nergy efficiency will, or should, already be high on the agenda of any

organisation looking to save costs, reduce carbon footprint and ensure compliance with energy efficiency legislation. For those that fall into the remit of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) compliance, and/or the CRC energy efficiency scheme, it will become even more of a priority moving forward. There are a variety of energy efficiency tactics and products available so that those managing energy consumption and maintenance can create tangible cost savings. Knowledge of this technology and products, and the ways in which they can be used to best effect, is imperative in this quest.

GETTING TO THE HEART OF ENERGY CONSUMPTION The key to energy efficiency is assessment of consumption. Energy wastage leaks could be occurring anywhere, and the latest in test and measurement equipment can help those working in automation to identify where there is heat loss or energy hotspots. An industrial thermal imaging camera, such as the Fluke Performance series, can find problems such as faulty motors, three- phase unbalance, worn bearings and gearboxes, insulation failure – identification of which are vital in reducing energy usage and identifying reliability issues. Handheld solutions to measure energy output on a one-off assessment basis are invaluable in ascertaining energy usage and highlighting potential issues. However, longer term monitoring solutions will help keep energy usage continually in check – particularly on machines that have been identified as energy drainers. The PowerTag from Schneider Electric


With falling costs driving renewable energy capacity, despite falling investment, renewables are undoubtedly making headway – driven by the Paris agreement – and will be a current or future consideration for automated manufacturing operators. So, as we move towards potentially costlier renewable energy, getting energy efficiency fundamentals right is a crucial first step, as Allen Boney, local product manager, electrical and test & measurement, at RS Components, explains...

Allen Boney, local product manager, electrical and test & measurement, RS Components

is an IoT ready retro-fittable energy metering system that allows customers with existing control or distribution panels to quickly and easily tap into existing circuits, and understand the energy consumption remotely via an Ethernet connected ‘data collector’ and cloud service. The RS Pro range also covers energy metering, with the added benefit of cost savings without compromising on quality. As well as having permanent energy

monitors or meters installed, options to change the way energy is consumed should also be considered. Solutions such as variable speed drives, temperature control products and power factor correction controllers can have a significant effect on energy efficiency. RS works with suppliers such as Altivar, whose 312 variable speed drive provides a compact, general purpose drive for building automation applications, and EPCOS and Lovato Electric – which offer devices such as the B600 Power Factor Controller (EPCOS) and the DMG800 Power Quality Analyser, to ensure a correct power factor to prevent too much energy being drawn for individual motors, transformers or even lighting – of which there can be many on-site.

There are a whole host of available options to help those managing energy consumption and maintenance positively impact the bottom line

THROWING A LIGHT ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY Energy efficient lighting – particularly in a manufacturing setting and during the winter months when daylight is minimal – can have a significant impact on the bottom line. LEDs use far less energy than other lighting types and the lifespan is significantly higher - reducing maintenance burden by providing a fit and forget solution. This is a key consideration in an industrial setting,

where accessing the lighting can be difficult, working at height, possibly having to be worked on when operations are shut down, or at weekends. Advancements in LED technology

means output quality and brightness have evolved significantly, and whilst still more expensive, the price has reduced over time as LED manufacturers operate in a competitive, demand-driven market.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING When considering the amount of process equipment involved in production areas, a key energy saving tactic could be the introduction of timer controls where applicable. From manufacturing equipment using motors and temperature control, right through to lighting and HVAC, introducing timer controls, timer sockets or time delay switches could make a significant difference to energy consumed and therefore savings achievable. This ensures equipment is powered up only when needed, and not left on by accident. Electronic time delay switches for lighting are ideal for areas where constant lighting isn’t required and prevents lighting to an area that doesn’t need it sapping energy unnecessarily. There are a whole host of available options to help those managing energy consumption and maintenance positively impact the bottom line – as well as reduce automation process maintenance, minimise downtime and lower replacement costs. Multiply these efficiencies over a multi-site operation and it’s not difficult to see how significant cost savings could stack up.

RS Components T: 08457 201201 /AUTOMATION

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