Dear editor,

The American industrialist Henry Ford once said that, “If you need a machine and don’t buy it, then you will ultimately find that you have paid for it, but don’t have it”. I believe that a century later, his assertion is more pertinent than ever for UK manufacturing. 

In the context of the economic downturn and subsequent cuts it seems that manufacturers are reluctant to invest in improving their machinery. However, as time passes, inefficient industrial machines consume more and more costly energy and begin eating away at budgets. A solution for this problem is the installation of a variable speed drive (VSD). 

VSDs can reduce the energy bill on many applications or motor driven systems by more than their own capital cost in a relatively short period, often less than a year. As energy prices continue to soar, the return on investment on a VSD application increases in proportion to the bill. 

Henry Ford’s assertion should serve as a guiding rule for organisations in the manufacturing sector looking to send real savings straight to the bottom line. Failing to buy energy saving equipment, such as VSDs, as part of a system that incorporates an electric motor will cost money in the long term. And it will cost far more money than simply paying for the VSD in the first instance. 

Best regards,

Steve Brambley 
Deputy Director
GAMBICA – Association for Instrumentation, Control, Automation & Laboratory Technology