Admit it, when you were young, you dialed seven digits into the phone and when someone answered the exchange went something like this:
“Is your refrigerator running?
“Then you’d better go catch it!”
Fortunately, today, the reply you’d probably receive is “no, my refrigerator is very efficient.” I don’t have a comeback for that, but it’s true. I hardly ever hear my refrigerator run. Print finishing and manufacturing has changed, and attention to the long-term cost of ownership is a major design philosophy.
More equipment means more reasons to save.
Walk out to your printing plant and look around. How many transformers, power distribution panels, compressors, conduit runs and air lines do you see? How about floor compressors running on a machine that isn’t even crewed? Today, you need power and air to run most everything in a print shop. Have you considered how efficient that equipment is? We have.
Early machines were driven by one large motor that turned a line shaft connected to multiple gearboxes, and sprockets and chains provided motion to the entire production line. In finishing, that main motor and vacuum pumps ran whether you needed to feed one form or 20. Sure, an operator could turn off two of three pumps for the single signature job, but did they? Overall, it worked, but those mechanical connections used power that added up.
Ways to reduce your facility’s energy consumption.
When you talk with Muller Martini today, you’ll hear and see a lot about our print finishing systems with Motion Control (MC). The flexibility gained by removing heavy line shafts and replacing large, inefficient motors with multiple smaller ones has done wonders to our makeready times. Today’s short runs demand that, but Motion Control is much more. Old systems used a full cycle whether the size of the product needed it or not. New servos can move six inches for a small book, or 12 inches for a larger one. This saves not only wear and tear, but energy. What else has Muller Martini done to reduce your energy consumption?
- Power/Electrical Cabinets. Reduced in size by half or more.
- Power Regeneration. Kinetic energy generated during braking is converted and fed back into the power supply system.
- Servo Drives. Monitor torque on a motor and warn of increased load. Machines of old would just draw more power to keep turning a bad gearbox until it failed, causing unplanned downtime.
- Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) on vacuum/air systems. Computer controlled to automatically turn pumps on/off and run them only as fast as demand calls for.
- Vacuum Injectors. Create vacuum from high-pressure air only when it’s needed. A traditional system must always run to keep the system full for when vacuum is needed.
- Automatic shutoff of pumps when machine is not turning.
- Valves to turn off air usage in sections of a line that are not in use.
- LED lighting. Lasts longer, less power.
You get the idea. And now you probably want to know the savings of a machine today versus one from 1980? I’m not going to go there because there are too many variables and the wrong diploma on my wall. I will say that a new blow-air concept we are releasing for a typical Primera MC saddle stitcher showed 36% less energy consumed in testing compared to the system it replaces. Begin there and keep adding.
And, by the way, Is your saddle stitcher
Is your facility doing even more to save energy? Tell us how below.