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Pinch Technology Without Tears
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In the mid-eighties engineers were rushing to hear about Pinch Technology. Conference rooms were full. Training courses were over-subscribed. Here was the technology that was going to provide the standard design tool for the energy management of the future. Today, we do not see such enthusiasm. Why is this? Has the technology become the standard? Are engineers well versed in it? The answers to the last two questions are clearly, no. The mid-eighties saw two British companies of consultants set up business in the USA with the objective of widely applying this technology. Today, neither of the companies has a USA office. The author recently had a conversation with an engineer who at one time was the Managing Director of one of these companies. He now heads up the process engineering activity of a leading contractor. When asked 'how widely is the technology applied?' he replied that application depended on two factors: which engineer was appointed to the job, and whether or not the customer wanted the technology applied. Less than half of his engineers were experienced in the technology. Customers did not, as a rule, request its application. In another conversation, an industrial engineer that had been closely involved with the implementation of the technology in a European chemical company complained to the author that all the expertise gained had been lost. The company recently embarked on energy conservation studies. The engineers undertaking the study did not even know what 'Composite Curves' were.
Polley, G. T. (2001). Pinch Technology Without Tears. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from