Save Energy, Cut Costs

Nov. 10, 2008
Machine Builders Are Looking for Energy-Crisis Solutions, Control Deisgn Has a Few Tips. Check Them Out
About the Author

Katherine Bonfante is senior digital editor for Control and Control Design. You can email her at [email protected] or check out her Google+ profile.

The economic crisis is hitting us all hard. The average American is looking for pennies on the floor, just to have enough money to fill up the car gas tank and get to work.

What’s worse, winter weather is just around the corner, and the word on the street is that we should all expect to pay higher utility bills this time around.

If the average American already knows that paying the upcoming gas and energy bills will be a challenge, we also can appreciate how small or mid-size machine-builder and manufacturing companies must feel when they think of their yet-to-come utility bills.

Well, for those machine builders that are looking for energy-crisis solutions for themselves or their customers I have gathered a few resources from our online vault. These might be the energy-crisis solutions you need, and they might keep the cost of running a plant lower.

For those fortunate machine builders that are not affected by the crisis as much, congratulations! Please write in and tell us what you are doing. We all want to know.

The first resource I want to point you to is “Present State and a Futuristic Vision of Motor Drive Technology” by Yaskawa. This white paper discusses how Yaskawa has been developing more efficient, more powerful electric motor drives to power the demands of the future. Better-engineered motor drives lead to improvements in plant productivity and energy savings through environmentally harmonious drives that do not pollute electrical power systems. Read this white paper and find out how Yaskawa has contributed to the futuristic vision of motor drive technology.

In our April issue, Managing Editor Mike Bacidore wrote “Lean Lets Value Swim Upstream,” which studied the adoption of lean manufacturing practices by many machine builders, including Sunnen Products. The article touched on the five principles of lean manufacturing, and it reviewed how machine builders have benefited by going lean. Check this article and find what lean might mean to you. 

Another white paper that focuses on energy savings is “Mitigating VFD-Induced Electrical Damage to AC Motor Bearings,” written by the general manager of Electro Static Technology, William Oh. This white paper reviews the cost-effective challenges that system designers and engineers face when mitigating voltage damage.

If you use motors and drives, check our September Product Roundup, “Energy Blockbusters”. Improving motor and drive efficiency while keeping energy consumption low is important, and this lists specific criteria to follow when selecting the right drive for your applications.

I hope these resources can help you and a few customers through this year’s energy crisis, and most importantly I hope your high utility bills don’t take you by surprise.

New White Papers

Enhancing Lean Practices Lean is being adopted in the industrial machinery and components industry.

A Global Mandate - Mid-size manufacturers see enterprise systems as platforms and engines for renewed growth.

The Lean Advantage for Complex Equipment - Manufacturers Discover how complex equipment manufacturers are using preconfigured ERP software with industry best practices.

To download PDF papers, go to

Special to the Web

Machine Builder Forum This is the voice of machine automation and control at

Machine Builder Spotlight Videos show tours of machines and their controls at

Market Intelligence Report: Machine Safety - Get the who, what, where and when of machine safety at