. One particular favourite was when a Powelectrics ‘connected sensor solution’ was installed by the largest fuel retailer on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, as part of a fully-integrated approach to logistics and stock management. Mauritius is known for its stunning mountains, beaches, lagoons and reefs and I got a little taste of that as part of the trip! “

Well … it made up for those early days of commissioning radio telemetry for utility companies when I froze in snow drifts on windy hilltops whilst programming from my laptop! Now, we configure remotely, via our cloud!

When I joined Powelectrics we had a ‘web page’ and email, but few of us imagined how the Industrial Internet of Things would revolutionise industries, creating new revenue streams and business models.

Now especially, in additional to the traditional benefits of timely remote sensor data, such as process optimisation and cost reduction, telemetry offers Covid-related safety benefits, reducing physical travel and contact with equipment. Many new sectors are embracing remote monitoring!

Some solutions are specific to the fight against Coronavirus. Our kit is currently employed by both hospitals and global oxygen suppliers to ensure continuity of supply in these troubled times.”

Graduating from the excellent MCIL Innovation leadership course at Keele University, Dave became Managing Director of Powelectrics in 2018.

“I’ve been supported by an excellent team to position PowTechnology as a conduit between the world of sensors and the Industrial Internet of Things.

I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved!! We have a well-proven portfolio of ‘plug and play’ end-to-end Industry 4.0 solutions. They are affordable, secure, reliable and highly flexible.

We have also used our 30 years’ experience in sensing, instrumentation and connectivity to collaborate with partners, helping them develop industry-specific IoT solutions in areas such as condition monitoring, gas and oil management, bulk liquid distribution, safety and security. More on collaborations here.

We provide ‘Platform as a Service’ to sensor suppliers and ‘Sensors as a Service’ to platform providers.

We have exciting collaborations with industry and academia in progress and are currently in the final stages of a five year programme to create a glue dispense monitoring system for a global supplier.

I’m also very proud that we are launching an excellent upgrade to our MetronView cloud. Powelectrics have always stayed close to our customers and valued their feedback. This ground-breaking development incorporates incredible additional functionality to help them derive even greater benefit from connecting their sensors to the cloud.

I love the fresh look, intuitive navigation and improved graphing … and what you see is just the shop front! Behind the scenes, the way the web GUI/interface interacts with the data platform has been completely modernised, ready for future evolutions in response to customer needs.

I’m particularly proud of our fantastic new “Chart Angel” feature, developed initially to assist rail maintenance, but great news for everyone! It allows data from several IOT devices to be plotted together on one graph for easy identification of operational issues. Customers can now compare the performance of similar assets to identify anomalies. You can learn more about our new MetronView here.

Remote monitoring has never been so easy, affordable, well-proven and justified! I am truly excited by the sheer breadth of application enquiries we are receiving. “

So ….. Congratulations to Dave from the whole Powelectrics team! Long may we continue to benefit from your knowledge, commitment and leadership … and please can we go to Mauritius next time?

If any of the applications Dave mentioned have got you thinking, or you have any applications or queries, our web site is packed with product and industry specific pages, as well as application stories. Just click here or use the news tab at the top of the page.

We’d love to hear from you!