How data historians help reduce energy use in Industry 4.0

Frederik Van Leeckwyck on , updated

When buying a data historian, expected ROI comes in the form of improved operations, higher efficiency and reduced downtime. But what if the historian paid for itself, and then – surprise! – generated a number of cascading benefits? In this new blog series, we will explore the unexpected benefits of the data historian. First in line: monitoring and lowering energy use.

Using a historian for energy monitoring

Using a historian for energy monitoring

The main reason why our customers buy our data historian is not because they need an energy monitoring solution. It’s because they need instant, actionable insights into their production processes. Therefore, process data is gathered and stored in a time series database, and visualised in user-friendly dashboards. This allows them to perform root-cause analysis in real-time, put the data in a historical context and continuously improve operations.

Yet historians are not limited to collecting and visualising process data. They will also easily capture and visualise data that is indirectly related to the production process, such as energy or gas consumption, or even process steam usage (e.g. our client A&S Energie). In this blog article, we will highlight the historian’s possibilities for monitoring and lowering energy use.

Why is this needed?

Energy consumption is one of the most substantial costs in the production industry. Having accurate data on energy consumption for each part of the production line has therefore become a need by itself. Furthermore, in the light of the EU’s 2030 energy efficiency targets, large industrial consumers are obliged to audit energy consumption, and formulate initiatives to reduce it.

The historian enables you to do just that, in the blink of an eye.

Industrial energy usage

Why not implement a point solution?

Let’s say your business wants to start monitoring energy use. You decide to implement a point solution. Works fine. Six months later, you implement an application for production monitoring. Does the trick. Next year, you want to start monitoring your OEE performance. You’re getting the point: separate point solutions eventually will turn into an unmanageable cesspool of applications.

An industrial historian, however, will gather all your data in a single data management platform, and will therefore enable you to leverage its power for obtaining a multitude of insights, including energy use, while keeping your technology stack clean, simple and thus easy to maintain.

Data historians: versatility over complexity

Looking for a quick and easy solution for monitoring energy use? This is exactly where the historian proves one of its biggest unexpected benefits. Simply place energy meters on any machine you want to monitor, configure the collectors, add the data to a dashboard and you’re set for action. In just a few simple actions, the need for specific energy monitoring software becomes obsolete.

Through custom dashboards and reports, the historian will allow you to:

  • Find the biggest energy consumers within your plant or production lines
  • Integrate data and link energy usage to production runs, batches, etc.
  • Identify energy-related production issues and improvement potential
  • Set priorities within a sustainability roadmap, and follow-up on progress
  • Drastically lower your plant’s energy use and impact the bottom line

Energy monitoring using a historian

Use case: monitoring and lowering energy use with Factry Historian

Once an industrial historian is already in place, leveraging it for energy management becomes an absolute no-brainer. Our client Puratos, one of the world’s largest suppliers of ingredients for the bakery industry, neatly proves this point. After implementing Factry Historian on its site in Pennsauken, USA, they immediately started using the software for monitoring energy use.

Easily built custom dashboards and automated reports offer Puratos both real-time and historical insights on energy consumption patterns, resource usage, and progress on sustainability efforts. Plant managers, process engineers or operators can now quickly navigate energy-related data and discover new improvement potential. Without having to leverage any other software tool.

Integrate any type of industrial data. Save energy along the way.
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