With everyone pinching pennies these days, OEMs looking for potential saving should consider that:

  • Replacing obsolete electrical and mechanical drives with more-efficient versions would save 11% of annual industrial power consumption, according to Werner Blass, managing director with the German Electrical and Electronics Federation. This equates to billions of kilowatt-hours (kW-hr) and dollars each year, and such investments pay for themselves within two to three years, he says.
  • Pumps account for more than 30% of total industrial electricity consumption, and energy makes up about 45% of a pump’s life-cycle costs, reports the German Energy Agency. Optimized pump-drive systems generate an average energy savings of 30%.
  • Air compressors annually consume 14 billion kW-hr of electricity in Germany alone, which equals 5% of total industrial electricity requirements, according to the Fraunhofer Institute. Demand-oriented compressed-air systems could cut energy consumption by one-third.

Such examples are why energy efficiency is the overriding theme at this year’s Hannover Fair (hannovermesse.de), scheduled for April 20 to 24 in Hannover, Germany. The world’s largest industrialtechnology event combines 13 trade shows in one venue, including Motion, Drive & Automation (MDA) devoted to hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, and electrical power transmission and control. Other exhibitions cover industrial and process automation, conventional and renewable-energy technologies, subcontracting, surface coatings and treatments, and R&D.

Among the energy-saving innovations at MDA, KSB, Richmond, Va., will introduce PumpDrive, a speed control for centrifugal pumps. This demand-dependent system reportedly produces energy savings of up to 60%. Bosch Rexroth, Hoffman Estates, Ill., will take the wraps off a smart variable-speed pump drive that matches flow to demand, cutting motor/pump speed when hydraulic systems don’t operate at full load. This reportedly cuts energy consumption up to 45%, as well as reduces noise and hydraulic fluid temperature.

Farmington, Conn.-based ebm-pabst’s EC fans are said to use 70% less energy than their conventional counterparts, thanks to electronic controls and a hybrid plastic-aluminum construction. Festo, Hauppauge, N.Y., will present a condition-monitoring system that watches pressure and flow in pneumatic systems, letting OEMs track and optimize consumption, detect leaks, and limit energy losses. Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin will be profiling valve controls that can save up to 1,000-kW/actuator. And a number of leading manufacturers will showcase low-drag seals and antifriction bearings that improve energy efficiency in power-transmission systems.

Also at MDA, vehicle manufacturers and component suppliers will present the latest fuel-efficient transmissions at a special “E-Motive” presentation. The spotlight will be on electrifying the drivetrains of vehicles and mobile machinery, and will include electric and hydraulic hybrids as well as all-electric drives.

Hannover 2009 will also premiere a new international wind-energy trade show in response to global demand for renewable power. According to Hannover Fair officials, the Wind expo is unique in that more than 1,100 MDA exhibitors will be located right next door, letting visitors and manufacturers capitalize on the wide-ranging synergies between wind-power and power-transmission systems. The same holds for industrial automation, subcontracting, and R&D exhibitors, which are also heavily involved with wind power.

“Wind is symptomatic of the concept of crossindustry networking that defines Hannover,” says Dr. Wolfram von Fritsch, chairman of the board of management of Deutsche Messe AG. “The Fair breaks down traditional boundaries between industrial sectors and explores the potential of interlinked technologies. We offer industry an innovations platform that is in tune with current developments, generates a significant impact, and reaches out to a broad international audience.”