Automated energy monitoring & management system  for  cement production plants

Automated energy management system (A-EnMS) for cement production plants

Sector profile
Cement production requires many energy-intensive industrial applications. Process heating occurs in specialized, fossil fuel-fired ovens called kilns, and includes calcining, drying, and sintering. Motors are used for a wide variety of grinding, mixing, and material handling systems to convey cement. Compressed air is used to serve dust collectors, cylinders, air knives, and pneumatic clutches. Fan systems are needed in the kilns for the clinker cooling process and to aspirate and remove airborne dust in the baghouses where rocks are pulverized. Establishing an energy management system (EnMS) can help cement plant management better understand how energy is consumed in the facility and how energy efficiency solutions can be devised and implemented effectively.

Electrex Automated Energy Management System
The Electrex solutions allow to:

  • capture energy consumption information automatically making possible for the energy managers to avoid time consuming tasks like writing down energy counters values
  • have more insights about energy consumption and its patterns (normal / abnormal consumption)
  • automatically provide a feedback (or alert) to people who can take action to stop energy waste

The Electrex Automated Energy Management System architecture design is based on three main elements.

  • Measurement devices and data collection: our microprocessor based energy analyzers, I/O devices and sensors offer advanced features that go beyond the one offered from pulse output devices or analog meters. Our smart devices assure a direct and very fast access to the measurements and information retrieved. We do measure environmental and process parameters and integrate third party devices as energy consumption is strictly connected to temperature, luminosity, production cycles, tenants, etc.
  • Data-logging and communication: our devices are equipped with builtin memory, clock and calendars in order to locally store, with the highest frequency, the most critical measurements using a redundant and multi-nodes approach. In this way no data can be lost due to communication or system failure. The builtin or external communication modules use the most open and transparent protocol Ethernet TCP/IP. It offers reliability, integration with other systems and direct access from each level / stakeholder.
  • Data analytics, reporting and publishing: our solution uses three main platforms; built-in web server in each device, PC based software and cloud interface. Each of them allow to automatically manage real-time and historical data, configure alarms and notifications, deliver custom reports. We believe that the user is the owner of the data collected. Therefore we offer to him all the flexibility and the needed tools to get the most out of our platforms.

The case study
The diagram below represents a part of a monitoring network (sub-metering can be extended more) in a cement  production plant. The same architecture can be anyway applied to other sectors / industries since the  consumption drivers are mostly the same.

Electrex - Energy monitoring network in a production plant

The facility of our case study is powered by a main MV load and equipped with 3 MV/LV transformers (one of them replaced recently). The 3 MV transformers serve the 3 production lines, while the offices are powered by a LV system. The monitoring system consists of branch 1, 2 and 3 for monitoring the transformers and part of the production lines while branch 4 and 5 controls the offices area.

The 5 branches are connected to the internal LAN Ethernet network via:

  • Exa net D6 (branch 1),
  • Yocto net D6 Web (branch 3),
  • Yocto net Coordinator E-Wi EDA (branch 4)

and via Wi-Fi

  • Kilo net Wi-Fi D6 (branch 2)
  • and Femto ECT net Wi-Fi EDA D6 (branch 5).

The various instruments and sensors connected in the 5 branches monitor and control the principal loads. Anyway since the systems is modular and scalable more nodes will be added in a next deploying stage. Indeed, in addition to adding new devices in seamless way, our equipment is Hardware-Ready type. Through  PUK code entry via the Web interface of the device can be added new functions and upgraded the existing ones.

  • – In branch 1 the Exa net D6 (gateway and data-logger) and the Exa D6 connected to the RS485 port of Exa net monitor two compressors while the Yocto I-O counts the gas, water and compressed air consumption. The RS485 Module is connected to analog sensors previously installed.
  • – In branch 2 for the monitoring of Power Quality and energy consumption the Kilo net D6 (gateway and data-logger) has been placed under Transformer 1 while the X3M 96 H under Transformer 2. The ExpBus module connected to the Kilo net is used for alarms and pulse counting while the Exa TR connected to the RS485 port is one of the various transducers used for monitoring the production machines. The Femto D4 70A ECT instead is used for the monitoring of an areas served by LED lighting systems. In the Kilo net has been activated the Energy Automation option in order to automate the switching of various loads commanding the digital outputs built-in the Exa TR.
  • – Since the position of the Transformer 3 was distant from the Ethernet nodes, for branch 3 has been used a Yocto net Web D6 (gateway data-logger). Connected to it via Rs485 has been installed the Exa F Rs485 with flexible split CT (easier to be mounted) and an Exa D6 MID used to monitor the energy used in a galvanic process for tax deduction purposes;
  • – In branch 4 has been inserted an Yocto net Coordinator E-Wi serving as a gateway and data-logger for a Deca Sensor E-Wi that monitors environmental parameters in the laboratory.
  • Branch 5 monitors both sides , DC load and AC load (Femto D4 and Atto D4 DC), of a PV system of 10 kWp placed on the offices building roof. In the same monitoring network has been installed also a Yocto Net Web D6 Master were are hosted customized web pages for the supervision of the system used from the plant managers via PC, tablet, smart-phone. On the same device has been activated also the Alert and Notification option which sends e-mails to the maintenance team in case of anomalies.

The Energy Manager instead uses its laptop, for local or remote connections via Ethernet / Internet, in order to control the effectiveness of the energy efficiency solutions. He analyzes the data downloaded periodically from the software Energy Brain, controls specific loads via the built-in web interface on each device and reacts to alarms and notifications displayed on every device equipped with a browser (smart phone, tablet, PC, etc.).


Since 1993 Electrex designs, develops, manufactures and markets, Made in Italy, instruments and software for energy measurement, management and control.

The Electrex solutions are used in the energy efficiency and Energy Automation applications, for the industrial, commercial, public, civil, and renewable energy sectors allowing a rapid return on investment.

Electrex, one of the first companies to operate in these sectors, has acquired over the years a considerable experience and competence that few other companies can claim to have. With over 40% of the staff dedicated to R & D, we demonstrate our strong commitment to innovation and continuous improvement in order to anticipate the needs of our customers.

We follow our products from design to after sale service and support, being a flexible and dynamic company. That is why Electrex continues to be chosen more and more from both local and international partners.

The Electrex products are entirely designed, engineered and manufactured in Italy.