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Monitoring and maintenance essential for the smart grid
Increasing demand for electricity has meant that we have grown more dependent on affordable power. As energy consumption rises and the complexity of the grid increases, new technologies are becoming crucial for managing the system more efficiently. Here, Adrian Kimberley, Regional Manager at industrial automation software company COPA-DATA UK, discusses two milestones on the road to the smart grid — condition monitoring and predictive maintenance
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Using electronic motion control for efficient packaging lines
Packaging machine designs call for ever greater levels of performance and flexibility, combined with the ability for faster changeovers from one product run to the next, so engineers are making greater use of electronic motion control technologies. Gerard Bush of INMOCO looks at the opportunities and the challenges
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Regenerative braking's role to play in energy efficiency
When Leonardo da Vinci explored the idea of the human body as a machine, he came up with a robotic knight — medieval armour designed with gears, wheels, pulleys and cables that allowed it to move its arms and legs. Premature inventions like this one populate the engineering landscape to this day, often when it comes to energy-saving technologies such as regenerative braking. Here, Tony Young, owner director of supply and repair specialist CP Automation, explains how easy it can be to make industrial applications more energy efficient by using regenerative braking
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Energy supplies: renewable energy becomes a bigger player
Electricity derived from fossil fuels and nuclear has traditionally been a reliable option for keeping the lights on. However, in recent years, advancements in three areas have the potential to make renewable energy a much bigger player on the power generation scene. Nick Boughton, sales manager of industrial systems integrator Boulting Technology, discusses how emerging technologies can provide a new answer to an old question: renewables are great, but what happens if it’s not sunny or windy?
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Rare earth magnets — getting more for less
China’s near dominance in the supply of rare earth magnets has become a source of consternation to motor manufacturers and end users alike, with fears of huge increases in prices. But Exico Electric Motors’ MD Jerry Hodek says that the supply issues have driven innovation in many fields
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Smart meters becoming a smart investment for business users
Although they're usually found in our homes, smart meters are also becoming commonplace in commercial and industrial applications. It’s understandable as to why — indicating not only how much energy is being used, but also how much is being wasted at the expense of a business. Steve Hughes, MD of power quality specialist REO UK, looks at why smart meters are a smart investment for businesses and how they help to overcome power quality challenges
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Monitoring system improves University's energy efficiency
To make its estates more energy efficient and to cut carbon emissions in line with its Environmental Sustainability Policy, the University of Oxford has been working with Schneider Electric to modernise the university’s infrastructure and upgrade its metering and energy monitoring systems
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Finance schemes offer a simpler way to energy efficient lighting
Modern lighting systems have the potential to reduce considerably the operating costs of a building — but the initial expense required to acquire and install the technology can be a challenge for businesses to bear. This should not, however, be seen as an obstacle to energy efficiency says Richard Baker, Sales Manager of Siemens Financial Services Energy Financing
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