Linking wireless networks and machinery performance

The U.S. Department of Energy and three industrial partners are testing the use of wireless networks in evaluating the performance of plant machinery, according to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The DOE partners in the research undertaking are General Electric, Eaton Corp., and Honeywell, Inc.


The U.S. Department of Energy and three industrial partners are testing the use of wireless networks in evaluating the performance of plant machinery, according to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The DOE partners in the research undertaking are General Electric, Eaton Corp., and Honeywell, Inc. GE is investigating wireless monitoring of motors, while Eaton and Honeywell are focusing on data acquisition and process control, respectively. The participants in the $18 million research program are trying to determine if wireless technology could bring cost benefits as well as efficiency gains in monitoring plant equipment, such as electric motors and piping systems.

DOE is interested in the link between the precise data delivered by wireless systems and energy conservation. DOE estimates that inexpensive and continuous motor monitoring could result in energy saving of 122 trillion BTU by the year 2020, according to ASME.

Is boom in ASHRAE attendance a trade show trend?

There has been concern in recent years that trade shows have been on the decline. That certainly wasn't the case when the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers met in Orlando in February. The show floor was packed with a record number of attendees, and the central Florida location drew a large international contingent from Mexico and Central and South America, according to show officials.

More than 15% of all exhibiting companies were international, including 86 from the Pacific Rim and 123 from Canada. The 5,300 international attendees boosted the show's attendance to more than 27,000 visitors, and there were another 18,000 personnel manning the show booths. That made the show's first two days a jam-packed event.

That's a healthy sign for ASHRAE, of course, but it may bode well for other trade shows, which have suffered since Sept. 11 and since the economic slowdown. With economic optimism in the air, could we see a trade show resurgence in 2005?

The emerging leaders in engineering

As new technologies and new strategies for plant management continue to evolve, the next generation of plant engineers will also step forward to provide new leadership. Who are these new leaders? What are the keys to their personal success? What is their vision for their profession, and for the continued viability of their industry?

PLANT ENGINEERING magazine will feature these new leaders in a special report this summer. To nominate a plant engineer under age 40 for consideration for feature, please send the contact information to Editor Bob Vavra at no later than March 31, 2005.

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