Don’t wait for regulations; address global warming today

It can be a confusing world out there when it comes to energy. Climate change, rising energy costs, availability and new energy technologies all vie for our time and attention. In such an environment it is tempting to 'wait and see’ how these energy-related issues will ultimately be resolved before making any long-term decisions.

08/15/2007


It can be a confusing world out there when it comes to energy. Climate change, rising energy costs, availability and new energy technologies all vie for our time and attention. In such an environment it is tempting to 'wait and see’ how these energy-related issues will ultimately be resolved before making any long-term decisions.

One consequence of this wait-and-see approach is addressing energy only in a crisis, which does not afford full consideration of true costs and long-term impacts. This environment leads to waste and lost competitiveness. While dialogue on national policy related to global warming is far from over, businesses don’t need to wait to assess their options and invest in energy management. Policy discussions underway recognize early adopters should not be penalized.

Commercial and industrial managers can better handle the turbulence wrought by today’s volatile energy markets by managing their energy use and costs both proactively and continuously. Energy efficiency has emerged as a cornerstone of their strategies.

'Energy efficiency’ refers to technologies and standard operating procedures that reduce the volume of energy per unit of production. And, the very activities that provide energy efficiency also provide better control over company assets and operations. Proactive energy management can put into place technologies and practices that not only reduce energy consumption and address global warming, but also optimize operations and reduce future energy costs.

The time has come for each company’s leaders to seek out efficiency opportunities within their organizations. A first and necessary step is to understand and manage the organization’s energy use profile. Every manager wishing to initiate a far-reaching energy management strategy should begin with a facility-wide audit of energy consumption. This activity generates an inventory of energy-using devices, a map of energy flows and ratios of energy use to production units.

Once the 'where, what and when’ of energy consumption is understood, long-term, cost-effective decisions for the future can be justified. Savvy managers will educate themselves and their staffs about efficiency opportunities, where to look and how to assess which ones are worth the effort.

Implementation support can be found in a multitude of places. In addition to the resources available from the EPA’s ENERGY STAR for Industry Website ( eee.energystar.gov ) and DOE’s Industrial Technologies Program, ( www1.eere.energy.gov/industry ), local energy efficiency programs are available in many U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

A manager without a handle on energy consumption is essentially driving blindfolded on the twisting, turning road of today’s energy marketplace. Managers needn’t wait to take control. The road to energy management and continuous improvement begins with a facility-wide energy audit. The next steps are to identify appropriate goals and map out a workable route to implement these improved management and energy use reduction strategies over time.

Tap existing resources from EPA, DOE and local efficiency programs to help you along the way. The important thing is to get started. Capture benefits today and be well-prepared for the uncertainties of tomorrow.





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.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems

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.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me