When working with AC electricity, you generally care about the voltage, what frequency it’s utilizing, how much current you can draw before causing problems. Especially if you work in automation, you may care about how “clean” your power is, which could mean utilizing a power conditioner to keep things in order. Although I’m sure these devices are helpful in many cases, I suspect sometimes they are proposed as a solution to unknown problems in order to let management know that the engineers are doing something. This can buy time, or perhaps improve the situation, while they hopefully get to the bottom of the issue.
In this diagnosis process, you will likely want to monitor the frequency of your incoming AC current very accurately to see if that aspect of your power is consistent. If this sounds like you (and you use 50 Hertz AC power), then the Mains AC Frequency Meter 103 (MAFM103) could be a good solution. It can take 50 measurements per second at a standard deviation of 0.1 milliHertz using an “old but very powerful algorithm” that it’s creator, Dr. Detlef Schucker, rediscovered. Importantly, the device can communicate with a computer via an RS232 serial interface, allowing you to track frequency variations over time.
So now you can be known at the power company as that crazy person that calls every week or so complaining about power frequency variations. At least you’ll have some data to fall back on!