James Ray with Nottingham Spirk

Industrial Talk is speaking with James Ray, Vice President of IoT Development – Nottingham Spirk about “The evolution of intelligent consumer products and positive impacts for the future.” Get the answers to your “Intelligent Products” questions along with James' unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!

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Personal LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-ray1231/

Company LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/nottingham-spirk/

Company Website: https://www.nottinghamspirk.com/





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Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go.


Alright, once again, thank you very much for joining industrial talk and thank you for your continued support. We are building a platform, an ecosystem that celebrates industry professionals all around the world. We've got to do that, because it is important for you to succeed. And to succeed. You need to educate, collaborate, and definitely innovate. And that's who we highlight on industrial talk in a hot seat. Speaking of innovation in the hot speed, James re not in Harrisburg. Now. Not even Hapsburg is right outside of Cleveland area. And it is an amazing, amazing property. rich with history. But more importantly, they innovate. Let's get cracking. James, right. Yeah, I went up to Cleveland, there was a manufacturing show up there. And I was very fortunate, very honored to be able to tootle around Nottingham Spirk. And see what they have to offer. Some of the the products novasure is one of their products that they they do a great job at designing and packaging, they do it from soup to nuts, they just they they are just absolutely brilliant when it comes to these, these products that truly change our lives, there's other products, but they have a ton of patents, and you go into this room, and it is and and then you go into their rotunda, they have a rotunda in their office. And you'll see if you're out there on the video, you'll see that they're in a converted church, I don't know, maybe Christian signs, I don't remember. But there's a big ol pipe organ in there. And you get to see where this guy sits. And it's right next to that all good James array and we're gonna be talking about products, infusing that that IoT, that smart capability into it to be able to make our lives better. And you might want to push back on that you might say, that's just way too much information. But I gotta tell you, it's happening. And companies like Notting Habsburg people like James, they're doing it right. So, you know, you just need to know more about and especially in the world of industry, it's happening, you can push back, it's important, we need for you to succeed. So again, this ecosystem, industrial talk is definitely dedicated to the education speaking of education, I've got three webinars that I want to put you want to be put on on your calendar. And that is, one is about augmented reality, which is really pretty cool. Working with those folks that area on this. And it's, it's, I'm pretty excited about it. And some of the technologies that are out there, transforming industry, absolutely supply chain, we're still having challenges with supply chain highlighting the professionals, the people that know the supply chain market, we're putting that one together. And then finally, I just want to know more about it. And this is web three, quantum computing. I just want to know, how is that impacting industry? What does that mean? Let's put our future hat on. And let's make that happen. Now, some events that you need to be putting on your calendar I was last year I was at Fabtech. We're still going through some great content from that event. This is in Chicago, look into Fabtech. That's fab te ch. I'll be in Vegas in a couple of weeks for Hexagon live. We've got an accrual event that's taking place in Nashville August 7 through the eighth. And then finally, we have smrp. If you're in the world of maintenance and reliability, we'll be broadcasting from that location as well. An important conference and it's from last year to this year. I assure you it is growing and it's exciting. This is in Orlando. So anyway, let's get cracking with the conversation with James once again. The reality is smart devices are going to be a part of our lives. And you have Nottingham Seberg leading the way, being a part of that, and it's a great conversation. And again, I highly recommend that you go out to the video and check out where he says because that's pretty doggone cool too. All right. Here's James. James, welcome to industrial talk. Thank you very much for finding time in your busy schedule. And if you're out on the video, if you're looking at this conversation on the video, you will be impressed by the stinking Oregon bye Behind James right there. In fact, listeners, I was at Nottingham Spirk. And it is dazzling. So it's like a museum for anybody that I mean, it's cool. So anyway, that's my Yes.


Very inspiring. Yes, it is.


I really do it. How are you doing?


I'm doing well. How about yourself?


No complaints. I get to talk to you. Yeah, you're so lucky. The chirp about Nottingham spirit because apparently I have trading cards in Nottingham. Hey, check out John Nottingham. Look at that, I get a johnsburg. But anyway, for the listeners out there, give us a little background into James. And then we're gonna get into the role you play at Nottingham spark? How's that?


Sounds great. So, yeah, so basically, I've been involved in design services for about 25 years and have a background both academically and professionally in RF in general. And so I've been able to leverage that


you don't don't RF, what?


Radio, radio frequency kind of work. They're probably allowed interruption. So


you're not dealing with the lightest bulb in the room? That's for sure.


So, yeah, so basically, in the early days of kind of cellular development, and all the way up until present day where we're doing connected devices. And so I'm the IoT vice president here at Nottingham, spurge, and kind of in charge of enabling devices to connect it out to the world wide web and exchange information efficiently.


So one of the things about Nottingham spirit that just sort of set my world into a different direction was the simple fact that Nottingham Spirk as an organization, not to mention the history of the organization. I was fascinated by one, the the the design component, and but you do all the way from beginning to end packaging. Mark, you do it all, which is very interesting, from my perspective. And how long because you're into the the IoT development. And I have to go down to the consumer side, because I got the industry side. But the consumer side is sort of intriguing to me. Do you see a an increase in IoT? at Nottingham spur? For consumer devices? When you look at designed you just started, go? Okay, let's let's think about how to connect it.


Yeah, absolutely. It's, it's becoming ubiquitous anymore, where basically everything is expected to be accessible through your phone, through a dashboard, on a website, every, all the information, the current statuses and control, everyone's kind of expecting that now is is just assumed to be there. And so when we see devices, they're coming in through not against Burke that are not enabled, we immediately start brainstorming collectively on, you know, the architecture and the technology, what it would require and start to evaluate what makes sense from a return on investment perspective of getting that device connected, and how that end, consumer product can really show its value.


Do you think the IoT and connected device? does it, does it? I mean, does it add cost to the final product?


Oh, yeah, absolutely. You know, not only through like one time cost for the bill of materials, but also just reoccurring cost. And that's where a lot of the ROI kind of has to really take that into account is, you know, over time, it's going to make sense, is it providing enough value and interest to the general consumer, that they're that is justified for that price, or whatever pricing scheme, the reseller would come up with,


does when you do that, you go down that road. And I think once again, wherever the price point is, whatever the solution might be to connect that, that product. Hopefully, over time, we'll just, you know, again, be so commoditized and drive the price price down dramatically. I don't see how how, you know, products get developed without being connected. Because I know for me, I want to know, maybe I'm stupid, but I want to know.


Yeah, exactly. I mean, you just find it everywhere. So it's expected anymore. And you know, it's a really easy way to enable a lot of functionality for a camera really bounded product that doesn't bring a lot of excitement. Once you connect it, it's like oh, okay, now, now you can access whatever traits of that product the current state or control it in some way. And so now it's a really distinguishing feature versus trick competition. And so if you can do that well and make the user experience very intuitive and flow really nice, then you got yourself a winner.


So with that said, Is it possible for you to give us a interesting use case? I don't want you to dive into anything that's proprietary for Nottingham spurs. But just give us a use case for a consumer connected device.


Yes, so I would say. Let me try to think of a good one that I can talk about. Because because we do design services, there's a lot of limitations. Oh, I


hear you. I don't mean to I don't. I don't want to put you in a bind. All I know is I've got a robot vacuum cleaner that's connected. And I like it.


Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I mean, I would say, I mean, maybe some of the more obvious ones are like IOT connected cars. For instance, just being able to remotely started so I just recently bought it like electric vehicle. And I can remote started, I can follow the the charge state as it's charging, I can get informed of an alarm if somebody goes up and unplugged it while it's charging, that a DC fast charger station. So all these features are just offset enabled. So I'm not thinking of it as a car anymore. It's like an appliance that gives me all this extra functionality that, you know, just you know, handful years ago was not even thought of and and now a lot of the cars offer that.


I think it's great. Yeah. I know that people get into the the privacy component, there's that sort of moral component associated with it. And I think smart people like you and Nottingham spirit will definitely be blade, trailblazing in making sure that everybody's fine. And cyber side. You know, there's a lot of conversations, but I don't see how I don't see how you can begin move forward. Without that connected. I just, I just don't I I long for the day, James. When a when a repair person comes knocking on the door and says, Hey, your refrigerator needs a new, you know, disgruntled Decatur, I don't know why. Yeah. And we were just receiving that information is like, okay, cool.


Yeah. Or, or sometimes it's basic. It's like, it's time to change your air filter on your furnace, you know, the job?


Like it shocked you upside the head?


Yeah. Because it's always been well, you knew you do it every six months or time change or this tied to something like that. But it's like, at least with me, I'm thinking, Okay, does it really need to be changed? Or can I get a little bit longer, you know, and so I don't even want to think about it. I want something to like, measure the airflow efficiency, or whatever. And tell me Oh, no, you absolutely need to change it. And don't be cheap.


Right, right. Right. Right. I like that. And see there's a use case make it happen. I agree. I had failed. Pretty much all the time on that one. I


said, why? You go down there? And you're like, oh, my gosh, you pull the


filter down. It's all sort of, it's sucking so hard. And it's all crinkly. And you go? Yep, I blew it. Exactly. Putting stress and strain. So with all that said, now you're you're in Nottingham, Seberg. Here, you guys are just now you're embedded. That means there's a tremendous investment in what what will be designed going forward? In your history. As I look at your stat card out on LinkedIn, you've got a major stat card here, with this connected mindset. Have you begun? Or have you seen a tremendous decrease in increase in simplicity, increase in value and decrease in, let's say, costs and implementation stuff? Yeah,


definitely. There's a lot more kind of options to enable IoT on a on a device. And so not only are the protocols going down, they're getting smaller, they're getting more efficient, they perform better, they consume less power. All these things are kind of just adding to the attractiveness of a device like that that is enabled. And so we're getting a lot of requests in just in the short time that I've been here at Nottingham spark and the team recently joined. It's It's really exciting time, and we're really looking forward to making laughing successful for customers.


I just I think it's exciting to have a question about your electric car. Yeah. So we are right outside of New Orleans. And we go to Florida, we'll drive to Florida. And the Panhandle is probably be no less than 5000 miles long. Seems like it. I might be exaggerating slightly. Every time I do that I go, how do they? How does the electric car drive that pad? And like there's there's nothing there. How do you do


that? Well, just like with everything, there's no one solution that fits all. And, and people need to accept that. I mean, it's a great concept to say, oh, yeah, you know, you can break up your trip, and there's all these fast charging stations. It's inconvenient. You know, it's just, it's not as convenient as a combustion engine. And so what you have to just realize is, it's useful in certain situations. For me, personally, I just commute 90 miles roundtrip every day. And so I charged it overnight. And it's like plugging in my cell phone every night. I don't even think about it. I wake up and enroll. So it's not a you know, you could certainly do a long trip, I think it'd be kind of a challenge to do that. But more from a logistic standpoint, and and be with you would be annoyed because it's so so inconvenient.


Today, I see him on that five mile Panhandle Florida stretch. Exaggerated again, 5000 miles, I think it's backed up by data. Absolutely. So with all of that said, with what can you share with us sort of the the vision of what's happening within Nottingham Spark, we we focused in on consumer products, I got it. But you know, as well as I in the world of digital transformation, data is king, give me the data, give me the end so that I can make decisions, tactical decisions. Can you share with us a little bit about what that future looks like when you say we're over here when doing this?


Yeah, so So basically, it's, it's a ability for some management, kind of centralized management of devices, that that's, that's the big enablement, whether it be, you know, a small scale 10 devices, or a fleet of things, you know, somebody or a group of people can basically monitor, and, and make predictions based off that data that's kind of rolling in, whether it be it's, it's about time to do some kind of an event based on some activity, or just the usage looks unusual. And so that might mean, you know, it's time for a service call or something like that. So there's all these analytics to kind of feed into that dashboard kind of view of monitoring all that data that's rolling in. And that's, you know, that's really where, you know, it pays off is having that level of detail,


is, is that a part of the scope of Nottingham spirit to be able to have that dashboard platform to be able to feed the data, and then begin tactical, you know, insights into whatever?


Oh, absolutely. And so there's, there's already programs that are going on right now, that are that are enabling that that functionality of devices that NS have has designed. And so that that is, you know, it's expected to be honest, if you're if you're enabled, you need to have that dashboard view and be able to manage a large amount of devices or things that are out there in an efficient manner.


Yeah, you do and, and then there's that balance. James, between between, for me, if I was that consumer, or if I was that business, I'm all into the data and looking at it and slicing it and being able to have that flexibility to be able to say, well, you just pull this over here, bowler this divided by each other, and that gives me insights into whatever. Do you have conversations around cybersecurity and protection?


Yeah, and that's, you know, the, the initial view of IoT was basically, hey, can we move data, you know, give me the data, let's, let's do all this and start to do some things with it. But now, it's like, the next level of concern is really the security around that and making sure that people can't, you know, of course, hack your device, you know, take your data and manipulate your data, mislead you, all that kind of stuff. So we have those conversations all the time. That's, that's really the next level expectation is that not only is it enabled, but it's securely enabled.


Yeah, I think that's a must. And, you know, as much as somebody might feel or some company might feel I want to air gap or whatever you might think. And I'm not going to, you know, collect data, but right now that your competition, your competition is thinking down that and thinking about solutions of collecting data to be able to make better decisions. So you need to, you need to find a trusted company an organization individual to help you with that journey.


Big? Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And that's that security aspect is critical, as well as just the the concept of round the means of collecting the data, you know, whether it's a camera, or whether it's sensors, you know, and so cameras, obviously a big flag, nobody wants their video, and their likeness captured and shared. And so maybe there's a more secure way of gathering the same information to make that conclusion, but in a different way. And so that those are the kind of the next steps that DNS team here is able to really focus on user experience and, and do the research of what what will make the product successful in the market that's intended for.


So I, for me, I always get excited, I always have these conversations I remember long ago, I was trying to pull data off of transformer, large transformer and dissolved gases. And at that time, we just didn't have the technical capabilities of being able to pull this tsunami of data. Now we do have the ability, and then you can slice and dice and remove the data that's just noise or whatever you're relevant, and then retain the ones that that are definitely valuable. All right, we're gonna wrap it up. You were great. How do people get a hold of you? If they say, Hey, I want to know.


So certainly, they can reach out to me, you know, my mug shot is on LinkedIn. It will, it will be updated.


Don't don't go don't go out there. Now. It Good, good, healthy


feedback. But certainly through there, or just contacting me and not a human spirit. My email address is Jay Ray and enhancement.com.


I'll have all the contact information for James out on industrial talk. And by the way, you got to look at this video. And the reason you got to look at the video. He's got a pipe organ behind him. And he's he doesn't even care. He's so used to the pipe work and behind him just because he can you can't, but he can.


If we if we had more time I played to cut in Fugue in D minor or something. And you know, really impress your audience. Right? Yeah. Sorry. Sorry.


All right. All right. Let's wrap it up on the inside. Stay tuned, we will be right back.


You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.


It is truly an exciting time to be an industry. I wish I was younger. I wish I was a part of this. This Genesis this, this juggernaut, this, I guess Renaissance period, as we start to talk about all of the innovation that is taking place within industry, it's an exciting time, your obligation, your obligation as an industrial professionals as you need to be advocates, for individuals to take on the role of industry and be a part of this. Fabulous. And I mean, fabulous, you're the you're the You're the star in this whole conversation. Run with that, you know, expand your brand. Come on industrial talk, I'd be more than happy to have that conversation just because I geek out on all of this stuff. All right. Again, we're going to have three webinars, they're on demand, don't worry about it. They're on demand. One, of course is quantum computing, just because I want to know more about it than other ones around supply chain, because we're still challenged with it. And the last one, but not least, is of course, the one on augmented reality. Be bold, be brave, daring greatly. We're going to have another great conversation shortly.

Industrial Talk is speaking with James Ray, Vice President of IoT Development - Nottingham Spirk about "The evolution of intelligent consumer products and positive impacts for the future." Get the answers to your "Intelligent Products" questions along with James' unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!
Scott MacKenzie

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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