Power Up

There was a time not so long ago when manufacturers had so many places to look to cut costs that energy savings ranked far down the list.

Now that they have tackled most areas, and with oil prices nestled above $60 per barrel, managers and engineers are looking for ways to connect efficiently. This issue of Automation World shows how many are doing just that.

Electric motors use huge amounts of electricity in modern manufacturing. Contributing Editor James Koelsch shows how variable frequency drives and Premium Efficient motors can put a dent in the electric bill, in an article beginning on page 30.

Two areas where energy savings can be significant are in optimizing processes for energy management and in automating facilities for efficiency. In an article beginning on page 34, Contributing Editor Rob Spiegel reports on how several organizations are making this work.

In a pair of reports on how managers are finding ways to cut energy costs, Managing Editor Wes Iversen describes how an energy management system is helping Argonne National Laboratory avoid costly power-related shutdowns, and how a pulp and paper manufacturer is using multivariable control to hold down process energy costs. These articles start on page 38 and page 41, respectively.

Engineers are constantly on the lookout for innovative solutions for manufacturing problems. Editor in Chief Gary Mintchell reports on ways automation system integrators can creatively analyze their disparate experiences in order to hit on innovative solutions, in an article beginning on page 45.

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