For U. S. manufacturers to remain competitive, they must modernize assembly lines. There are endless miles of conveyors and tons of equipment being driven by inefficient motors and even less-efficient gear drives. Energy audits we have performed show that many factories and processing plants are operating equipment at only 60 to 70% efficiency, leaving ample room for improvement. And while high-efficiency motors are now required by law, gear reducers have unfortunately been virtually ignored by legislators, even though inefficient, low-quality gear reducers are a major contributor to excessive energy consumption.
Highly productive and efficient equipment saves money, energy, materials, and time, and helps domestic manufacturers compete against low-wage labor markets. Going green in manufacturing is no longer an optional, feel-good choice. It is sound business and our opportunity to regain a competitive edge in the global economy. Manufacturers should go green just like every other industry has over the past few years. And when they do, they’ll find that as efficiency rises, so do profits.