Energy efficiency ready for the dustbin?

Have the industry efforts so recently begun toward achieving greater energy efficiencies already become passé? Is it already oh-so-five-minutes-ago? Listening to one industry analyst group in particular, one might think that to be the case. According to Frost & Sullivan, “Energy Efficiency was the buzzword of 2008.

05/01/2009


Have the industry efforts so recently begun toward achieving greater energy efficiencies already become passe? Is it already oh-so-five-minutes-ago? Listening to one industry analyst group in particular, one might think that to be the case.

According to Frost & Sullivan, “Energy Efficiency was the buzzword of 2008. With high energy prices and the 'green’ movement in full swing, it made economic and social sense to invest in energy saving technologies. Entering 2009, however, the world finds itself in a different economic situation. Energy prices have declined, and the financial crisis leaves companies with little or no capital to spend on investments. In light of these new economic conditions, it is questionable whether the trend toward energy efficiency will continue.”

I realize times are tough (few industries are being brutalized as badly as the publishing industry these days), but has the manufacturing industry reached the point that it’ll step over the dollars available through energy efficiency to pick up pennies while hunkering down and waiting for the economic storm to clear? Knowing that so many things can be done at little or no cost to save energy (see the January and February 2009 Sustainable Engineering features for specifics; also online at www.controleng.com/article/CA6626803.html ), it’s difficult to understand Frost & Sullivan’s reasoning beyond the fact that energy efficiency may no longer be buzzworthy.

Moving beyond that status would actually be a good thing, as energy efficiency is much more about practical money savings than about buzz.

If you’re still uncertain about the dollars that can be saved through a focus on energy efficiency, consider some of these stats provided by Rod Ellsworth, Infor’s vice president of EAM (enterprise asset management):

  • For every dollar spent on maintenance, manufacturers spend 5-6 times that on energy.

  • Energy is largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Energy represents 60% of operations and maintenance costs.

  • 40% of the global electricity used is consumed by industry.

  • A 100 hp motor that costs $10,000 to purchase can cost as much as $150,000 over 5 years running at 94% efficiency (and we all know that 94% efficiency is a rarely achieved goal).

Ellsworth shared this information last month at Plant Engineering ’s Manufacturing Summit in Charleston, S.C., (disclosure: Plant Engineering is a sister publication of Control Engineering ). This handful of statistics alone underscores the massive amount of money that can be saved by a focused energy efficiency plan in a plant of any size.

With engineers squarely at the center of the discussion, where do you stand on this issue? Has energy efficiency officially become a thing of the past already?

david.greenfield@reedbusiness.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...
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
Safety standards and electrical test instruments; Product of the Year winners; Easy and safe electrical design
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
Automation modernization; Predictive analytics enable open connectivity; System integration success; Automation turns home brewer into brew house
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

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.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
Compressed air plays a vital role in most manufacturing plants, and availability of compressed air is crucial to a wide variety of operations.
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