Since the Industrial Revolution, energy prices have fluctuated significantly. Initially dominated by coal in the 19th century and then oil in the early 20th century, energy markets mostly experienced stability due to abundant supplies. In the 1970s, the oil crisis brought about price volatility and a shift towards energy conservation and alternative sources. Deregulation in the 1980s and 1990s led to lower prices and technological advancements in energy efficiency and renewables emerged.
Recently, rising global demand and geopolitical tensions have driven energy costs to new record highs. Companies must leverage modern technology to stay profitable. This involves accurately assessing and enhancing energy efficiency at every production site, machine, and asset.
Different industries vary in their dependence on specific types of energy. However, they all face the common threat of high energy costs to their business viability. Effective energy management is essential in transitioning from traditional to smart factories.
The first step towards successful energy management is acquiring comprehensive data from the shop floor. Many companies are still grappling with this challenge, lacking the necessary data transparency to identify possible energy-saving opportunities. Companies with this level of data transparency are leading the competition. They are positioning themselves for more efficient operations and compliance with stringent regulations.
The following three examples from the food & beverage, metalworking and engineering industries demonstrate the impact of achieving data transparency and facilitating energy management.
A food & beverages company with 14 production sites and 2000 employees set a strategic goal of ISO 50001 compliance. This compliance required the implementation of a dedicated energy management system and the conduction of annual energy audits. To meet these requirements, the company retrofitted energy meters and sensors to integrate these devices into Factory Data Hub software Cybus Connectware. A Factory Data Hub establishes a data flow between all IT systems, creating data transparency and enabling the company-wide use of data.
This enabled them to conduct successful energy audits, secure substantial government subsidies and establish a standardized interface for diverse data sources across their operations. In addition to achieving comprehensive energy management, it laid a solid foundation for future use cases.
In an energy-intensive industry, a global tool maker wanted to gain more information about the correlation between the operating status of its machines and the resulting energy consumption. The company uses Cybus Connectware to standardize machine status across the organization, resulting in real-time data on energy consumption by machine and operating status. Demonstrating the benefits of data-driven energy management, this initiative achieved energy savings of 15% across multiple machines.
Connectware’s rule engine played a crucial role, as it enables preprocessing of the data on the edge, including collecting, processing and distributing. As a result, the load on higher-level systems was reduced and large-scale configurations were facilitated. The entire configuration, including machine mappings and data flow transformations, is managed via a Git repository. This allows for quick and efficient rollouts across multiple factories. To improve energy efficiency and visualize energy consumption, Cybus Connectware also provided real-time energy data on dashboards.
A metal processing company looked beyond the traditional confines of the factory shop floor to address the issue of excessive heating costs in its office building. High heating costs due to outdated building technology and the need for employees to manually control radiators presented a significant energy savings opportunity.
As a solution, the company implemented smart thermostats via an MQTT connection to the existing Connectware. Combined with employee presence data, an automated heating control was established. This allowed the company to realize long-term savings on heating costs with minimal implementation effort and no further software investment.
With data transparency across all factories, companies can achieve faster return on investment, regulatory compliance, energy management and innovation at an unprecedented speed.
Whether metal processing, automotive or toolmaking – leading manufacturers rely on the Factory Data Hub