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Manage Energy for Maximum Efficiency

Manufacturers have become adept at automating machinery and processes, and at managing production and inventory. Why not manage energy with the same ingenuity?

This month, Automation World uncovers ways manufacturers can save money by managing energy and make some additional profits.

Wes Iversen, managing editor, reports that energy expenditures typically account for anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent of operating costs of U.S. manufacturers, making prudent energy management an important bottom-line consideration. He investigates how some major manufacturers working with the U.S. Department of Energy are finding ways to save money. Discover for yourself beginning on page 28.

Engineers have automated the manufacturing process, so the next logical step is to automate power quality that’s crucial to maintaining both quality and productivity. Contributing Editor Kenna Amos profiles some companies that are reaping the benefits of this technology in an article beginning on page 32.

Managers at paper maker Abitibi Consolidated knew electrical deregulation in one Canadian province could be a disruptive and expensive force. After deciding they just didn’t have enough money to buy a custom solution, engineers developed a system that not only cut cost but also enabled managers to increase profits by selling electricity back to the grid. Read about it on page 36.

The Motor Decisions Matter consortium is providing tools that help manufacturers manage their motor fleets. Flanders Electric Manager Bill Nielsen, Electrical Apparatus Service Association President and Chief Executive Officer Linda Raynes, and Tracy Narel, manager of Industrial Sector Alliances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, discuss this and other motor issues with Automation World Editor Gary Mintchell, beginning on page 39.

The potential cost in downtime and maintenance technician time is large when the correct IP address cannot be quickly found for a replacement input/output device on an Ethernet control network. One company has discovered an automated solution to the problem. See page 45 for the details.

The U.S. Treasury Department produces 37 million notes of paper currency per day. The story of how automated visual inspection systems help ensure quality and security begins on page 46.

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