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From “nice to have” to necessity

29 February 2024

For many OEMs and machine builders, energy efficiency has historically taken a back seat in favour of focusing on the overall efficacy and reliability of machines. Gareth Jones, Local Division Manager – Drives at ABB, takes a look at why the dial is starting to shift, and why energy performance is increasingly becoming a key differentiator.

For machine builders, the top priority is and always has been to build machines that simply work. Machines must be productive, reliable, safe, and require minimal maintenance. In years gone by, energy efficiency would rarely feature in these conversations, and as such were considered to be a low priority when designing a new machine – something “nice to have” rather than being a fundamental dealbreaker.

However, this is beginning to change. Industrial energy users are now realising that efficiency needs to be a key factor, particularly in applications where energy use is already very high.

Pressure from rising costs
As well as reducing energy usage, making operations as efficient as possible simply makes sound business sense. The eye-watering increases in energy prices over the last few years have affected us all, and genuinely sunk many businesses, while others are now running out of levers to pull to keep costs down. With the days of simply shopping around for cheaper energy deals seemingly long gone, the best way to reduce energy bills is to improve the efficiency of what we already have.

With energy usage comprising a significant proportion of overall operational costs, reducing it even by small amounts can make a substantial dent in running costs, and, in turn, potentially provide a sizeable competitive advantage.

Read the full article in DPA's March issue

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