Quit Spinning Your Wheels, Manage Energy Resources

March 1, 2005
Ever feel like you’re caught in a gerbil wheel going nowhere in finding ways to cut costs?

Or perhaps that’s an analogy for how you manage your energy supply. This month, Automation World looks at some of the ways companies are managing their energy resources.

Most manufacturers are already automating production processes. What if they applied that knowledge to energy management? Automation World Editor Gary Mintchell explores some innovative ways that engineers and managers are saving money through better energy management, in an article that begins on page 32.

Very few things happen in manufacturing without a motor spinning. These little, and sometimes not so little, devices can soak up a big proportion of energy costs. In an article that starts on page 39, Contributing Editor James Koelsch looks at how motors with greater efficiency, as well as variable frequency drives, can counter this situation.

Ever think about burning your trash for energy? How about solar or wind power? Contributing Editor Rob Spiegel looks at how one company found a way to generate much of its own electricity, plus sell the surplus back to the utility. He also surveys alternative energy sources in an article beginning on page 45.

MicroElectroMechanical Systems is a mouthful. Call it MEMS for short, and see how an inventor from Siemens has been experimenting with these little devices with laboratory mice, and how he might have found a useful way to automate building environments, or maybe even industrial applications. Automation World Managing Editor Wes Iversen reports from the frontline of technology in this article beginning on page 51.