A new tool from Rockwell Automation allows manufacturers to use mobile devices or computers to calculate potential savings derived from variable frequency drives to power pumps and fans.

Manufacturers can use the online energy savings calculator or download the free mobile application to their iPad, iPhone, Blackberry or Android systems.

With this new tool, users can compare conventional methods, such as valves for pump control and dampers for fan control, to variable frequency drives and see estimated cost savings of installing an Allen-Bradley PowerFlex drive.

The tool offers two ways to calculate energy consumption. Users can enter the minimum pump or flow percentages, annual operating hours, cost per kilowatt and other information about their own factory, or use the sample data provided by Rockwell Automation built into the tool.

“We’re committed to providing a comprehensive approach to meeting companies’ sustainability objectives to reduce energy waste,” said Doug Weber, business development manager, Rockwell Automation. “That’s why we designed these simple, online and mobile calculators. Now manufacturers can quickly and easily plug-in information about their own systems to discover energy savings opportunities, which is often the first step in pursuing them.”

The tool is part of the Rockwell Automation Intelligent Motor Control portfolio, which helps manufacturers easily access and control their motor assets. The technology behind Intelligent Motor Control – including variable frequency drives, intelligent software and condition-monitoring devices – helps manufacturers improve motor control performance for greater overall production efficiency.

“With the increasing prices of energy, manufacturing executives can no longer ignore the impact energy reductions can have on an organisation’s bottom line,” explained Nuris Ismail, senior research associate, Aberdeen Group. “We’ve found that business capabilities and tools designed to cut wasteful energy consumption can help them surpass energy and operating margin goals, as well as improve their operating equipment effectiveness by as much as 89%.”