All industrial enterprises should concentrate at least some of their efforts on energy management since energy expenses for manufacturing facilities can be as high as 50% of OpEx (operating expenditures).
Reduced operational expenses and a smaller energy footprint are two benefits of cutting back on energy use in your manufacturing facility. Being more environmentally conscious is also a positive thing.
Benchmark your current usage habits
Naturally, determining your present energy usage and which parts of your company are using the most energy at what times is the first step in lowering energy costs. Due to a lack of energy usage monitoring, sadly, not enough industrial organizations are able to get this information.
You can’t obtain those important insights that could lead to operational improvements in the future that save money if you don’t have real-time visibility into your changing energy consumption.
The essential real-time monitoring across many processes within production facilities is made possible by the installation of smart meters. They collect data on power factor, units (Kwh), current, and voltage, which may then be combined and sent to the cloud using an IoT Cloud Edge Gateway.
Limit the amount of data collected
The processing of data at the Cloud’s Edge via a Cloud Edge Gateway is possible as it can “do the math,” which has the following advantages:
- Data can be processed practically instantly, preventing the need for a round trip to the cloud and back before any necessary action is done (which could take minutes or even hours).
- Sensitive information can be preserved within the current network, upholding the integrity of your business’s security without additional investment or hardware and avoiding problems with VPNs, DNS, or firewalls.
- Holds a “data avalanche” at guard. It is easier to control and more beneficial for human analysts to restrict the flow of data and permit only the essential and significant data to be transported to its final location in the Cloud.
- Data filtering at the edge of the cloud lowers bandwidth and, consequently, bandwidth expenses. When you only have five devices, it’s not a big deal, but when you have 500 or 5,000, it all adds up.
For each business unit/location, the IoT platform can visualize this data into numerous charts and graphs that show peak demand, time-of-day spikes, seasonal trends, consumption patterns, and other critical insights.
By using a programmed method, manual data input and pen-and-paper recording can be discarded as ineffective, time-consuming, and erroneous activities that they are.
Due to the manufacturing company’s ability to greatly profit from even the most basic information, potential savings are usually discovered very early after adoption.
Getting your IoT energy monitoring experiment underway
Start with a trial project that keeps an eye on only one process or line to keep the required investment down and the number of measurement points to a manageable quantity.
Additionally, this will help you win your manager over. This will probably be seen as your department’s pet project and a way to keep you interested.
You have the opportunity to establish yourself as a forward-thinking worker who is eager to adopt new technology and look for ways to improve and cut costs in your department.
Be specific about what you’re seeing and why. What are you attempting to achieve? With this, be as explicit as you can, as “cost savings” is dreadfully vague. In what ways, how much, and by when? Define your KPIs in conversations with your larger team, and keep in mind that simplicity and scale can be added later.
From monitoring to managing
Successful energy monitoring trials inevitably expand and transform into energy management guidelines for your company. When the trials are finished, you can submit the results to your larger team and come to some conclusions together. Depending on the results, this program might be extended to monitor more machines, more business areas, or deeper to undertake more sophisticated monitoring.
Once you are aware of the factors influencing your power cost, there may be a case for automating and managing them in order to increase the energy efficiency of your facility and maximize the usage of energy (doing more with less).
Prefer “Out-of-the-box” options over those that might require you to become an expert on every link in the chain, from the sensor to the cloud to the dashboard, and keep your trial deployment as simple as you can.
Turnkey solutions are simpler to sell to management since they only require one vendor, which makes it easier to handle procurement, deployment, troubleshooting, and continuing maintenance than if there were numerous vendors involved.
An energy monitoring solution ought to be on your list of potential choices if you are drawn to a single solution that comprises an Edge Gateway, Cloud Service, and a web-based dashboard.
The IoT gateway device, Define Cloud Services, and data visualization dashboard all have simple setup processes that allow you to be up and operating in minutes rather than months. The solution’s use of APIs makes it possible to connect to both internal business systems like your ERP or CRM and external data sources like Google maps, weather information and market spot prices, making it even simpler to start your facility’s energy monitoring and management journey.