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3 mythbusters: how to lower energy consumption?

3 mythbusters: how to lower energy consumption?
A manufacturing customer wants a machine which requires the lowest possible electrical consumption, the simplest maintenance, and a good initial functionality and price ratio. Yes, lowest energy consumption is becoming the new mantra of today’s green revolution. However, consumers are too confused with various myths that are pulling them back to implement the right strategy in saving energy as well as overall machine cost. Here we present you the mythbusters.
MYTH 1: It costs too much to be sustainable. If I invest in producing sustainable, green machines, they will become too expensive to sell.
The constraints of cost reduction, usage of resources and energy reduction are becoming key demands for manufacturing customers. As consumers apply pressure to produce more sustainable products, they demand greater transparency in producing the products.
Just because a product is made from sustainable materials does not mean other aspects of its lifecycle are considered sustainable (i.e. material sourcing, production, packaging and transportation). To market a truly sustainable product, manufacturers need machines which operate efficiently and have green lifecycles.
Furthermore, end-users have to focus on developing strategies to reduce their own operational and production costs, and look for ways to reduce energy costs at the machine level. Experience shows that simply taking an active approach to energy efficiency can provide additional energy savings without incurring additional costs.
Mechatronic machine designs alone save up to 60 per cent energy, making the machines more productive. In addition to their consumption and sustainability benefits, they also create less waste, enjoy more flexible production and provide more compactness to end-users, including fewer components, optimised power and a smaller control panel.
A good example of an OEM which has worked to incorporate energy efficiency into their machines is M-Tek. Here go its some popular strategies:• Custom-sizing components and capabilities to meet specific customer needs, allowing significant reductions in both cost and energy footprints• Concentrating on building machines with better throughput and OEE (optimal equipment efficiency), in turn enabling machines to achieve a level of energy savings on their own without increasing costs• Counselling customers to look at the total cost of ownership (TCO), allowing them to understand their energy costs year over year, exemplifying that value-added performance makes efficient machines less expensive over time.
MYTH 2: The purchase price represents the main cost of the machine. There are little to no lifecycle costs to worry about.
Surprisingly, the purchase price of a machine accounts for just 2-3 per cent of its cost over the lifetime of machine. The remainder of the overall cost comes from its energy consumption. Smart solutions, fortunately, exist today to make the most of the available energy and minimise this cost. OEMs have a huge opportunity in helping to improve lifecycle costs, as machine engineering is the most critical source of improvement in this area. An engineer’s goal should be to find the most efficient, economic, and competitive solutions and motor selection is the result of these choices. The right choice about the efficient motors represents almost 30 per cent energy savings over the entire lifecycle of the machine. Precisely matching a motor to its application can achieve additional savings of 3-4 per cent.
OEMs can differentiate themselves at this point in the supply chain by making their machines critically valuable to end users by allowing them to meet sustainability demand. As a cornerstone of sustainability, energy efficiency becomes a key way to significantly market this value to customers.
MYTH 3: HVAC/R is just a small component of a building’s energy use. It is the area in which I can focus the least, and turn my attention to implementing energy efficiency in other areas.
HVAC/R machines are the heart of energy performance in commercial buildings and facilities. The commercial building sector represents almost 42 per cent of global electricity consumption, with HVAC/R systems represent up to 40 per cent of a building’s energy use. The HVAC/R market, which is unique, requires machines that exceed market demands at the lowest costs possible. OEMs want the shortest start-up times, while customers require the lowest possible electrical consumption, the simplest maintenance and a good initial functionality/price ratio.
Solutions such as single software solution reduce complexity, program design and implementation times. These solutions can offer up to a 50 per cent drop in design and installation time. “Re-commissioning” or even “continuous commissioning” has also become an ongoing requirement for a building’s HVAC/R mechanical systems in order to maintain peak energy efficiency throughout the life of the HVAC/R equipment.
The need for energy reduction throughout the lifecycle of a building has become an important goal for both end users and OEMs. Due to recent attention around the emissions and energy use of commercial building, there is rising concern over their environmental impact.
For the HVAC OEMs, this goal demands higher efficiency ratings for their equipment and lower initial cost. This means the HVAC/R equipment controller must operate the machine at peak efficiency for both full load and part load, while communicating through the building automation system using a variety of protocols. For the end user, it means finding cost-effective and innovative ways to reduce energy consumption.
At the same time, technology has reached the point where the contracting industry is facing increasing demand for well-trained technicians in the latest energy savings technology, which can be provided by OEMs. It’s become necessary to “dig deep” into the operation of the HVAC/R equipment itself in order to deliver the best possible energy efficiency, while providing enhanced-software features to the HVAC/R technicians and building owners with as much “plug and play” application and functionality as possible.
Author:Greg Nelson, Vice President (OEM), Industry Business, Schneider Electric

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