Time to move from buzzwords to reality

Power and energy continue to be daily buzzwords in nearly every industry – not just automation. But, some argue that the global recession has all but extinguished the energy efficiency topics that burned like a bonfire most of last year. Klaus Helmrich, CEO of the Drives Technologies Division at Siemens, told Control Engineering editorial director David Greenfield in an exclusive intervie...
By Jack Smith, Editor July 1, 2009

Power and energy continue to be daily buzzwords in nearly every industry %%MDASSML%% not just automation. But, some argue that the global recession has all but extinguished the energy efficiency topics that burned like a bonfire most of last year.

Klaus Helmrich, CEO of the Drives Technologies Division at Siemens, told Control Engineering editorial director David Greenfield in an exclusive interview: “Manufacturers must always look at cost structures, regardless of whether energy efficiency is a hot topic. When manufacturers see opportunities for improvement, they should act on those.”

Energy and energy efficiency are still hot topics %%MDASSML%% or should be. This year, ISA EXPO is putting a bright spotlight on energy, appropriately placing it alongside environmental in one of the six technology tracks. Paul Gruhn is the ISA EXPO technical program chair this year. He wrote in the ISA Insight column in this issue of AppliedAutomation : “With the rising demand for alternative energy; reducing CO 2 footprints; creating green collar jobs; and President Obama’s New Energy for America plan, the interest among key constituents on both sides of the spectrum %%MDASSML%% end-users and suppliers %%MDASSML%% validates developing this new, exciting EXPO component.”

Smart Grid is one of the topics that the Energy track will explore. Other topics include panel sessions on distributed generation, the future of energy management and applying industrial automation to building management.

As we put the recession behind us, at least one lesson should stick with us: We can’t continue to waste energy and other valuable resources if we are to survive economically. Sustainable energy must move from buzzwords to reality.