Submitted by Sheila Kester, VP of Operations at TwinThread
Power consumption, typically one of the ‘big three’ manufacturing expenses, along with labor and raw materials, has historically been resistant to any sustained cost reduction effort. But increasingly volatile energy markets, combined with intelligent devices becoming cheap and readily available, are sparking a new drive toward a smarter, more controlled, more predictable approach to energy consumption.
Let’s take a look at two of the most commonly held barriers to addressing energy costs and how innovative new strategies and solutions are making a change for the better.
BARRIER: Energy, in all its forms, has typically been measured at a macro level Think plant, line, or best case, large asset. This macro view made it impossible to determine sources of excess consumption or waste. Metering has been expensive and can be a barrier to achieving more granular cost views.
BREAKTHROUGH:The advent of inexpensive meters These devices, such as the ones found at https://mydevices.com/ and https://vutility.co/ allow anyone to measure energy consumption at whatever level of granularity they choose. Wherever you have a production meter, you can now add a corresponding energy meter. This provides incredibly precise recording and measurement of how much energy that particular piece of equipment uses.
BARRIER: Product and Production Run information was separated from energy cost Many discrete manufacturers leverage a single production line to make multiple products. Although this increases the versatility and agility of the business, it makes tying energy consumption to a specific product somewhat challenging. Ambiguous data collection practices make the measurement of energy consumption during line changeovers – or even downtime events – even more challenging.
BREAKTHROUGH: TwinThread’s Predictive Operations platform harmonizes data from disparate sources within a single, agile framework. Through the TwinThread platform, multiple data points from multiple devices can be collected, analyzed and visualized, revealing a deeper view of actual energy utilization than ever before. Machine and energy performance (process historian), production order information (MES systems), cost information (financial systems) and more, can all be combined into one seamless, contextualized view. You gain visibility into where energy is ACTUALLY consumed, the context for why, and an environment to measure and report on operational changes and impacts. Best of all, you can begin realizing this in 30 days or less.
If you’re interested in learning how to reduce your factory’s energy costs in 30 days or less, please request a demo below.