Reducing energy costs in production and increasing eco-efficiency with IIoT
Energy is precious - companies and the manufacturing industry in particular have been aware of this not only since the recent sharp rise in energy prices. In addition, the ecological footprint of the produced goods is increasingly coming into focus these days. Customers more and more frequently expect the products they buy to be manufactured in an environmentally friendly manner - although at the same time, only very few industrial companies can produce exclusively with green power yet. A successful IoT-based energy management can help companies reduce energy costs and increase eco-efficiency to meet modern industrial demands.
Effectively reduce energy costs and CO2 emissions
The international standard for energy management systems, also known as "ISO 50001", exists since 2011. As the name "ISO" suggests, the international standard is published by the "International Organization for Standardization" - and is therefore valid on a global level. In practice, it has proven to be an effective tool for reducing energy consumption and energy costs in companies and, at the same time, CO2 emissions in production. It can be applied to companies of any size and regardless of their sector, so it can be used in the service sector as well as in industry or production, for example.
It starts with the integration of an energy management system in the company, whereupon companies can obtain appropriate certification. Once the certification has been obtained, regular audits are required, at least once a year. Once issued, the certificate is valid for three years. Furthermore, an energy management system is essential in order to meet the requirements that the legislator places on companies. All companies that are not considered small or medium-sized enterprises have been required by law in Germany to conduct regular energy audits since 2015. These must be carried out at least every four years, and failure to comply with the obligation on time or to comply incompletely can be punished with fines of up to €50,000.00.
A significant potential for savings with regard to the electricity consumption of machinery and equipment lies in the so-called excess load billing. Fluctuating energy consumption in companies often leads to short-term peaks in demand, which place a particular strain on the power grid. Many energy suppliers therefore stagger their prices on the basis of threshold values, so that prices rise significantly when a particularly large amount of energy is drawn from the grid. Above a consumption of 100,000 kWh, the Electricity Grid Access Ordinance in Germany also requires so-called "registered power metering". This means that a company's electricity consumption is evaluated directly by the energy supplier via a remotely accessible electricity meter, and consumption patterns are interpreted accordingly. The average energy consumption determined here defines the individual threshold value above which additional consumption can become very expensive for the company.
Requirements of ISO 50001
Certification is accompanied by the requirements and conditions that are placed on energy management within a company. The conditions must be documented and implemented on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, the certification includes the transparent identification of the limits of the energy management system.
The basic requirement is to determine and analyze the status quo. However, measuring the power consumption of machines is still not standard practice in many industrial companies. This is usually the first step, not only with regard to certification of the energy management system, but also to establish a system with optimization potential in the first place. Measuring the power consumption of machines is no longer necessarily a complex task - this is where the many systems and technical gadgets that can be intelligently connected by IIoT solutions.
At the same time, measuring the power consumption of machines in production helps companies gain an overview of the initial situation. Since DIN ISO 50001 does not define exactly what an energy management system should look like, companies in industry and production enjoy a certain degree of flexibility in designing it. An important point in this regard is that the energy management system must already be practically established in order to obtain certification. For this purpose, the previous starting position and the energy efficiency gains achieved in the meantime are taken into account, usually three months after the application is submitted. Measuring the power consumption of machines and optimizing energy usage in production is also necessary for this reason - then companies can show the documented baseline situation for the upcoming certification and then transparently demonstrate the added value that energy management has achieved to date.
IIoT platform as the basis for successful energy management
Successful energy management in accordance with ISO 50001 and IIoT go hand in hand. An IIoT solution such as the modular IIoT platform toii® from thyssenkrupp Materials IoT is the foundation for making the power consumption of all machines and systems visible and evaluable. By integrating production planning, it is even possible to record the energy consumption of individual orders and products.
Measuring devices with an Ethernet connection can be connected to the platform and read out via a Modbus interface. In this way, relevant data on the energy consumption of machines and systems can be continuously recorded and collected. The data obtained is then interpreted and visualized in clear diagrams on the toii®.Energy interface. In this way, the energy consumption of machines and plants can be monitored at a glance and any potential savings can be identified on the basis of the evident development over longer periods of time. Information and data on this are particularly relevant for a mandatory energy audit in accordance with DIN16247-1. An alarm function also helps to detect power consumption that exceeds a previously defined threshold in real time, so that appropriate measures can be taken immediately. For further processing, the data can also be integrated into various reporting tools via SQL and Excel export.