I'm sensing a trend: Sensors help cut energy costs

Falling costs for sensors allow manufacturers to put them to more use. Such as for tracking energy costs.

Mark Symonds, Plex Systems CEO, told me on the sidelines of the Management Briefing Seminars that manufacturers are starting to put sensors into their factories to track energy use, so as to set baselines for planned environmental improvements in their operations.

Think of it as the factory version of an energy audit of your house or apartment building. You want to know where the most energy is being consumed before you decide where to invest in improvements.

Symonds said the trend began about two years ago, but it wasn't related to the spurt in green-factory awareness. It was more the result, he said, of falling prices for sensors. It simply became cheaper to find out where you were wasting money -- and where you could go green.

Makes sense to me.