Using smartphones, tablets and mobile devices to simplify the management of the plant and energy. The Electrex monitoring solutions.
FAR company makes better use of information technology in order to monitor the company’s costs and improve processes. Therefore reducing production costs and being more competitive in the national and international market. In this perspective in the summer of 2013, the management decided to install an energy monitoring system composed of several Electrex instruments that collect the data of the general consumption of the plant. The FAR’s management ensured also that the system could be managed easily via smartphones, tablets and mobile devices.
The FAR company operates, since more than 20 years, in the field of aluminum die-casting. The activity is carried on 2 production sites for a total of 15,000 square meters and 85 employees. The autonomous production units are 10, all integrated into the company’s IT system. In addition to customer satisfaction, the main objectives of FAR are the development of human resources as a primary asset, improving the working environment, the optimization of resources and the reduction of energy consumption.
A better use of the IT infrastructure and mobile and desktop smart devices, used for monitoring the company’s cost and improve production processes, leads to lower production costs allowing to be more competitive in the national and international markets.
Following this goal the management of the company decided to install in its production plant an Electrex energy monitoring system. The system is composed of several instruments that collect the data of the general consumption of electricity of the production plant, of the two transformers and those of the general consumption of gas (using 2 X3M H energy analyzers and 1 Yocto I-O input-out module connected to the gateway RS485- Ethernet Yocto net).
On one of the productive islands (Isle P) is measured the electricity consumption of the Thermoregulator, the Shearing machine, the Robot, the furnace, the Press machine, the Tape machine and the gas used in the furnace (using 6 Atto energy anlyzers and 1 Yocto I-O connected to 1 Yocto net gateway).
Considering the request of the management to ensure that the system could be operated easily via smartphones, PDAs and tablets, on the Yocto net gateways have been activated the software implementations: Web Log 8, Mail Alarm, Calendar, and Charts that makes possible to manage via web pages various features of Energy Automation and display historical and instantaneous data collected by Electrex instruments.
Therefore some customized web pages were designed and developed and eventually loaded on the Yocto net internal web server. The one reported here below shows the general counter of electricity (kWh), the general instantaneous power (kW), the instantaneous power (kW) of the two transformers and the total gas consumption (m3) of the plant.
The Charts button of the first page will lead to another one displaying the charts and graphs of the energy consumption.
The following image instead refers to the production unit P, and displays the progressive partial counters of the electrical consumers (kWh): Thermoregulator, the Shearing machine, the Robot, the furnace, the Press machine, the Tape machine and the gas used in the furnace.
Through a button on the web page, the operator, via smartphone, PDA or tablet can reset the counters. In this way it is possible to obtain at the end of process the total electricity and gas used for each work cycle.
Two alarms visually indicate any grid or furnace functioning failure.
From this page it is possible also, by clicking the Graphs button, to access the related graphs of energy consumption.
In the production plant it is installed also the Energy Brain software for the management and analysis of the consumption/production of electrical energy or other types of energy (gas, water, steam,etc.), or environmental and state/process parameters (luminosity, temperature, humidity, calories, pressure, etc.). Through Energy Brain the company’s energy manager or other stakeholders can manage historical data (numerical and graphical report), real time online measurement, power quality, calendars, measurement campaigns, event logs, alarms, cost centers, export data, etc.
From the energy efficiency point of view, the benefits obtained through the monitoring system and the possibility to easily manage it via smartphones, PDAs and tablets have been various:
– organizing the data per each autonomous production unit and each working process allows to manage better the production activity and calculate cost centers
– it is possible to detect immediately abnormal and negative trends of energy consumption and therefore act promptly
– it is possibility to intervene also in terms of predictive maintenance
– the historic trend of the past energy consumption and the detection of deviations from similar production situations per each autonomous production unit
– identification of energy inefficiencies, waste, as well as the evaluation and identification of technical / management interventions for reducing energy consumption
– evaluation of energy saving projects.
The next steps
The data collected through the monitoring system Electrex made it possible to perform a series of evaluations focused on optimizing resources and reduce energy consumption.
On one of the autonomous production units have been included new brushless motors and has been requested to the suppliers optimizations on the machines. The monitoring system has also been extended to this production unit, and the results of measurements taken after these interventions were positive.
In the short run, the company plans to expand the monitoring system to all the autonomous production units by including the measurement of compressed air and fume aspirators.
THE ELECTREX MONITORING SYSTEMS
The energy monitoring and management system used from the FAR company is based on Electrex instruments and software.
The Electrex solutions are used in the Energy Efficiency and Energy Automation applications, for the industrial, tertiary, residential and renewable resources sectors allowing a rapid return on investment.
The Electrex products make possible to manage, by using a single system, the monitoring and control of all the energy sources (electrical energy, gas, water, etc.), the environmental parameters related to consumption / production (temperature, humidity, luminosity, etc.), the process parameters (compressed air, level, state, etc.). In this way you can achieve your main goal: save on energy costs.
All the Electrex systems are modular and can be expanded when needed. That is also due to the multiple possibilities of connection, displaying and data management of the instruments.
And for every need there is the right product.
The range of Electrex products consists of:
– Measurement instruments for energy, environmental and process parameters
– Instruments for the energy consumption, production management and energy automation
– Energy monitoring and remote management systems
– Data displaying solutions on various platforms
– Web server, gateway, converters and interfaces (Ethernet, Wireless, Serial, Bus, GSM, etc.)
– Energy data retrieving and management software
The Electrex products are entirely designed, engineered and manufactured in Italy.