Turning challenges into opportunities
Manufacturers today need to prioritise the efficiency of current operations to reduce their environmental impact and mitigate the effects of rising energy costs.
In this article, we take a closer look at the practical steps needed to achieve energy efficiency, where we at PlantVision can help you through the entire journey from inventory and mapping to better decision support and improvement measures.
1. Start measuring the right things
A good decision basis is based on the availability of relevant and sufficient measurement data from the production and its different parts.
Energy consumption in a production plant is usually a combination of several different types of energy, such as heat, cooling, steam and electricity.
Our process engineers can help you identify which energy consumers exist, what measurement signals are available and where new measurements need to be added. Depending on the conditions in your particular plant, we can then help you develop good measurement methods for those energy consumers that lack measurement signals. We then help you with design documentation, installation, testing and verification.
Usually there is some form of measurement system or data storage in place on the shop floor. Our experts in Production IT will help you with the inventory of what data is available in different systems, how these systems can interact to compile the data needed to form a good decision support, the need to complement the existing system structure with systems that are better able to handle the task and the connection of measurement signals that are not yet linked to any system.
Now, together with you, we have ensured that we have access to the right measurement signals via a system solution that is up to the task.
2. Compile, visualise and make wise decisions
Now we can start visualising the information in different graphical views and reports to give you the best possible decision support.
Energy consumption can be summed up for the whole production, broken down by production sections, groups of different equipment and even down to specific equipment.
In the next step, we can start measuring the uptime of different equipment. In this way we can start comparing energy consumption against uptime. Are there correlations between increased energy consumption and uptime? Can we learn lessons about the intervals at which we should perform maintenance to avoid increased energy costs?
We can also start measuring stops and malfunctions on various pieces of equipment to see if there are recurring types of losses in production that also negatively affect energy consumption.
By linking energy consumption to the orders running on the shop floor, we can also see which products are more energy-intensive than others to produce, and thus get a more accurate picture of what a product actually costs to produce. This, in turn, can help to reprioritise products and product groups and change pricing.
3. Drive change and improvement based on sound decision-making
Better decision support will be the next step in driving improvements in production. With our production and process knowledge, we can assist in several different areas, such as streamlining maintenance planning, control optimisation, process optimisation and optimisation of production planning.
If this sounds interesting and you have any of the above questions, we would be happy to meet with you to discuss them.