A more systematic approach to energy efficiency
Siemens suggests that efforts to improve efficiency need to examine complete drive systems from one end to the other. Improving just the motor may not yield the largest improvements. Video: Siemens’ Michael Young offers an overview of the systematic approach.
Identify, evaluate, improve: this three-step circular process summarizes Siemens approach to energy efficiency improvement programs, both for users’ internally driven efforts and as consultants. When applied to drive systems, the company contends that looking at only one component of a drive train in an application will yield only a partial result. Getting the biggest improvement may involve multiple elements since the stack-up of components robs overall efficiency.
For example, if a motor is connected to a gearbox via a flexible coupling, and the output of the gearbox is connected to the load with v-belts, any efficiency effort that does not consider all of these elements will fall short of delivering the maximum possible improvement. If the gearbox is of an old design that is at best, 75% efficient and the v-belts are glazed and not properly tensioned, adding a higher efficiency motor while leaving poorer performing components in place will not generate the highest return on investment. Reexamining the other elements of the system and beginning with the poorest performers will be a better approach.
Siemens is matching this strategy with its extensive portfolio of electrical and mechanical power transmission equipment. Given that it can provide motors, drives, gearboxes, couplings, and other components, Siemens has positioned itself as a consultant that can take a highly systematic approach.
Part of that offering includes a series of websites, including applications that allow users to calculate the overall efficiency of various parts of a power train application:
Energy efficiency website: www.usa.siemens.com/energyefficiency
Energy savings estimator: www.usa.siemens.com/energysavingsestimator
VSD products website: www.usa.siemens.com/drives
Motor products website: www.usa.siemens.com/motors
Gear unit products website: www.usa.siemens.com/gearboxes
Gear motor products website: www.usa.siemens.com/simogear
Peter Welander, email@example.com
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.