Machines account for two-thirds of all electricity consumed by the industrial sector. According to the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association, 10–15 percent of all energy used in Germany's industrial sector could be saved through the use of intelligent automation systems alone. That corresponds to a potential savings of at least four billion euros. Improving the network infrastructure could increase efficiency even further. Expanding renewable energies as part of the energy transition is presenting networks with major challenges due to fluctuating power flows. Intelligent networks, or so-called smart grids, can measure these fluctuations and respond accordingly.
Energy efficiency paving the way for new developments
Energy efficiency is increasingly becoming a key criterion for several industrial sectors. That is why this topic plays an important role in all exhibition sectors at electronica. That also applies to Infineon Technologies AG: "As part of our focus topic, we have identified various markets and regions where energy efficiency continues to increase in importance—for environmental as well as cost-related reasons. In China, entire fleets of busses for inner-city transport are switching to electric drive systems. In the United States, they are experimenting with electrified highways for trucks. And regulated drives for industrial facilities are catching on in Europe. Energy efficiency is also developing into an important sales argument for household appliances and intelligent building-control systems," explains Dr. Helmut Gassel, Head of the Business Unit for Industrial Power Control at Infineon. At electronica 2014, the company is presenting its entire range of power semiconductors, microcontrollers and sensors, which are used in everything from washing machines to power grids.
Energy-saving displays: Success stories and future potential
While energy-efficient solutions still have to establish themselves more firmly in some fields, they have already done so in the display sector. During the past few years, TFT displays have achieved considerable energy savings in the industrial and consumer-goods sectors. However, new technologies show how much potential is still available. For example, displays with four-pixel color systems (R/G/B + White) make it possible to reduce energy consumption by up to 30 percent. Furthermore, e-paper and memory displays only consume electricity when display content changes. Still, other factors besides energy efficiency also play an important role, especially in the industrial sector. They include readability, sturdiness, being easy to use, cost-performance ratio and a long service life. When presenting their products at electronica, that is why exhibitors orient themselves to possible applications. Data Modul AG's easyTOUCH displays are a good example: They have been optimized for being operated with industrial and medical gloves and can be customized for use with other components in specific applications.
Expert lectures at the forums
electronica gives visitors a look at the latest technologies and allows them to gather information about the latest trends and developments at lectures and panel discussions. For example, WEKA is organizing a panel discussion about “Energy Efficient Semiconductors – How They will Change our Lives. From Energy Harvesting to IoT, Smart Production, Smart Buildings, Smart Grids and beyond” on Tuesday at the electronica Forum.