Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

Daring to Innovate

Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

Daring to Innovate

Article excerpt

At the recent slate of industry trade shows, it was great to see the abundance of effort being put forth to innovate. Not only are industry manufacturers striving to make users' jobs easier and more efficient, but they are obviously paying close attention to their competitors to ensure that their own product lines are keeping up with the latest trends.

For example, growth in battery/electric-powered products was on display at GIE+EXPO 2013 in Louisville, Ky., as a wide range of manufacturers are now offering products in these segments.

"This year, we saw more battery/electric manufacturers and a broader range of products in this category, including some first-time UTV exhibitors," said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). "It is clearly a growing segment in OPE, and as battery technology improves, there will be broader applications."

OPEI is taking the growth of the battery/electric-powered segment very seriously, and recently announced that it is ramping up its regulatory, standards and market reporting and statistics efforts for those product segments (see page 4).

At Irrigation Show 2013, there were a record number of innovations entered in the Irrigation Association's New Product Contest; and at the Tree Care Industry Expo, several companies introduced entire fines of new products.

It is tough to tell what products and technologies introduced in 2013, if any, will truly be revolutionary, but it is refreshing to see the wheels of innovation churning.

For example, even though it is a consumer product, a great example of innovation is the new Toro Recycler mower with the SmartStow feature that allows the unit to be stored vertically. …

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