Until recently, whether the audience is made up of investors or technology aficionados, new gadgets, tools, and software have taken up a lion’s share of the space in the technology media. On the other hand, the trend towards recognizing the overall value of companies that develop technology to extend existing technologies is starting to build.
Here are some areas where companies are innovating and creating opportunity by extending the life of other products:
Manufacturing: It is one thing to set up a physical plant and invest millions in ensuring that you have the latest factory equipment. It is quite another to realize that if you are in a heavy industry like cement or steel manufacturing that your new equipment will have a shorter overall production life if it is not protected. Companies like A.J. Weller have therefore built a worldwide following by stepping into the gap and creating overlay plate and composite materials that will clad and coat your equipment so that the life expectancy grows. The net result for you is return on investment and predictable operations because the tolerances of their products in terms of temperature and pressure normally exceed what you will ever subject them to.
Construction: Looking at the average home and trying to find the most likely spot where maintenance costs will soar is pretty easy for most contractors. They typically would point out your wood deck, which typically requires stain, painting, and cleaning maintenance in order to keep the wood viable. Over the past decade, however, companies looked at re-engineering wood composites to create planking that will last forever, coming up with products like Trex. Trex is created from recycled wood that is compressed and bonded with a proprietary cement mixture before being sealed at the factory. Customers that use it in their decks will experience a large savings in maintenance without having to pay much more or sacrifice the beauty of a natural wood finish.
Vehicles: The extending existing technology trend has even gone South of the US border, where several Mexican companies have mastered the art of recycling car batteries by draining them, testing them, and then refilling them so that they perform in almost the same fashion as a brand new battery. This type of recycling keeps the battery out of the landfill while saving the average customer almost half of the cost of a new battery. Best of all, the recycled batteries are normally rated at about 80 to 90 percent of the power of a brand new battery.
Extending the life of the equipment that you own makes a lot of financial sense for businesses and consumers. Taking the time to look at options other than warranties that are proven to create a longer life is therefore a pretty positive trend.