Successful energy management systems involve the work of many. Plant managers lead an integrated team of people representing operations, IT, engineering, facilities, maintenance and procurement. Each of these departments has a role to play in devising and implementing an energy management system.
For energy management to be successful, organizations must have access to real time energy consumption data. Once collected, aggregated, and analyzed, this data can be shared with key individuals within the plant – from the plant floor through the enterprise. From there, team members can collaborate on the best approach to optimize energy use across operations.
These activities are easier if the plant has an IP-based industrial information infrastructure. Using an IP-based network with an open industrial protocol like ODVA’s CIP Energy and IP-based Power Meters, help collect energy usage data in real time from every networked device and machine on the plant floor.
Data can then be aggregated, analyzed and shared with key people on the plant floor and at the enterprise level. From there, different members of the team can collaborate on the best ways to optimize energy use across the plant(s).So who should be responsible for ensuring success of energy management systems? Here are some suggestions:
Plant Manager: Sets goal for improvement and drives activity toward achieving energy reduction goals. Establishes team to identify opportunities and set goals. Manages progress of the efforts against the initial goal.
IT Professional: Provides connections across machines, industrial automation and, if necessary, across different facilities. Also determines integration of the software (shop floor to top floor), the strategic fit of applications, and granting rights, privileges and access to other operations data.
Controls Engineer/Manufacturing Engineer/Operation Management: Plays an analytic role. This individual often needs an energy primer to better understand pricing structures, rate negotiations, how energy is consumed, etc. But the role is complex. He or she should:
- Organize real time and historical data for dashboarding, reporting and exporting into production analytical tools (Lean/Six Sigma tools).
- Compare and contrast energy usage and demand across machines, operations and multiple plants to identify best practices.
- Look holistically at processes and provide connections to the plant manager, such as energy against compliance, energy against restrictions and energy per production.
- Help identify pitfalls where manufacturing and engineering could conflict on energy conservation.
Maintenance: Identifies energy peaks and works to course correct. Identifies inefficient machines. Does preventative maintenance to ensure optimum machine performance. Makes recommendations for where higher efficiency equipment would make the most sense.
Facilities: Manages the energy usage within plant. Has visibility throughout both the operations and plant. Ensures that energy operations are available to support operational requirements Plans for and purchases newer, more efficient assets.
Procurement: Negotiates energy contracts with energy service providers. Comprehends how energy is consumed operationally in order to negotiate the most economical and environmentally friendly rates, charges and utility programs; such as, demand response.
Every manufacturer is different and these roles are only a starting point for conversations. Fortunately, for the first time in industrial history, the automation, control, optimization and information solutions necessary to conquer the energy challenge are in place or readily available and can be applied immediately to achieve measurable results.
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