Monday, September 13, 2010

Energy Efficient on Machines

By taking “whole system” approach and looking machine, its use, and components, these new specs will reduce energy using and greenhouse emissions equal 7 million cars.
In almost every window and door manufacture, they have glass lines. In the glass line, the first machine is glass loading. Let us take a look on two basic types of loading machines for cutting lines that are majority using in U.S.
1. Tilt Loading --- It uses a combination of hydraulics, suction cups, and sensors to identify and retrieve glass from a vertical pack and transfer it to a horizontal position for downstream processing. It applied four or six moving arms with big cups to hold the glass sheet and put it down on table. This is a traditional way.
2. Automatic Free-Fall --- It is intelligently designed to robotically retrieve and free-fall glass, then convey it to the cutting table without operator intervention. It uses one cup to peer glass sheet out to free-fall it down on the table. This is a new way of loading invented in United States.
By comparing two loading ways, there are three facts that make big difference.
    1. The Tilt Loading takes the whole glass sheet up from rack and put it on the table while Free-Fall only pulls glass sheet free falling down on the table. The first way increase the potential energy and moment energy on glass that consumed the power energy. The second way transfer potential energy on glass of its own to moment energy from high position down to low position on the table.
    2. Because of tilt loading takes whole glass up and down, it need heavy cups and stronger arms to hold the glass, the moving parts of Tilt Loading are more than ten times than the one of Free-Fall. The heavy moving parts cost more power energy to accelerate them to move.
    3. The Tilt Loading uses hydraulic system installed in the machine to move the big arms. When the arms in rest status, the motor continually run and system still consume the energy by pressure regulator that transfer the power energy to the heat in oil, which is backward comparing with second way driven by pneumatic system.
As result, the differences of energy consumed are 15 times. In addition the second one uses less parts and materials that is the other kind of “green” because parts and material cost energy to make and transport.

In any innovations and R&D, it is usually happened that one advantage happened brings another advantage. It is the same for energy saving on machines. Energy saving on machine almost always comes with increase productivity. Because the machine mess and parts are decreased in energy saving, they are more easy to be accelerated and decelerated that can increase machine moving speed and improve machine performances. Then finally, the productivity is increased in the glass lines that is dream of every business owner.
In this case, the glass cutting line increase 87% productivity by using free-fall automatic loading machine. Please see Case Study.

Problem and Opportunity

What are IG and R5 Windows? When multiple glass panes are assembled into units, they are commonly referred to as Insulated Glass (a U-factor of around 0.5) that is more than 2.2 times the energy efficient over the single glass measuring in heat transfer rate. As three glass panes are assembled into units, they are referred to as R5 that highly-insulating windows with a whole-window R-value of 5 (a U-factor of around 0.2)* are the top tier of energy-efficient windows for cold and mixed climates available today, which Department of Energy has been commercially promoting since end of last year.

What's the Opportunity? The U.S. had approximately 113 million residential buildings. There are 33.34 million residential buildings need replace the energy efficient windows and doors. Each residential home has 12 windows and doors in average. Therefore, more than 400 million windows and doors need to be made immediately. The commercial buildings are similar. The U.S. had 74.8 billion square feet of commercial floor space in 2006. Near 50% of commercial buildings were built in 1979 or before that most of them demand to replace energy efficient windows and curtain walls.
What's the Problem? The problem arisen in manufacturing is that the weight of the green window is double or triple as the Isolated Glass is made of two pieces of glass or more. On the other hand, the tolerance requirement between glass and frame is increasing tied. In US, there are over one thousand manufacturer making windows & doors. The manufactures still make windows and doors by manpower that keep the low quality and high prices that result the small-scale rate in changing the inefficient windows and doors.
What's the Solution We Offer? We promotes the new way of manufacturing energy efficient building products, window and door with Isolated Glass. Smart Line has invented a new method and a machine that automatically makes IGU windows and doors that US Patent Office awards patent # 7,549,833. It changes the heavy physical labor work to the work on switches that programming controller executes the processes. As one of our customers of window manufactures using the prototype of the automatic glazing machine, it has the following outcomes:
  • It doubles the productivity and save one labor on the line that cut 20% of the price of IG or R-5 windows.
  • Ensure the quality of IG or R-5 windows
  • Safe the IG or R-5 window working environment
  • Short the lead time
Consider Long Term Multiple Values and Measurements. In Form 1, it listed the energy saving in current year and the energy saving in long term based on the glazing machines offered to window manufactures. It has multiple values in the three items of the glazing machines, the energy efficient windows and the energy savings. For example, it not only counted how many machines made in current year but also the machines in previous year because machines we made in previous year are continuously making energy efficient windows in current year and the years after. And, it not only counted how many windows the machines made in current year but also the windows made in previous years because the windows made in previous year are continuously saving energy in current year and the years after. Please notice that the energy saving in long term is increasing rapidly because it accumulates green machines, green windows, and energy savings. How the energy saving in ten years term? The multiple values will be huge. If we offer this glazing machine in large-scale amounts, the outcome will be huge. That is the advantage of the project and that’s why to make automatic glazing machines are so important and so urging in saving the energy and reduce green house effect.

* The U-factor measures heat transfer in Btu/hr-sq ft-°F. U-factor and R-value
are inversely related.