What does sustainability mean for the process industries and how do we achieve it? Is it saving energy? Rethinking the use of raw materials? Optimizing our processes? How do you measure sustainability? In this page you will find, white papers, articles, podcast and other links that can help you define and understand sustainability for the process industries.
White Papers   Articles

Improving Energy Efficiency of Brownfield Plants

Reducing the carbon footprint brought on by plant inefficiencies and population growth and over-consumption, with the goals of reducing plant costs, achieving energy efficiency and security, and abating greenhouse gases (GHGs) -- of which carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main culprit -- are the challenges faced by today's leading industrial producers. This paper will explore effective ways to produce energy more cost effectively, purchase energy more economically and reduce overall energy usage, contributing to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Power Up Your Plant

Often referred to as electrical integration, integrated process and power automation is a new system integration architecture and power strategy that addresses the needs of the process and power generation industries. This paper discusses how a single integrated system can increase energy efficiency; improve plant uptime and lower life cycle costs.

The First Step

The global trends and challenges driving the need for industry to improve energy efficiency are well known. The growing population and economic development in many countries throughout the world has caused energy and transportation fuel consumption to increase. Refineries around the world are increasing capacity to meet these needs. Higher oil and gas prices, especially over the past two years, have greatly increased energy related operating costs and emphasized the need to increase energy efficiency. Today's refineries face many challenges. However, technology driven solutions now exists that can address these challenges and help achieve energy optimization. Honeywell's experience has shown that 12-25% energy reduction is achievable by implementing a comprehensive management solution with attractive returns on capital investment. A significant portion of the energy efficiency results and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within a refinery/petrochemical complex can be achieved through improvements to plant processes. This article identifies the major process improvement opportunities and proposes a novel work process methodology to achieve them.

Energy Savings Opportunities

In a previous white paper, "The First Step" we provided an overview of three methods to improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions in refineries and petrochemical plants:

  1. operational improvements to optimize the process
  2. recovering more heat by improving the heat integration of the process and
  3. adopting new process technology that fundamentally improves the efficiency of the process design and operation.

This whitepaper will outline low-cost operational improvements that use process condition and control improvements to unlock hidden energy saving opportunities.

The Evolution of Smart Manufacturing

Industry professionals have been trying to achieve safe, smart, responsible, sustainable manufacturing for at least the past 20 years, but why have they failed?

There are serious challenges to overcome in order to achieve smart manufacturing. Some of the challenges include economic instability, changing workforce, the need for greater than incremental increases in productivity, pressures to minimize environmental impacts and an increased focus on safety and risks of accident.

Automation and the Smart Grid: Energy Management Today

Is your company's electrical energy usage important to you? Whether still feeling the results of the recession or looking forward to competing as the global...

Monitoring Geothermal Heat Pump Performance

This paper discusses how portable data logging technology can be used to measure, record, and document the performance of geothermal heat pumps, and provides specific case study examples of how the technology is being applied in geothermal system monitoring applications.

Conformal Coated Industrial Ethernet Switch Protects Mission Critical Applications

What is conformal coating and why is it important in industrial Ethernet switches?


Serious Sustainability
There's a Lot More to Truly Going Green Than Efficiency. Here's How Some Experienced End Users and Their Applications Are Mastering Process Sustainability

ABB Takes Aim at Waste Heat Recovery
Do You Know How Much Lost Waste Heat Can Mean to a Cement Plant, and How Much a Typical Cement Plant Can Save in Electricity?

Sustainability: Gagging on Green
Sustainability Must Mean Questioning and Developing Better Applications, Not Just Making Non-Green Processes More Efficient

Energy Audits Hunt and Gather Serious Savings
Any Manufacturer or Utility Can Find Significant Energy Savings Through the Use of a Comprehensive, Plant-wide Audit

Finally, Energy Efficiency's Day in the Sun
Discussing Existing and Future Opportunities in Energy Efficiency

New York Consortium Explores Smart Grid
Researchers Are Working to Develop a 'Smart Grid' to Make Energy Systems Cleaner, Safer, More Efficient and Reliable

Electric Car Infrastructure Charges Ahead
Electric Vehicles: Are They Real This Time?

Remote Wind Energy SCADA Control System
Like Old-Fashioned Farming, Tending a Wind Farm Is a 24/7/365 Job. At Iberdrola Renewables, the New SCADA System Is a Key "Farm Hand"

Economic Recovery: It's All About the Uptime!
All the Safety and Industrial Controls Security Systems in the World Can't Defeat Human Beings Intent on Screwing Things Up

How to Make a Sustainable Plant
Why Is Sustainability Important? If You Want Your Plant to Continue Operating, It Must Become More Efficient Than It Already Is

More Water Savings through Automation
Systems Integrator Helps Desert Districts Conserve Precious Resource

Control Software and Renewable Energy, Parts 1
Columnist Bela Liptak Launches a Series of Articles Talking About Control Software in Need of Development for Renewable Energy Processes. Here is Article Number 1

Control Software and Renewable Energy, Parts 2
The Control System Must Be able to Detect the Loss of the Grid and Respond by Isolating Itself from the Grid or by Tripping Offline

Control Software and Renewable Energy, Parts 3
Bela Liptak Discusses the Control of the Renewable Energy Processes That Use Energy Sources Such as the Sun, the Moon, the Rotation of Earth and Its Coriolis Effect and the Heat Below the Ground

It's Not Easy Being Clean
Sustainability will happen when we all learn a new economic calculus .

Sustainability, Interrupted
Sustainability makes business sense as well as good policy. The public will demand it and science and technology will make it happen.

Legislative Uncertainties and New Sustainability Opportunities
Owens Corning Canada and other panelists talk about the potential for improving the sustainability of manufacturing processes.

Safety Starring in Efficiency and Sustainability Role
Individual machine safety becomes intertwined with issues of overall functional safety, as well as efforts to improve efficiency, reduce scrap and improve sustainability.

Sustainability Footprint Making Big Impression
Customers demand sustainable production solutions.

Of Safety, Sustainability and Integrated Architecture
Machine builders say an integrated architecture helps meet end-users' expectations over the life of their machines.

Business Benefits Driving Sustainability Movement
Always Green and always Lean.

Safety Offers Sustainability, Productivity Benefits
GM explains how the company's safety efforts are an integral part of its culture.

Safety Aids Savings and Sustainability
Holistic safety strategy increases safety, value and productivity.

"Going Green" Isn't Easy, but MES Can Help
MES can help achieve all sorts of good things, including helping companies reach their sustainability goals.

Sustainable Chemistry Can Mean Good Business Too
Sustainability can deliver significant economic benefits.

Is Latest Green Movement Sustainable?
Green being back in may well be the hook we need to get young people re-engaged in careers in engineering.


There's A New Sheriff in Town. Should Manufacturers Be Scared?

The Obama administration has begun a number of new initiatives around energy sustainability that seem aimed directly at manufacturers. Walt Boyes talks with John Nesi and Angel Sustaeta of Rockwell Automation about the implication of these initiatives for process manufacturing operations.

Listen to this podcast.


Green Engineering Knowledge Center

Green engineering is the use of advanced measurement and control techniques to design, develop, and improve products and technologies resulting in environmental and economic benefits.

On this site you will find technical articles, white papers, webcasts, and other resources to increase your knowledge of green engineering and applications that are being developed and deployed with the NI graphical system design.

Visit the knowledge center.