Earth Day: 5 ways manufacturers can drive productivity, energy efficiency
Source NASA: This image from Apollo 17, and others like it, captured whole hemispheres of water, land and weather. This photo was the first view of the south polar ice cap. Almost the entire coastline of Africa is visible, along with the Arabian Peninsula. Also see the NASA Earth image gallery .
Atlanta, GA – Here is some Earth Day help for manufacturers. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the industrial sector has long been the country’s largest energy user, currently representing more than one-third of U.S. energy consumption. With this in mind, manufacturers across the United Stateshave a large opportunity to identify sustainable energy solutions to drive efficiencies, seal in the savings on facility utility bills, and continue to work toward sustainability targets.
To reduce the energy costs at your plant, Dennis Sadlowski, president and CEO of Siemens Energy & Automation Inc., offers five easy tips for factory and manufacturing facility owners and operators to reduce their carbon footprint and start reaping the savings.
1. Do your homework: Measure . Knowing where the money is spent helps determine how much you can save. An energy audit will help you better understand your energy usage and determine where your facility can go green and save money. (Siemens, of course, offers to come to your facility to identify key energy saving areas now and in the future.)
2. Rethink lighting . By simply replacing your lighting with energy efficient products and controls, you can reduce energy consumption up to 50% as well as eliminate the risk of mercury contaminants in a very short period of time. (Siemens offers lighting and programs to lower utility bills and reduce air pollution, as well as lighting controls to help reduce your energy consumption with smart schedules and automated control.)
3. Evaluate motors & drives. Electric motors are responsible for almost 70% of energy consumed in industrial applications. Replacing existing motors with energy efficient motors can offer savings. Adding variable frequency drive systems to motors can save more. In some cases, drives can contribute a 30% energy savings with a seven month return on investment. Rebates for high efficiency motors may be available.
4. Control heating & cooling costs. As much as 30% of the energy used in a facility comes from heating and cooling costs. Making smart decisions about your facility’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a significant impact on utility bills. (Addition of Siemens' drive and control systems can reduce costs by as much as 25%.)
5. Monitor the situation. By knowing and understanding their plants’ electrical footprint and monitoring energy use, companies can track progress toward efficiency goals as well as establish benchmarks for achievement. (A Siemens Intelligent Energy Monitoring system tracks energy usage across multiple locations from a central location to ensure maximum efficiency and control costs.)
MBT provides more about sustainability issues .
Siemens Energy and Automation www.sea.siemens.com
Siemens USA www.usa.siemens.com
- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, Reed Business Information, www.mbtmag.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.