Written by: Zach Tinkler | August 1, 2017
The new industrial revolution is changing how builders of control panels, switchgear and panel boards design and operate today. To remain competitive and profitable, panels will have to be smarter – that is, better connected and more efficient, flexible and safe. Energy efficiency is also a critical factor, with customers demanding less energy consumption, better quality and higher performance. Below, you’ll find two little steps that can make a huge difference.
1. Maximize your investment with mechatronics
“Mechatronics” refers to technology that combines automation and mechanical engineering. Mechatronic machine designs are the most energy-efficient and reliable, giving you the lowest possible total cost of ownership and other key benefits.
2. Implement the right automation architecture and control & power system
Automation and control functions offer a wide range of possibilities to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste, so they should be considered systematically.
First, consider that you can save up to 30% energy with already Tested, Validated and Documented Architectures to quickly build an automation solution. The benefit comes from being open and flexible – and ready to use and customize.
Next, make the right choices to optimize your automation control system’s power usage.
Choice of contactors: Low-consumption contactors or contactors for specific functions can significantly increase energy efficiency, thanks to a reduced number of power contacts and very low energy consumption of the control circuit.
Choice of HMI (graphic terminals & panels): The management of backlights in HMI panels can save 65% of the power they consume, for example by powering off the display when the machine is in idle mode.
Controller sizing: Controllers that are properly sized to the application at hand will also help reduce energy consumption.
Use of LEDs: LED technology offers a low-consumption alternative to incandescent lights in push buttons and indicator lights, but are typically brighter for improved indication.
Power Factor Correction: Positioning machines closer to the source of power optimizes energy usage – and helps end users avoid penalties and pollution in the electrical network.
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