European Style or American Style?


Alex Chausovsky, of IHS Industrial Automation was recently reported as identifying two ways to look at industrial motion control. Americans, he says, look at the efficiency of a motor and the efficiency of the motor control. Europeans look at the efficiency of the two together.

At first, it seems as though there might not be much difference between the two styles of approaching the overall question of efficiency. An efficient motor and efficient control will add up to efficient motor control, right?

In fact, the whole can be more than the sum of its parts. It can therefore make sense to look at the functioning of the parts together. This can mean that, when you repair or replace one part of your whole motion control system, you should reevaluate the entire system to be certain that it all works together as well as it did — or as well as you want it to.

And when you consider upgrading, it makes sense to think about the whole system. Often we think in terms of upgrading one part and simply make sure it will physically fit into the system. We don’t always consider the possible unplanned consequences throughout the system.

Chausovsky suggests that Americans, if they see the greater efficiency of the European approach and take up that holistic mindset, will be in a position to drive innovation and growth in the industrial sector.

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