“Powerboss, which has been described as one of the finest soft starters in the world, was developed in response to the increasing wastefulness of elec-trical motors worldwide,” explains Innomet’s Jo Spieth. He adds that motors account for 70% of worldwide industrial electrical consumption.
Worldwide, electrical motors are a necessity. However, it has been proved that, in many instances, they are inefficient.
“Many motors run at less than 50% of their capacity for much of their duty life,” explains Spieth.
“It takes just three weeks for many motors to consume their own cost, showing how inefficient many can be,” he adds.
“Many motors consume un-necessary energy in the form of excess heat, vibration and noise. This leads to further problems, which can result in higher maintenance costs,” he adds.
Having seen the benefits of Powerboss overseas, Innomet decided to introduce it into the South African market to see if it could help to reduce the high electrical consumption of motors across local industries.
“With South Africa’s low electricity rates looking set to rise, many companies are looking for internal cost savings,” Spieth adds.
“Powerboss was only recently introduced into South Africa so we are still assessing its cost- saving benefits. “However, with its international success we are confident that it will have the same benefits for South Africa’s industry.
“As we are still testing the pro-duct here, we make no promises beforehand to clients about the possible savings, but rather offer to run free tests on each motor to assess the benefits and then give the client accurate information.” Spieth says that, in so doing, it is sometimes found that motors are already running efficiently, but more often than not the motor is shown to run more efficiently using Powerboss.
“We have already had an overwhelming response from local companies,” he adds. Powerboss leads to a more efficient motor because it allows the client to intelligently monitor the amount of power being drawn by the motor.
“It is a known fact that motors are unintelligent and consume much more electricity than they require; Powerboss gives motors intelligence,” explains Spieth. Through a powerful micropro-cessor embedded with uniquely-controlled software, the product constantly monitors the efficiency of the motor, ensuring that the input power to the motor is matched exactly to the load as it changes.
“Powerboss picks up even the slightest variation in demand and responds accordingly; it can supply full power to the motor if required in 1/100th of a second,” Spieth adds.
“It gives the motor the exact amount of power it requires, no more and no less.” A ‘dynamic software optimiser’ has also been developed which enables the engineer, on commissioning the unit, to choose from a library of tried-and-tested application-specific software solutions.
These performance-enhancing features have, in many cases, doubled the expected energy savings.
“With this saving comes increa-sed equipment reliability, safety and efficiency,” says Spieth.
In terms of cost saving for the company, Powerboss pays itself off entirely out of the saving generated through its use.
“Companies that have used it have seen a substantial cut in costs and thus an increased profit,” explains Spieth.
In order to ensure that South African clients receive the best technical support from the Powerboss distributors, Innomet has sent staff overseas to be trained.
The company has thus ensured that it has trained personnel to conduct inspections of clients’ motors; provide a comprehensive survey report, which highlights the existing levels of efficiency and reports any potential problems and possible solutions; identify all areas where improvements can be made; and submit a proposal that focuses on practical solutions.
Powerboss has been developed over 12 years to ensure that the real needs of industry are satisfied.
Additional features have been added to the product over the years as requests have been made for additional functionality.
Somar International, the developer of Powerboss, has received numerous testimonials from clients who are using Powerboss and received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, which is the most prestigious business accolade a company can receive in the UK.
“All this bears testimony to Powerboss, making it an accredited product which, we feel, can make a substantial difference to energy saving in South African industry,” Spieth concludes.