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Strategy | energy management


Unlike in cars, where the energy effi ciency gets worse as the speed increases, the energy effi ciency of IMMs gets better as the production rate increases. So, being green can also be profi table. Amortising the ‘fi xed’ loads over the ‘process’ loads to reduce the total load (per kg) works not only when the ‘load’ is the power used but also when the load is the cost of the product. Increasing the production rate (kg/h) will decrease the relative cost (£/kg) for most costs and a general curve for this is shown in Figure 4. At any level and for almost any load, running plastics


processing machinery harder increases the effi ciency. However, this is not a linear relationship, it is a reciprocal relationship and the improvements are also not linear. When the production rate is already high, then increasing the production rate further may give only marginal improvements to the energy effi ciency or the production costs . It can be seen quite clearly in Figure 3 that, irrespective of the machine type, the maximum benefi t is obtained where machines are operating at very low production rates. As production rates increase to high levels the energy effi ciency or cost approaches the limiting value.


Figure 3: Machine SEC for injection moulding (Hydraulic + All-electric/hybrid) Make your machines work


Working the IMM hard will increase the relative energy effi ciency of the process but the largest energy use in the process will still be the main IMM motors (see Figure 1a). The relative percentage used in the motors will vary with the specifi c machine and process but the main variations will be the result of machine selection and setting.


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