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2:42 pm
May 1, 2009
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My Take: Peeling The Energy Onion

jane_alexander

What a relief. Some of us at the recent MARTS 2009 Conference had been under the impression that we were facing an energy crisis of monolithic proportions. Based, however, on attendance at an open discussion on energy issues the last afternoon of MARTS, we began to wonder if the crisis were already over.

Only five individuals showed up for this widely advertised discussion. Ken Bannister, one of our popular contributing editors, Howard Penrose, a well-known motor expert, author and regular contributor to this magazine, and James Mullinix, a representative of Vacon Drives, were on hand to facilitate. An end-user from a water treatment operation (arguably one of the most critical and hungry of energy-hog processes) came to ask questions. I sat in to listen and take notes.

Were we befuddled by the lackluster turnout? Very. To be sure, we had seen far more attendees in other “Energy Track” sessions that week. They, too, had been led by the likes of Bannister, Penrose, Mullinix (with his Vacon associate Mike Herman), Bill Livoti of Baldor Electric Company and Bill Adams of Flowserve (both of whom were representing Pump Systems Matter). Given that previous level of enthusiasm, we certainly can’t be faulted for having expected even more participation in an interactive session designed to let end-users voice their concerns and obtain answers to their specific energy-related problems.

Silly us. As Dr. Penrose wryly noted in his wrap-up report on our energy discussion to those in the MARTS plenary session, the topic clearly hadn’t rung enough bells with the crowd. He urged all attendees, though, to take heed, as energy problems are everyone’s concern—and they won’t be going away anytime soon.

Energy efficiency is something that all capacity assurance professionals should be learning about, pondering over and immersing themselves in. If for no other reason, they will be called on to help install, monitor and maintain plenty of energy-efficient equipment in the future. Moreover, they should always remember that inefficient equipment, systems and processes are less reliable and harder to maintain than those that are optimized. Those who choose to ignore these and other simple energy truths today may not be prepared to help their organizations compete tomorrow.

My take on this is that the subject of energy is much like an onion. The more you peel, the easier it is to notice its impact on you and those around you. To discover just how strong that impact can be—in particular, how it can impinge on your sustainability efforts—I invite you to join us at Energy Summit 09 in Grand Rapids, MI, on Thursday, June 25, 2009. There, you’ll be able to learn from and network with some of the most recognized energy experts and some of the most forward-thinking technology and service providers in the world. It’s one of the best opportunities you’ll have to pick up invaluable insight into the energy-related topics that will so greatly affect your organization’s future.

Nope. The energy crisis is not over—not by a long shot. We still have lots of work to do across industry, and venues like Energy Summit 09, among others, are where much of it begins. I encourage you to visit www.energysummitonline.com to register for this information-packed event. Then, bring your questions to Grand Rapids. We look forward to seeing you there! MT

janesig

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