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FLEXO Magazine : August 2010
Technologies & Techniques A Drive for Energy Management Multiple Factors Contribute to system efficiency By Michael Perlman While it is valid to state that energy efficiency is defined as the same level of production being achieved at an overall lower energy cost, it is equally important for today ’s machine builders and automation engineers alike to remember that an energy-efficient system can actually translate into higher productivity. This is achievable through a comprehensive approach to energy management. Energy management is a process, rather than a product or series of products installed on a machine, or in-line, to achieve a basic energy saving of kW/hr consumption. This process must be ongoing and perpetual, meaning that any defined goal should be viewed as a momentary metric of achievement, rather than a final end. While any vendor can supply the right products and support services to hit a target mark of energy savings, the mindset of the customer is key in keeping the process recurrent. This ensures a continual increase in the productivity levels achieved, defined as a factor of the energy consumed. In many ways, it can be viewed in the same man- ner as an ongoing, effective but constantly evolving quality management system at your company. Three essential elements are the basis of such a process. First, energy monitoring systems must be in place to effec- tively determine the current consumption. These can include, but are certainly not limited to, energy consumption displays, infeed/supply monitoring devices, power factor meters and more. Next, the proper calculation tools are needed to properly evaluate the lifecycle costs of any investment. These tools can be as simple as a motor sizing chart or the software programs used to parameterize drives. However, a more formal mecha- tronics protocol may be beneficial to your operation. In this scenario, a thorough evaluation of both mechanical and elec- trical/electronic influences on your system, be it a machine or a process line, is conducted. The results can often open the eyes of machine designers, process engineers and system integra- tors alike. To realize the benefits of this analysis, the proper products and system solu- tions must be implemented. This is where a competent supplier can be an effective partner for your operation. For example, the solution you need might involve a vector drive that uti- lizes an energy optimization function to enhance the efficiency of the motor during partial load operations. In a system with multiple motors, energy savings might be realized to a substantial degree by the use of a drive unit with a common DC bus. The designer can also select the most appropriate infeed solution for the machine, pump or process operation, given the particulars of performance and required output. This may include an appropriately sized infeed unit with regenerative capability, the ability to put unused or brak- ing energy back on the incoming power line. Some applications may allow the use of high efficiency standard induction motors and, in the process, realize a potential savings of 1 to 3 percent. The use of frequency converters (VFD) for speed control might raise this to an 8 to 10 percent savings. Optimizing your entire system through mechatronic analy- sis of the machine or process design, can result in a potential savings of 15 to 20 percent by the avoidance of over dimen- sioning of motors, plus partial load optimization by means of Elements of Drive Design That Can Contribute to Energy Efficiency • Energy Monitoring • Equipment Selection and Optimization (Mechatron- ics / Parameterization) • Hardware: Common DC Bus / Infeed / Regeneration Photos courtesy siemens industry inc. 58 FLeXO august 2010 www.flexography.org Serviced and Supported by: North American Cerutti Corporation 15800 West Overland Drive New Berlin, WI 53151 Tel: (262) 327-1667 Fax: (920) 499-2291 www.flexotecnica.it FX10 and FX8: High Profit Printing Presses Get the Edge. More value with higher speeds and larger repeat range August2010_mech.indd 58 8/13/10 7:46 AM
Sustainable Summer 2010