Interview Spotlight: Dan Shields, CEO at Shields Energy
Dan Shields, CEO at Shields Energy, discusses how their cloud software and Internet of Things (IoT) devices can help the rail industry forge ahead with its digitalisation agenda.
Who are Shields Energy and what is your ethos?
Shields Energy delivers energy savings and operational efficiencies across rail estates. We achieve efficiency gains by combining Internet of Things (IoT) solutions with powerful, predictive data analytics, data centralisation, intelligent automation and asset condition monitoring.
Shields Energy have designed a solution with retrofit in mind, ensuring it is cost-effective enough to install throughout entire estates – be that in a series of large industrial depots, medium-sized stations or the smallest remote, rural outposts. We tailor individual customer solutions to meet exact requirements and changing business needs.
Our solution, CODA, puts IoT to work for you – digitalising estates for actionable insights and tangible business benefits.
Ultimately, at the heart of our business is a can-do culture that strives to build trust, understanding and long-term partnerships with our customers through listening to their needs, adapting our offering to meet their requirements and delivering on our solutions.
For our internal team we foster a spirit of innovation, cooperation and tenacity where promising individuals are encouraged to act upon bold ideas in the pursuit of serving our customers and reducing carbon emissions.
We believe in the building of our business around enduring principles where people, profits and the environment are all considered. We believe in building a business with dignity that provides a valued service benefiting businesses, society and the environment.
What challenges exist for the rail sector when it comes to digitalisation?
The rail sector is at the beginning of its digitalisation journey and, like many other sectors, has fears surrounding cyber-security. I think it is key to find a partner that can provide assurances around this and demonstrate robust security features that minimise the risk of any issues.
In addition, it is also important to recognise the risks already inherent in having large estates that are not digitalised. Siloed data sets, dark assets and disconnected infrastructure already contain significant business interruption, health and safety, and customer and staff wellbeing risks. The increased visibility and business decision-making power that comes from digitalisation projects and strategies cannot be underestimated.
What technology and smart solutions does Shields Energy provide that can support the rail sector in becoming more energy efficient?
Shields Energy’s CODA solution includes an entire family of both wired and wireless smart devices that are all CE marked and tested in accordance with BS EN 50121-4: 2006 which demands electromagnetic compatibility, emissions and immunity of signalling and telecommunications apparatus.
The devices connect to our CODA web application for advanced monitoring, predictive alerting and granular analytics:
- Metering solutions: Cost-effective, multi-metric metering and monitoring of assets, infrastructure and tenants
- Smart building controls: Retrofit, intelligent, modular automation of lighting, HVAC, auto-sliding doors and many other loads
- Localised sensor network: Real-time and audit trails for light, temperature, humidity and occupancy
- Remote building health diagnostics: Real-time data insight for individual assets, sites and estates.
How will Shields Energy adapt to developments in digital technology to benefit the rail sector in the future?
I think it is important that we adapt to developments and we are already looking to the future. Some of our forthcoming features include exciting trackside developments and further sensor capabilities around safety.