Rising energy costs and strict legal requirements make measuring and analyzing consumption in companies more important than ever. There are now IoT solutions for this task that can be easily installed via plug-and-play and used with little prior knowledge. Two examples from production show how companies can benefit from this.
In the past, the energy consumption listed in the daily machine data played a rather subordinate role. This changed at the latest when CO2 footprints became relevant key figures and energy costs climbed to new heights in the short term.
In the meantime, all sectors that consume large amounts of energy must make the corresponding values measurable and analyzable and demonstrate a continuous reduction in energy-related performance. Small and medium-sized companies in particular, which so far have not used any or only rudimentary energy monitoring, benefit from greater data transparency.
On the one hand, because they can more easily comply with standards and laws and get a more detailed overview of the energy consumption of individual processes, machines or systems. With the help of this information, savings potentials are revealed, which can then contribute to improving energy efficiency and reducing energy costs.
Problem for energy managers
However, those responsible for energy management in companies are faced with the problem of being able to record the necessary consumption data correctly and conveniently. Digital electricity meters, which are mounted on the machines and systems, for example, can basically be connected to the IT infrastructure via communication protocols. However, it requires additional storage options and long Excel lists or suitable analysis software, which at best also helps with meaningful visualization.
In short: Until now, it took a lot of effort and a lot of know-how to connect numerous devices, record and evaluate the required data and then derive smart conclusions from the results. This poses a real challenge for energy managers who have to work with limited resources and sometimes across locations.
Plug-and-play connection to cloud platform
This scenario seems tailor-made for an IoT-based energy management system. In fact, such a solution can be implemented with few IT resources. The prerequisite is the use of IoT-capable measuring devices in the respective control cabinet or on the machine/system, their connection to a router and an account with a cloud service.
An example is the combination of IoT-capable EMpro energy measuring devices and the EMMA Service of the IIoT platform Proficloud.io, which are provided by Phoenix Contact. EMMA stands for Energy Monitoring, Management and Analytics. The Smart Service, which is intuitive to use, visualizes and analyzes electrical energy and performance data from the connected devices. With the cloud-based solution, the energy manager can access this data – regardless of where the measuring devices are installed.
With the information obtained in this way, the right measures can be defined and implemented. The EMMA Service supports the energy manager here in the check step of the PDCA cycle (Plan Do Check Act) according to the international standard ISO 50001:2018 “Energy management systems – Requirements with instructions for use”.
The IoT-capable EMpro energy measuring devices are connected directly to the IIoT platform Proficloud.io via an Ethernet interface and the TLS-encrypted MQTT protocol via plug-and-play. Within the cloud environment, the energy manager can integrate the measuring devices into a new or existing system using the free Device Management Service. The selected measured values are then automatically transmitted and saved.
The energy manager now has access to this data via the EMMA Service, which can be used directly. The complex configurations of classic industrial networks – such as Modbus or Profinet – are no longer necessary.
Application examples from practice
The functioning of the EMMA Service is to be explained on the basis of two application examples:
Cold storage: The snack manufacturer A would like to have transparency about the energy use in its production and the cold storages, since it strives for CO2-neutral production and wants to reduce energy costs.
In order to be able to identify the energy efficiency measures required for this and the steps to reduce energy consumption, the company had to know how much energy it currently needs for cooling per ton of potatoes stored in its cold storages. Also, the client interested in the energy consumption per kilogram of the manufactured products. The previous monthly reading of the meters and the evaluation using Excel lists was time-consuming and did not offer enough transparency to achieve both goals.
The IoT-capable EMpro energy measuring devices and the EMMA Service, which can be retrofitted quickly and easily, now allow uncomplicated and detailed documentation of the energy data. Based on the knowledge gained, the cooling based on the stored potato quantities has been improved and the production process has also been optimized. As a side effect, the energy management team can access the international locations and their energy data because they are also connected to Proficloud.io.
Beverage bottling: A beverage manufacturer has set itself the global goal of reducing its CO2 emissions across the group by 25 percent by 2030. As a basis for this, the consumption of the energy sources electricity, water, heat and compressed air should be measured and managed in an optimized manner.
For this purpose, the beverage manufacturer installed suitable measurement equipment on the identified main consumers, which transmits the measurement data directly to Proficloud.io. Energy managers can quickly and easily visualize and analyze consumption in real time on dashboards. The US-based company management attaches particular importance to the fact that the total energy use of all energy sources of the group of companies is presented in a global dashboard and detailed information in local, site-specific dashboards.
The IIoT platform Proficloud.io offers exactly this advantage through the EMMA Service. With the User Management Service, Proficloud.io also offers an opportunity to manage the rights and roles of employees within an organization. The Time Series Data Service from Proficloud.io has also proven useful, with which further data can be evaluated via freely configurable dashboards.
Hi, my name is Merryl DMello and I am glad to help you
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