Most manufacturers are now faced with the task of doing the seemingly impossible – to reduce carbon footprint whilst increasing efficiency. Energy regulations from the government are bearing down on companies at the same time as they are needing to reduce expenses. Improving efficiency is something they are looking into. Many businesses think that the best way to approach this is to bring in more efficient models, or to replace motors with more efficient models. Both of these options are costly. However, there are some other approaches that take less investment to see returns. Despite which machine it is powering, the performance of an electric motor depends on access to high quality electricity. Those starters that are sometimes referred to as ‘contactors’ will usually turn the motor on or off, and transmit 3 phased power to the machine. Built to expect the same incoming voltage on each of these 3 leads, without looking at improving the incoming power, it’s unlikely to help. Power that has not been conditioned will affect the motor in the several ways. However, the motor is at your mercy and must accept what you’re giving to it. This of course, can result in a lower overall efficiency. In addition, there are times when motors are left running, even when not in use as turning them on and off can cause spikes and surges tend therefore premature failure. By doing a retrofit on just one component, it’s possible to make a difference with efficiency. It’s even possible to swap the across-the-line starter out for a VFD (Variable frequency drive) starter which will turn the motor on and off. Fortunately, the VFD comes complete with a built-in power conditioner which will help to make the motor more efficient, even if it’s only being used as an on/off switch. It can also offer big benefits when it comes to efficiency later on down the road by making a smarter machine that will only use the energy it needs for any particular job. Hydraulic system manufacturers are now expected to move with the times and produce machines that are in line with government directives. Watch this space to see what solutions they produce to make this possible.