Electrifying the Workplace

Author:
Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD

Date
03/20/2024

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Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD

Spring is in the air and we are firmly in conference season. The largest power conference in Europe, PCIM, is on the horizon. It will be held in June this year at its usual location in the Nuremberg Messe. Preparations are well under way, and the show is promising to be bigger and better than ever. PCIM stands for power, control and intelligent motion. Although the control and intelligent motion parts often get ignored, along with power, they play a huge role, especially in the industrial sector, where the control dictates how much power is applied to motors to provide that intelligent motion.

It is also a topic that we will look at in this month’s Special Report where industry is our theme. Industry uses up much of the power that is generated globally, so making its processes more efficient and cutting waste has the potential to pay huge dividends. According to the International Energy Agency, industry accounted for 37% (166 EJ) of global energy use and was directly responsible for 9.0 Gt of CO2 emissions in 2022. In the US, the Energy Information Administration estimates that in the same year, the industrial sector accounted for 35% of total U.S. end-use energy consumption and 33% of total U.S. energy consumption. Those figures include all types of energy, such as fossil fuels that are used in furnaces. The electrification of industry could cut emissions as our energy make-up moves further towards renewables. When these numbers are broken down, manufacturing is responsible for 76% of that energy consumption, followed by mining on 12%. There is currently a trend of onshoring manufacturing back to the US and large plants are being constructed throughout the country, so this figure may climb even higher in the coming years.

The first article in this month’s Special Report comes from Avnet Abacus. The article discusses the increasing role of biofuels in our energy mix, and how electronics can help to offset some of the disadvantages of the process. Biomass is becoming an important ingredient in the fight against climate change, but like everything else, it could be improved. Biofuel has many advantages, such as directly replacing fossil fuels, and being able to replace products that are usually manufactured from hydrocarbons. The article looks at the biofuel industry and how AI can be used to tailor biofuels to be better for the role in which they will be used.

The second article in the Special Report this month comes from Analog Devices, and looks at a low power communication solution for process control, factory automation and building control systems that comes in a small form factor and includes data isolation. 

I hope you enjoy!

 

Best Regards,

Ally Winning

European Editor, PSD

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