Reducing energy consumption is a bit like exercise. People tend to agree it’s a good idea and should do it regularly –– but often times they don’t quite make it to the gym. Yet if energy costs keep rising, engineers won’t be able to sit on the sidelines for much longer and will have to work out new ways to trim the energy consumption of the machines they build.
This growing energy awareness was on display throughout this week’s Hannover Fair, where major suppliers and users of motion control and automation equipment showcased their energy-reduction strategies and technologies. The fair also itself featured brand new energy-efficiency displays, including an “Energy Tunnel” exhibit that highlighted ways to make common industrial processes — like pumping — more efficient.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.