Reducing energy consumption in manufacturing
Increasing automation benefits manufacturing by creating greater capacity and throughput, while offering opportunities to reduce direct manufacturing costs. Unfortunately, it also creates less flexibility to continue to target costs, since depreciation and energy costs (which are treated as overheads) now make up more than half of the cost of production. In fact, energy alone now represents 20 to 30% of the average cost of production and increasing unit costs will only continue to drive this higher.
Four Steps to increasing energy efficiency
Step 1 Measure
We need to measure at a machine level – this includes production machines as well as building services such as compressors or boilers. Doing this will help you to understand the major consumers.
In the case of electricity metering, this can be difficult because most factories have developed over time, and so it can be difficult (and expensive) to meter from the distribution boards. It’s simpler and cheaper to meter at the switchboard, because you know exactly what equipment you’re including. Don’t be tempted to use data loggers, because these will only give you a snapshot of your energy use and, as we’ll see, we need to understand how energy is used continuously.
Step 2 Analyse
Next is to match the energy consumption with production so that you can understand (i) how much energy goes to making each unit of product and (ii) how services are timed to match production needs. This turns energy into a direct cost of production. That not only makes it clear how efficiently you are using energy, it also gives staff targets for improvement.
Since production is dynamic – the mix of production on any day will vary, some products will be made only rarely, products compete for resources, etc. – it’s especially important that we measure both energy consumption and production on a continuous basis. A snapshot won’t capture all the products that you make or the complexity of production. Also, once you make improvements, you should prove that there has been a benefit and maintain the new level of efficiency, while looking for new opportunities to improve. That takes continuous monitoring.
Step 3 Improve
Before you even started this process, you will have already targeted all of the low hanging fruit – LED lighting, switching lights off when no-one is working, reviewing your power factor correction and making sure it’s at least 0.95 to 0.99. Beyond that there is still a lot you can do. Let’s split it into two groups – low cost and effort, investment solutions
Step 4: Monitor and Control
It’s not enough to audit efficiency from time to time. You should continuously monitor energy efficiency to make sure that the improvements you have made stay in place. Once you’ve made improvements, look to make more! Maintain a regular review of your energy use as part of your organisation’s continuous improvement activity. It will help you to meet those unbudgeted improvement targets each year. Control charts are a robust means of tracking improvements and making sure that they stick.
- Machine-level energy monitoring
Real-time data, permanent install
Site-to-machine drill down
Energy scheduling and tariff matching
Quantify and reduce idle consumption
Match assets to energy profiles
Continuous real-time monitoring
Match the energy consumption with production data
Measure at a machine level
Make smarter energy efficiency decisions
Continuously monitor your energy efficiency improvements in real-time
Have a questions? We are here to help.
What will I see in the demo?
Using real time data, our IoT cunsultant will demo and explain how our energy software solution can be easily used for your specific facility and business needs, no matter what industry or machinery your factory uses.
How technical do I need to be?
Rayven was designed from the ground up to be extremely powerful and user friendly for non technical people. With Rayven you don’t need to be technical at all. Our Industrial energy consultants are always available to support and help you throughout the process.
How much does it cost?
The pricing model depends on the size of the project, industry and amount assets to be monitored and device installed. We support multi-vendor gateways and can connect to any system. Contact us for more details