“Changes in customer demands drive innovations in UPS”

Founded in 1922, Socomec is an independent industrial group and spread across 28 subsidiaries having 10 production sites. The company’s core business is envisioned to ensure the availability, control and safety of low voltage electrical networks with specific focus on its customer’s power performance. Socomec is a global leader in UPS market with over 50 years of expertise in the field of power conversion. With increasing awareness in industries about the importance of quality and reliable uninterrupted power supply to protect their critical machines and systems, the demand for UPS is likely to grow manifold in India. In this interview with Rakesh Rao, Sushil Virmani, Managing Director, Socomec Innovative Power Solutions India Pvt Ltd, elaborates on technological trends in the UPS industry and changing market dynamics.
 
What kind of products do you manufacture in UPS systems space?
The availability of uninterrupted electrical energy is a strategic imperative across industries such as Data Center, Healthcare, Telecommunications, Commercial buildings, IT, manufacturing and others. Our vast online UPS product range starts from 600 VA to 5400 kVA to support various applications. We have ITYS & NETYS range of UPS which offers reliable, versatile, and cost-effective power protection for sensitive IT and electrical applications. For stand-alone and parallel configurations, our Masterys & Delphys Green Power UPS from 10 to 1000 kVA are an excellent fit.
 
The recently launched fourth generation Masterys UPS is Socomec’s smartest UPS yet, bringing together the world of secure power with excellence in digital technologies in order to simplify UPS installations and improve performance levels. Masterys GP4 from 60 to 160 kVA and Masterys BC+ 100 to 160 kVA syndicate proven Masterys UPS technology deliver unsurpassed performance in terms of reliability and service level. The new products are developed based on proven Masterys technology – a UPS solution that has been efficiently protecting the supply of critical applications around the world since its inception in 2004 as the first 3 level topology systems. Socomec has also launched eWIRE – the first mobile app specifically designed to support UPS installations, simplify the installer’s job, and improve power supply reliability by ensuring that all the necessary installation steps and assessments are made available in a timely manner.
 
When it comes to higher rating of UPS, our Delphys range from 60 to 1000 kVA is engineered for the most demanding electrical infrastructures and provides high quality power with maximum availability and total protection. Coming to modular and scalable UPS solutions, our product range starts from 25 to 2400 kW. These UPS are specially designed to meet the increase in load demand at any time without interruption to service continuity. The “hot-scalability” or “hot-swap” function of our true modular UPS enables the total power of the system to be upgraded, within the limits of the requirements initially stated by the customer.
 
Are you seeing a rise in demand for your products in the last few years?
Yes, thanks to the positive momentum in data center, infrastructure, healthcare, commercial building and industry trend coupled with our highly reliable innovative products and strong sales and service distribution network, we are witnessing robust growth.  
 
How is the market for UPS systems?
UPS systems are essential for ensuring the business continuity of any industrial or commercial enterprise. All business critical equipments must have a faultless and clean power supply in order to operate efficiently. The growing awareness of UPS systems and their business significance is expected to bring sustained growth and boost to the industry in the coming years. The UPS market in India is growing gradually due to surge in the number of datacenters, healthcare units, and other industries that rely on high quality, uninterrupted power for business operations.
 
Which sectors are driving the demand of UPS systemsin India?
The hyper-scalers and large co-location data center providers are rapidly expanding their footprint to meet increased demand and their growth has led to increase of UPS systems’ popularity in recent years. Additionally, government initiatives in the infrastructure segment like introducing metro rails, setting up airports in Tier 2 & 3 cities are also fuelling UPS market growth. Another significant and positive aspect is the growing awareness among end users in the manufacturing and process industries and healthcare segments on the importance of using high quality UPS equipment that can protect their machineries or systems from unexpected power failures or unclean power. We expect the growth momentum to continue in the years to come.
 
What are latest trends in UPS systems in India?
The innovations in the UPS market come from the changing demands of the customers. Higher efficiency and power factor for better cost of operations, coupled with higher modularity to ensure the most adequate capital expenditure at any point in time are the latest trends. Recent technological developments and the emergence of green culture have fuelled the debate regarding the two main factors which determine the selection of a UPS: energy saving (efficiency) and availability (effectiveness). 
 
A UPS with an efficiency rating close to 100 per cent means that the energy loss from the UPS is minimal and that almost all power reaches the load. Availability indicates the extent to which the UPS guarantees the electrical protection of the load, preventing the risk of downtime. Particularly in the case of mission critical loads, the selection of a high-efficiency UPS solution must obviously also take into account the type of technology, to ensure that the supply of high-quality power to the load is uninterrupted.
 
Thanks to the digital industrial revolution and the Internet of Things (IoT), a new breed of electrical ecosystems is emerging. The benefits of adopting IoT and connected digital architecture include unprecedented efficiency, in addition to automated and centralised systems. Socomec is driving a stream of innovation in this field, specifically engineered to guarantee the performance of the new electrical ecosystem. Our new range of Masterys UPS systems are IoT ready and can be seamlessly integrated into the digital ecosystem.There is increase in demand
for green technologies.
 
How is Socomec reacting to this market shift?
Socomec is continuously investing in research & development (R&D) with the double digit percentage of the turnover to anticipate evolving needs of our customers. Our Green Power UPS systems are designed to study the latest-generation servers. The output power factor of 1 (kW=kVA) fully meets the requirements of loads with a high power factor, and supplies 12 per cent more active power than a UPS with an output power factor of 0.9. 
 
Being aware of environmental problems is not something new for Socomec. The company has been a member of Global Compact since 2003, a UN initiative that involves companies working together on strategies designed to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing, by taking a comprehensive look at the problem. The ISO 14001 certification obtained by Socomec has enabled us to create our own environmental management system and ensure that none of our activities pose a threat to the environment.
 
It is also important to stress that Socomec UPS adheres to the European Code of Conduct, which unites manufacturers that commit to producing highly efficient and high quality products. Socomec UPS products are extremely efficient as they lead to less direct energy consumption (UPS consumes less energy) and less indirect energy consumption (the UPS requires less cooling, therefore additional energy for air conditioning is not required).
 
How is your company gearing up to tap the opportunities UPS systems market?
Socomec is keen to tap the emerging opportunities in the UPS market. In order to increase the brand visibility and highlight the latest solutions to our customers we conduct customer connect programs by participating in industry specific exhibitions, conferences and seminars.We are also expanding our presence through our robust channel community. Our Channel Engagement Program helps partners to grow with our continued support through various loyalty programs, value-added information sharing, strong and reliable business processes and expert solutions to cater the burgeoning UPS market in India.
 
What are your expansion plans?
India is a strategic market for the Socomec group in terms of growth potential and hence, we will continue to expand our India manufacturing facility to consistently produce globally proven advanced technology solutions that our brand is synonymous with. Simultaneously, we also plan to expand into hitherto untapped geographies and markets by appointing partners and distributors who understand the local needs.
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