Sustainable Manufacturing Solutions for the "Smart Grid" Could Save Up To $6 Billion Annually

Rockwell Automation has developed a new portfolio of smart, safe and sustainable manufacturing solutions that could help companies save up to $6 billion a year, or about ten percent of the total U.S. industrial electrical energy costs, by capitalizing on “Smart Grid” initiatives with existing technologies.

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The new smart, safe and sustainable manufacturing portfolio includes a series of plant-wide energy optimization tools that create an integrated industrial energy management system based on Rockwell Automation industrial automation and information technology. It also will allow manufacturers to perform real-time load-balancing of their industrial processes, bring renewable energy sources online and execute demand response strategies connected to the Smart Grid.

“The manufacturing sector is responsible for almost a third of U.S. energy consumption, primarily by driving loads with electric motors,” said Sujeet Chand, Chief Technology Officer for Rockwell Automation. “While recent ‘Smart Grid’ demonstrations have focused on benefits to homes and commercial buildings, we look forward to working with manufacturers and electric power companies to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as industrial processes consume less electricity.”

Today, manufacturing and information technologies are converging at a rapid pace to create a new industrial renaissance. At the heart of this renaissance are smart manufacturing solutions that blend the best in people, physical assets, business processes and data, and seamlessly connect the plant floor to the enterprise, the supply chain and the customer. This advanced integration helps businesses achieve higher levels of productivity and competitiveness. Using existing industrial automation and information technology with these new advances, manufacturers can view, control and optimize plant-wide energy use today and be “Smart-Grid-Ready.”

“Until now, manufacturers had to make decisions without knowing how energy directly affects their production costs and impacts the bottom line,” said Terry Gebert, Vice President and General Manager of Rockwell Automation Global Solutions. “By combining OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), a key performance indicator used by many manufacturers, with an energy model to create an energy blueprint -- or ‘greenprint’ – for any production process, we can develop a long-term strategy for smarter energy use.”

Gebert emphasized that “manufacturers can begin to capture actual energy use and add it to their bill of materials and other production records.”

With smart manufacturing solutions, an entire plant’s energy consumption can be optimized. Information on real-time energy usage flows from machine to machine and across production lines, and intelligent machines can monitor and manage their own energy use. Plant-floor energy use data can then be networked into enterprise business systems and connected to suppliers and utility companies.

This unique approach to industrial energy management starts where most electricity is used -- machinery and motor control. Using “inside-out” integrated energy management, Rockwell Automation can provide a real-time energy “greenprint” by individual loads, machines and lines, more effectively manage peak demand for the plant, predict the overall impact of production changes on energy use, and ultimately automate production for optimal energy consumption across the enterprise.

This energy “greenprint” is part of Rockwell Automation’s broader sustainable production portfolio of products, services and solutions that make operations cleaner, safer and more energy efficient. In addition to energy efficiency, the company’s sustainable production solutions minimize raw material waste, monitor and report greenhouse gas emissions, and recover and recycle solvents. As a comprehensive sustainable production solutions provider, the company can also help provide a safer working environment and help improve product safety for consumers, minimizing business risk and protecting brand equity.

For more information about Rockwell Automation’s Sustainable Production Solutions, visit the website at http://www.rockwellautomation.com/solutions/sustainability/

Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK - News), the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information, makes its customers more productive and the world more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Rockwell Automation employs about 20,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.
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