Achieve Digitization and Sustainability Goals with Energy Management Solutions

Automation Fair 2022 Recap

Kalypsonians Erin Shaffer and Maria Lowry, co-leads of our sustainability service line, were joined by Rockwell Automation at this year’s Automation Fair to discuss the benefits and capabilities of energy monitoring solutions and how to help customers to achieve their digitization and sustainability goals.

Worldwide energy and resource efficiency is playing a major role in achieving ambitious and critical climate targets. In a recent survey, we found that 80% of manufacturers are investing in plant consumption and energy management use cases for smart factories

Across different sessions, Shaffer and Lowry explored common challenges when it comes to the convergence of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) for energy management and optimization, as well as how to build out your roadway and get started.

Why Contextualizing and Analyzing Data is Important

Getting energy performance metrics from industrial equipment is challenging because data lacks OT context —around time, source, type and relation to the operational state of other manufacturing components. Without OT context, most industrial data is unstructured and captured at different timestamps, which creates a challenge to organize, manage and glean insights from it.

So much of an energy manager’s time is spent trying to contextualize data. This includes reporting & forecasting, structuring data, and explaining variance. Typically, only 5% of their time is dedicated to energy conservation. By automating this process and enabling enterprise information technology to monitor and manage Energy Data, managers can reduce the time needed for data exploration and can use their time to make better informed decisions regarding energy conservation.  

If they are spending 90% of your time monitoring, they don’t have much time to think about, let alone act on, continuous improvement methods, projects, and activities. The goal is to free up this monitoring time, so they can free up more time to make decisions on sustainability and energy management.

Levels of Contextualizing

When looking at energy usage, the first step in gaining control of your energy costs is to measure all the Energy flowing through your system using WAGES (Water, Air, Gas, Electricity, and Steam)

It’s not enough to collect data on energy usage. Organizations need to be able to contextualize that data to make it meaningful. What levels are necessary to make this data useful? This includes:

  • Time: Insight within various meters between sites/areas/lines/work cells
  • Production Data: Production counts and quantities, product type, good vs. scrap. Given insight to KPIs like wages/unit and energy intensity
  • Machine States: Understanding energy usage at idle, running, downtime, offline, and in charge over states
  • Machine Events: Different operation and downtime events
  • Cost: Utility bills based on past and projected future rates

Organizations need to contextualize data and provide the appropriate KPIs, including consumption values, to get the most out of their WAGES usage data and optimize their consumption.

What’s Next?

Armed with digital technologies, organizations can become more sustainable and drive material and energy efficiencies that cut costs and improve the bottom line while improving the environmental impact. They can identify opportunities for recycling and reuse, maximize their delivery value, and minimize waste.

The vision is to move from energy monitoring to emissions monitoring to energy comparison and analysis that predict prescribe the insights and actions to optimize every asset and process across the enterprise – the only path to Net Zero.