Practical energy efficiency

It’s ante up time. By clearly stating that we had an education agenda in mind when initiating regular coverage of sustainable engineering in November, Control Engineering made a commitment to provide readers with critical how-to information on the topic of sustainability—just as we’ve done for more than five decades for control and automation technologies...


ONLINE extra

- Control Engineering has a monthly Sustainability eNewsletter . Click the link above to see the latest edition or sign up.

-Feedback: Use the tool provided to post a comment or suggestion or contact me directly.

It’s ante up time. By clearly stating that we had an education agenda in mind when initiating regular coverage of sustainable engineering in November, Control Engineering made a commitment to provide its readers with critical how-to information on the topic of sustainability—just as we’ve done for more than five decades for control and automation technologies in the process and discrete manufacturing industries.

In keeping with that commitment, we’re delivering some practical energy efficiency tips (see this month’s cover story, " Energy Management: First Steps Toward Greater Efficiency "). The original intent was to gather enough information for the January 2009 article, but response was so overwhelming that we’re developing two energy efficiency how-to articles, the first of which appears in this issue. The next installment will appear in February.

What I found most interesting about the wealth of information received was not how much of it we got, but learning why we received so much. Our contributors repeatedly see manufacturing facilities where these core practices are not put into action. These practices are not avoided because they are complex or costly. Apparently, they are the type of common sense practices often bypassed while focusing on enabling a process to be as productive as possible.

An example of this can be found in our November 2008 supplement. A table on page S10 (accessible online via the November archives in the article “ Supersizing Our Way to Energy Inefficency ”) showed that of the five motor-driven plant applications identified where the most energy could be saved, four of them related to fans or pumps. In each of these cases, adding a drive could save anywhere from 35% to 61% of kWh used.

With this revelation in mind, and as a way of providing you yet another tip in this issue, take a look at the tools available now to help avoid such mistakes. A good example of such a tool is the Energy Savings Predictor —a free software tool from This software enables the user to figure out just how much energy and money can be saved by installing and using a variable frequency drive (VFD) in a motor-driven application. The Predictor software also contains an emissions calculation module, which will measure and graph exactly how much less CO 2 would be released by using a VFD with the motor.

I hope you enjoy reviewing the tips provided to help get you on the path to sustainable engineering. As you visit the sustainable engineering content we provide in our electronic newsletter, podcasts, Webcasts, and on our soon-to-be-launched Internet microsite, remember that sustainable engineering is relevant not only for its environmental benefits, but for the monetary ones that will get you and your efforts recognized for the direct, bottom-line boost they provide to the company.

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...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
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
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.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me