Affinity Energy and Allan Evora

Allan Evora is President of Affinity Energy with over 20 years of industry experience working in every capacity of the power automation project life cycle. Allan established Affinity Energy in 2002, and is qualified as a Certified Measurement & Verification Professional (CMVP). Learn more about Affinity Energy to see how they can help with your next power and energy integration project.

Allan Evora, Affinity Energy

ADDEDThursday, March 30, 2017

  • Q
    What’s a challenge you see in industrial automation right now?
    A
    IIoT has brought serious data management challenges. Owners and operators of mission critical power and energy facilities want to monitor and analyze all kinds of new sensors and instruments. Our integration scope is growing day by day…which means, so is the data we’re collecting. Sifting through and extracting actionable, meaningful information from large data repositories to help operators optimize facilities is certainly a challenge facing all integrators.
  • Q
    What advice would you give to a prospective customer researching controls engineers or system integrators?
    A
    Not all system integrators are created equal. As you’re exploring system integrators, examine to see if your integrator is able to provide you with several options, or if they lead with a particular option due to exclusivity with one particular hardware or software. Are they going to try and fit a square peg in a round hole? Affinity Energy has always positioned itself as an open systems integrator. We’re not commercially tied down to any particular manufacturer. Our goal is to understand our customer’s needs, then provide the best solution to solve those needs, no matter the manufacturer.
  • Q
    Do you specialize in any industry, product, or discipline?
    A
    Our primary focus is around mission critical power and energy facilities like data centers, energy plants, some manufacturing, utility scale solar, etc. Customers are looking for good integrators who also have a deep understanding of their own market’s challenges. Instead of being broad and shallow with our application expertise, narrowing our focus allows us to thoroughly understand our customer’s pain points and how we can best serve them.  We like to work pretty intimately with end users to understand how they operate their facilities to tailor and customize each system into their specific process.
    
    For example, when we integrate emergency generators, chillers, boilers, and fuel systems at a central energy plant, understanding controls programming and how power and energy are distributed and consumed isn’t enough. Our customers look to us to provide them with ideas on how to optimize the operations of their facility and reduce associated maintenance costs.
  • Q
    What’s unique about how Affinity Energy approaches a project?
    A
    Affinity Energy can be both a full turnkey provider of a project…or just plug in to a particular aspect wherever we’re needed. A customer may just need us to enhance graphics and configure reporting, and that’s ok. Our ability to address both turnkey and a la carte situations in a customized way makes us unique.
  • Q
    How much of your business is repeat?
    A
    Over 85% of our business is repeat, a true testament to our customers’ value and trust in us. Customers see us taking a vested interest and ownership within the systems we provide. We design, install, commission, and turn systems over to customers, but we’re still there with 7x24x365 support, even after hours or on holidays. The fact that our very first customer, a financial data center, is still an active and integral customer looking to us for recommendations on system improvements shows we take care of our customers.
  • Q
    Tell us about challenging project and what you did to solve the customer’s problem.
    A
    One of our most memorable projects was for Quality Technology Services (QTS), at one of the largest data centers in the world. QTS had difficulties finding an integrator with a high level of SCADA expertise developing data center objects and templates in Wonderware, which is where we became involved.
    
    Initially, the project had a 90-day window, starting in October. Before we even started, we knew it was going to be a challenge, given holidays and general end-of-year-busyness. This time crunch was made even worst when we weren’t awarded the contract until the end of October. In the end – we were able to design, program, and install the system within reduced 60-day window, and on budget.
    
    Our willingness to work on that expedited schedule ultimately cemented our position to go on and do a significant amount of project work for that data center customer in the years to come.