Energy efficiency has been a driving force for innovation in industrial technology over the past few years. In the area of motion control, our primary interest, energy savings has been a primary selling point.
Servo motors are already more energy efficient than other kinds of motors, because their smaller size makes for less rotor mass and inertia, and therefor greater efficiency. Make sure you have the right size system for the work you’re doing, and you’ve got even higher energy efficiency. Newer components are often designed to be more energy efficient, but you have to factor in the cost of the new machine.
You also have to think about the entire system. A single energy efficient machine may not make a difference in your facility, depending on the other elements of the process. It may be that harvesting heat and reusing it in another part of the plant will make a bigger difference than changing out a motor. To identify the parts of your process that will make the biggest difference requires a full audit of your system and regular energy monitoring that reports energy efficiency at different times and places.
Delving into the data in this way can also help you avoid greenwashing. Almost every new machine out there nowadays claims to be green and lean in its energy usage. If the manufacture is offering numbers and specs that prove their claims, that’s great. In the U.S., however, energy ratings are only actually determined for consumer products, and even with those products, participation is voluntary.
Anyone can describe their industrial machinery as “green” or “energy-saving” in the U.S. without any specific requirements.
As energy prices increase, though, and pressure for environmental responsibility continues to build, greater energy efficiency in plants as a whole will allow a greater sense of independence. Reduced energy costs give you more flexibility. Continuous work toward greater energy efficiency keeps your facility from having to cope with energy price spikes.
One of the often overlooked steps toward energy efficiency in an industrial setting is making sure that your machinery is operating at its peak. If you use Rexroth electric industrial motion control, we can help you achieve that. We offer phone support, field support, and factory repair.