No matter the industry, things used to be relatively simple for the plant operator. Whether the operation specialized in the manufacture of chemicals or pharmaceuticals, paints or paper, there was one major charge for the facility manager: keep the plant running at a level that ensured that product-production quotas were reliably met in the most cost-effective manner possible.
Then came the advent of the “green” movement, replete with such now-recognizable buzzwords as “sustainability,” “conservation” and “alternative energy” that moved the attention paid to corporate energy usage front-of-mind in the industrial sector. In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development defined sustainability as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
A commitment to sustainability was one of the pillars of President George W. Bush’s Energy Policy Act of 2005, which helped spawn a movement known as “Corporate Energy Management” (CEM). CEM is “sets of actions that move accountability for energy outcomes to the upper levels of a firm, in the process removing the bulk of energy-usage issues from the purview of plant managers and engineers.”
This corporate sustainability movement has gained momentum as many companies, regardless of the industry, have demanded a top-to-bottom review of their operations, through which inefficiencies have been identified and added demands have been put on the facility manager to eliminate them.
In addition, high energy prices, as well as their unpredictability and volatility, can pose a profit-robbing threat to very manufacturing operation. Left unmanaged, energy expenditures can quietly and quickly erode a company’s financial performance, productivity and, ultimately, its competitiveness.
Production and Energy Efficiencies Are Key
Taken all together, that sound you just heard was a loud, collective “gulp” from the country’s industrial-plant operators.
That’s because not only do they need to meet strict production levels, they have to do it with optimized energy usage and expenditures as a critical consideration. That’s a daunting task when you consider that, per the United States Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the industrial sector consumes 33.6% of all of the energy used in the country. Of that percentage, pumping systems can account for anywhere between 27% and 33% of the total electricity used in the industrial sector.
Thankfully for these beleaguered plant managers, pump manufacturers have stepped up to the plate and developed innovative technologies that help optimize energy usage in industrial settings while keeping production humming along at demanded levels. Take, for example, Wilden Pump & Engineering, the company that developed the world’s first air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pump for use in a wide array of worldwide industrial applications. Recognizing the impact that this new interest in energy consumption could have on industrial manufacturing the engineering team at Wilden went back to the drawing board for a new Innovative solution to energy consumption and developed the Pro-Flo X™. For the past five years, Wilden’s patented Pro-Flo X™ Air Distribution System (ADS) has been optimizing air usage while maintaining desired flow rates through the incorporation of an Efficiency Management System (EMS™). The Pro-Flo X features an integrated control dial that allows users to control the product flow rate in order to choose the one that best suits the application. The results are higher performance, lower operational costs and performance flexibility that go far beyond what used to be considered the industry standard.
To help illustrate the energy-saving advantages the Pro-Flo X, Wilden has created the “See More Green” program, which is designed to provide pump users the tools necessary to reduce energy costs and increase environmental responsibility.
When plant operators take proactive steps in reducing energy usage and costs, they can be heroes in their organization. The ones who consistently optimize the bottom line while meeting required production quotas realize they need help, so they turn to trusted channel partners for the technology and systems that meet their needs. In terms of maximized energy usage in processes that require pumps, Wilden has proven through the years that it has the best intentions of its customers in mind. The Pro-Flo X ADS is just the latest example of how Wilden keeps producing innovative technologies that enable the world’s manufacturing operations to stay ahead of the cost curve.