Outsourcing of non-core operations within a company, large or small, is now a well established corporate strategy. By entrusting services such as IT support, accounting, human resources and other back office activities to specialist firms prepared to do the job at an acceptable price, chemical companies can concentrate on their main business where they are the specialists. That's the theory, at least.
Chemical Processing's Plant Innovation Award recognizes ordinary engineers for solving difficult technical problems with creativity and dogged determination. Praxair's Geismar plant gains this year's honor for optimizing the performance of reforming units.
The constant-speed approach to AC motors made a lot of sense when energy was cheap and drives technology was in its infancy. With their latest advances, adjustable speed drives can provide one of the best energy efficiency options for a plant.