Industrial Efficiency - Debunking the Myths: Putting time, money into pumps will pay off

In this third installment of this series, Jack Creamer addresses three common myths regarding the impact of pumps in a facility, energy efficiency, and ROI.

10/04/2012


Myth: In a large industrial facility, how much impact does pumping really make on my energy use? It’s not worth the investment.

Pumps are a primary application in all aspects of the industrial world—from supporting liquids management for various industrial processes to comprising integral elements of HVAC or plumbing systems. As such, they are a tremendous consumer of energy for an industrial facility, and represent tremendous energy savings potential—up to 60% in many cases.

Pumping and pumping systems account for nearly 25% of all industrial motor energy usage. The common practice of oversizing pumps to allow for anticipated load demand or other safety reasons provides a key opportunitiy for “right-sizing” the motor to decrease energy waste. General wear over time, leads to degradation that greatly reduces the operating efficiency of the system. Additionally, relatively minor changes in speed can produce significant energy savings. VFDs, especially centrifugal pumps, allow you to both optimize pump operation and match varying loads—a huge energy saver.

Beyond right-sizing, there are a number of strategies to undertake which increase efficiency and in turn create substantial energy savings. Process energy optimization (PEO), an active energy management solution, provides for system profiling at optimum operating points.

Making investments in energy management at the pumping level gives more than just reduced consumption and smaller energy bills. Becoming energy efficient, or generating energy by saving it, opens up new doors for buildings to actually produce revenue by participating in utility demand response programs—making the ROI even greater.

Myth: The road to an energy efficient building is through lighting and HVAC.

Energy management in the pump realm is of growing interest, supported by key industry initiatives, economic incentives and demonstrated financial benefits to industry and building owners alike. Because pumps play a major role in all HVAC systems, and due to the nature of their application, design, and operation, they represent an excellent opportunity to reduce costs and increase reliability in all commercial building systems.

Enhanced controls are at the center of such solutions. Variable frequency drives, enhanced by intelligent controls, will pave the way for system optimization in the future, enabling efficiency improvements in application areas such as commercial buildings. Smart Motor Management systems can play a role equally as important as lighting and other initiatives, ensuring system performance and providing system monitoring and feedback to reduce the likelihood of failure.

Of course lighting and HVAC cannot be ignored—but pumps should be an area for consideration In fact, a little known piece of information about the HVAC systems is that two of its primary applications are pumps and fans. Pumping is responsible for up to 15% of a building’s peak energy use and in the typical life cycle of a pump, energy costs account for almost 40% of the total costs.

Myth: Intelligent pumping makes sense as a strategy for new construction, but the ROI of an update or retrofit just isn’t there.

Intelligent pumping can simply be defined as the combination of a pump and a VFD with digital control capability. As this trend continues to emerge, we see new implications or possibilities for:

  • Energy management
  • Remote condition monitoring
  • Remote systems control.

Intelligent pumping systems are expanding to include wireless monitoring and control capabilities which provide users with the ability to access real-time operating data on their pumping equipment, offsetting the higher initial costs through reduced unplanned downtime and improved predictive maintenance plans. The added benefits of wireless systems are apparent when reviewing the current challenges faced by pump system end users.

Historically, pumping system automation has often been addressed as a one-off engineered solution based on customer needs and architectural/consulting engineering specifications. However, as the technology evolved, and more importantly, became increasingly user friendly, facility operations personnel and management have demonstrated the desire to leverage the latest technology available—such as Internet communication for monitoring and control, WIFI communications, smart phone interface to their pump controller, for alarms and remote control and configuration.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 50% of the transient water systems in the U.S. do not have remote monitoring and control of their pumping assets—intelligent pumping systems help with this.

In fact, Frost and Sullivan anticipates that the market for real-time mobile asset tracking and preventative maintenance monitoring to increase five-fold by 2020.

Jack Creamer is a market segment manager focused on the OEM pumping equipment sector for Schneider Electric North America. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Syracuse University and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He can be reached at jack.creamer@schneider-electric.com



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
World-class manufacturing: A recipe for success: Finding the right mix for a salad dressing line; 2015 Salary Survey: Manufacturing slump dims enthusiasm
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
click me