Friday, August 30, 2013

Energy 101: Cool Roofs

This edition of Energy 101 takes a look at how switching to a cool roof can save you money and benefit the environment.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What Is a Feasibility Study?

A feasibility study is a detailed, objective analysis of a business idea or proposed project to determine its potential impact or outcome. It provides a visual aid for a new venture by putting an idea on paper so that potential problems can be more easily identified and solved before the idea is implemented, saving investors time and money in the future. Feasibility studies reveal the positives as well as the negatives of an idea, allowing you to determine what will work, what can be fixed, and what resources will be needed in order to bring an idea to life.

Feasibility studies are generally conducted by an independent, third party consultant. This provides an important level of objectivity to the study that someone involved in the project cannot offer, and objectivity is a significant aspect of a feasibility study to potential investors. Choosing the right consultant to conduct your feasibility study is a very important decision. Some factors to consider when choosing a consultant include experience, technical ability, knowledge of the industry, and the ability to work within your group's budget and timeline.

The first step toward conducting a meaningful feasibility study is defining the project and describing its objectives. This is important because naming one's specific goals will help determine exactly what resources and funding will be needed to reach these goals. This will help minimize unwanted surprises after the implementation process begins, such as suddenly needing additional funding. It also brings to light factors that may have gone unidentified during the "brainstorming" or "ideas" phase that could totally change the direction of a project.

The body of your feasibility study will outline every aspect of how a business will operate or how a project will be implemented. This includes detailed, researched financial and marketing analysis. The more research conducted and the closer to real-life your projections are, the more useful the study will be to you. Some factors typically included in the financial portion of feasibility studies are facilities, equipment, personnel, production costs, and pricing. Looking at these aspects will help you determine whether or not the venture is cost-effective. It is imperative that the total cost to implement the project, from start to finish, is tallied in the study. Some marketing factors to consider include target markets, competitors, and sales and marketing strategies. Researching the strategies of competitors will help you evaluate what does and does not work as well as determine whether or not your business will even be a viable competitor in the market. The marketing portion may even include a section of surveys conducted among project members, the community, or both.

The most common reason people conduct feasibility studies is because they are evaluating a new business venture. Some other reasons can include expanding on an existing business, changing operation procedures, extensive remodeling of facilities, or merging with another business. In today's economic climate, it is more important than ever to be fully prepared before entering into any type of investment.

For more information on getting started with your feasibility study, visit, which offers ideas and advice from experienced professionals.
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Energy 101: Daylighting

Daylighting—the use of windows or skylights for natural lighting and temperature regulation—is one building strategy that can save money for homeowners and businesses. Highly efficient, strategically placed windows maximize the use of natural daylight in a building, lowering the need for artificial lighting without causing heating or cooling problems.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Good Reasons for Robotics and Manufacturing Automation

Good reasons for the use of robotics and manufacturing automation come as both positive increases of assets and capabilities and reductions to costs and efforts in the production process. Couple these together and there are very strong arguments for the implementation of robotics and manufacturing automation in any business that has any kind of production as part of its operations. Once a business looks in detail at all the increases and reductions involved here, it is very hard to argue against the use of robotics and manufacturing automation to make a manufacturer efficient.

On the reduction side, robotics and manufacturing automation can reduce overall operating costs in a plant. Such a cut in expenditures will make a business much more competitive in any market where it competes. Along side the reduction in short-term expenditures, a business that implements robotics and manufacturing automation will have reductions in its outlay for inventories. There can be a distinct reduction in inventory in progress and cuts in allocations for long-term inventories. The accuracy of robotics and manufacturing automation can also reduce the amount of waste that is generated in production, thus further cutting costs for inventory. There can be reduction in manual labor and the associated cost for accidents, sickness, and insurance.

Robotic automation can cut the turnover rate for highly skilled workers by replacing a lot of the tasks that these workers perform with automation that is very efficient. There should be a complimentary reduction in the amount of effort and expense that is incurred in the recruitment of skilled workers with robotic automation as a part of overall operations.

As for the increases that robots and manufacturing automation give to a business, there can be a definite increase in the quality of the environment where workers are required to put in their time. Robotics automation must work effectively in harsh and hazardous conditions so that employees do not have to. Robotics gives the company an increase in the compliance to safety rules and the overall health of employees. Employees are kept out of those areas that are not healthy or could cause injury or lost time.

Production rates are increased by manufacturing automation with robotics. Human operators do not have the consistent, overall high quality performance on the production line that robotics can offer. Output levels can be increased because the robotics can work continually day and night without a break, if automation is configured correctly. An increase in the accuracy of meeting the deadlines that are required by customers is achieved by the robotics in manufacturing.

Overall product quality that comes off the production line is increased by robotic automation. Tiredness, boredom, laziness, inconsistent work, and the effects of tediousness does not factor into the production that is done by robotics. Manufactured product quality is kept high and very consistent. The flexibility of manufacturing is increased with the advent of automation robotics. When the programs that control automation devices have been optimized, it is very easy to move the concentration of robotics from the production of one product to another simply by changing the program in the controller.

Automation gives a business an increase in the utilization of space required for manufacturing. The devices that are placed to do the production work on an automated line take up less space that what would have to be allocated for manual production operations. The way that the automation system is designed can squeeze a lot of work into a small space. Robotics can be mounted on the wall, on the ceiling in a multitude of ways to get the most from the space that is available for manufacturing. Confined spaces become very productive when robotics are assigned to them. As production begins every inch of the manufacturing floor space can yield some profitability.

There are just to many positive effects from the implementation and utilization of robotic automation in any manufacturing process to ignore. The costs of gaining all these capabilities has been falling over the last several years. The competitive nature that is in the market that supplies the automation devices has pushed the prices down considerably. Technology continues to drive the ability of machines higher and higher, so it would be the best consideration for manufacturers of all sizes to find the area of automation that will work best for their operation and implement automation to realize the positives for their business.

John Mitchell is President of Provision, Inc, an online publisher of information about the application of automation in business. Mitchell has years of experience in the management of manufacturing, warehousing, and transportation. The company website,, assists companies in the evaluation of the benefits and capabilities of production automation. Thoughts on how to evaluate automation for a business are presented, and ways to begin the automation process are discussed. Insights into the use of vision systems, RFID and other topics in automation are covered. Requests for quotations and questions about automation can be submitted to the consulting engineers of leading automation companies.
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Energy 101: Solar PV

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can generate clean, cost-effective power anywhere the sun shines. This video shows how a PV panel converts the energy of the sun into renewable electricity to power homes and businesses.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Getting To Know The Importance of Calibration

One of the wonders that people have discovered in the world of science and measurements is calibration. Often referred to as the process of verifying and determining the relationship between the output and the response of measuring instrument to the value of the input quantity, calibration is known as a measurement standard.

For non-specialized use, calibration involves the entire process of adjusting the output/result or the indication on a measurement instrument to correlate with the value of the applied standard within the boundary of specific accuracy.


In more modern and scientific language, calibration is referred to the natural process of transition that is used to measure accuracy and comparison of a measuring instrument that has a standard to determine the possible errors in a specific scale.

Today, calibration is basically used for the process of manufacturing so less and less possible mistakes and errors can be made. This process or measuring apparatus is also used to lower the cost of manufacture or possible production by determining or ensuring the quality.

Calibration is also ideal in minimizing possible errors because it uses scientific method to determine impending miscalculations while doing something to correct the errors if there were any. Calibration becomes more and more popular to companies because the method aims to economize time, labor, and other resources in any production by means of accurate verification.

If there were one industry that benefits a lot in the discovery and utilization of calibration, that would be the numerous laboratories all over the world that conduct seemingly endless and continuous research. The researcher or the tasked observer usually uses this measuring apparatus to refine his or her work.

Calibration is also greatly beneficial to a researcher is he or she doesn't the time to develop his/her own apparatus due to lack of time and he/she needs a set of methods for accurate testing.
Aside from the field of research laboratories, calibration is also extremely beneficial because it makes the construction of instruments that are capable of measuring with sufficient precision and lesser probability to ensure correction.

Considered as the actual accuracy of a scale or balance, calibration is widely used in testing the products to get their accurate weight. In the United States alone, an agency called National Institute of Standards and Technology that is tasked to maintain standards for values of SI units and industrial standards, calibration has become a helpful tool in providing the traceability of their subjects of study by adhering to the basic standards of calibration.

Low Jeremy maintains . This content is provided by Low Jeremy. It may be used only in its entirety with all links included.
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Monday, August 12, 2013

Energy 101: Wind Turbines

See how wind turbines generate clean electricity from the power of the wind. Highlighted are the various parts and mechanisms of a modern wind turbine.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Frontline Environmental Solutions

Types of Projects Completed by Frontline Environmental Include the Following:

• Refinery Retrofits - Gasoline, LPG, Asphalt

• Truck, Rail & Marine Loading Facilities

• AST / UST Automated Tank Gauging Systems

• General Manufacturing & Packaging Facilities

• Food Processing & Manufacturing Operations

• Bulk Material Handling Facilities

• Fuel Analysis Systems

• Back-up Fuel Supply Projects

• Facility Access & Control Projects

• Local & Remote Communications Systems

• Ground Water / Soil Remediation Projects

• Water Analysis & Control Systems

• Waste-water Projects

• Pipeline Leak Detection Projects

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What You Need to Know About Automation Control Device

Technological advancement has made it possible for us to automate almost everything nowadays. You can get an automation control device from a reputable manufacturer that can help you to automate your home or factory. This helps to improve efficiency and also security. The devices work by use of AC drives. These drives regulate the supply of electricity to a specially designed motor system or electrical device. The automation can control anything you choose such as lighting, doors, sprinkler system among others. With push button switches, you can control these automated functions from wherever you are. You can get an LCD control system so that the user interface is centralized and also simple to understand and operate. There are also other interfaces available in the market such as designated control keypads. These have inbuilt temperature sensors so that they can detect your input.

You can also have programmable controllers. These allow for commands to be input beforehand. For instance, the garden sprinkler can be set to go on at a certain time in the day. The same goes for security lighting. This automation control device can be installed so that it can give you control over your house even when you are not home. The AC drives are controlled by the device to act at specified times so that the action specified is carried. These controllers can also be customized according to your needs. The numbers of modules you get depend on your budget as well as needs. The more modules you get, the more the device costs you and vice versa. It is however more beneficial if you have one centralized automation system rather than different small systems. This is because in case of a break down, the problem can easily be identified and repaired. It also helps in lowering the installation, maintenance and repair costs.

Control systems automation ensures you take control of your operations. In a factory setting, having the ability to stop the processes in case of an emergency is necessary. It brings about a feeling of safety. Having an automation control device installed in a factory can help coordinate the operations. The AC drives can be attached to various processes in the factory so that they can be switched on and off at the control office. In case of an emergency such as an accident on site that could hamper the operations of the firm, the switch can be turned off so that the machines stop. It should be able to override the switching of the machines on the factory floor. This could be useful in case there is an act of sabotage. Some of the processes that can be automated include packaging, blending, mixing, batching as well as the movement of the conveyor belt.

There are many companies that can provide an automation control device out there. There also many that can do maintenance and repair of the AC drives that make the automation work. However, you should only choose companies that have experience in the field such as industrial control direct to do your installation, maintenance and repair. In this way, you can be sure you are getting professional services.

Joshua Donaldson is the author of this article on Industrial Control Direct.
Find more information, about Products Offered here

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Look at Some of Our Vendors

• AMETEK - PMT Division
• GE ANALYTICAL INSTRUMENTS (formerly Ionics Instruments)