How to cut energy consumption in your enterprise with Industrial Automation

Almost a third of the energy consumed globally is concentrated in the industrial sector. A very high value that, with the current levels of awareness and environmental demand, presents a huge scope for improvements in terms of energy efficiency.

For this third of global energy consumption to be more efficient and greener, there is a single concept that sums up all the necessary changes: automation.

”Industrial automation is not science fiction.So far, the companies we have been working with have confirmed increases of over 30% in productivity after the implementation of KIM and reductions of up to 10% in waste. How? A metal cutting machine will cut the exact quantity of raw material that is planned to go to the next technological operation…nothing more, nothing less, not sooner, not later.” – Vicentiu Corbu, Founder & CEO KIM.

KIM automation software will help contextualise and process extensive data, helping manufacturers determine which parts of their operations are the most energy-dependent or reliant. This way, they will scale operations up or down depending on areas of need. Predictive analytics also plays a part that we will talk further in the article.

If the cost of energy is rising and your internal demand is too, what solution is there? 

Many reports on commercial energy use focus heavily on lighting and heating expenses. These make up the majority of the energy spending of many organizations, but industrial businesses need a different solution. Heat and light are often insignificant when compared to the power draw from your actual operations. But how can you lower them without replacing equipment outright?

Industrial automation solutions provided by KIM makes energy savings possible, and it can even help you save money in other areas. In the last 10 years of activity we developed several projects in the country that confirm these facts.

So, what exactly do KIM software solutions and how can transform your business?

Industrial Automation Step by Step

In order to automate your operations, you’ll need a steady stream of data from as many sources as possible. This means your machines, your business numbers, and your employee activity needs to be tracked in such a way that you can reliably pull data about any figure at any time. The data you collect will then be analyzed so that you can identify opportunities for improvement. Finally, with insights in hand, you can start to automate processes in your business.

As we mentioned, your industrial processes are responsible for most of your power consumption. Therefore, we want to focus on optimizing energy consumption from your industrial machinery. There are several tasks and functions that can be automated to help you achieve much greater energy efficiency. In addition, you’ll find that there are other benefits that will reduce your bottom line even further.

Preventative Maintenance

Most industrial facilities still rely on traditional maintenance schedules dictated by the machine’s service manual. The traditional approach leads to a lot of engineers spending time on perfectly healthy equipment. Meanwhile, a machine that was recently checked won’t be touched until it comes up again for inspection. This means that not only does your staff waste time, but they might be missing critical situations. What’s the connection to your energy usage?

Preventing Inefficiency

When a machine starts to operate out of specification, it will require more energy to perform the same functions. A process heating component will use more fuel if it’s leaking heat. A motor will consume more electricity if it has to overcome internal vibration. Furthermore, unexpected shutdowns can lead to lost production, which means all the energy that went into the previous steps has been wasted completely. These problems are common with traditional industrial maintenance methods.

In contrast, with preventative maintenance offered by KIM software solutions, you’ll constantly have fresh data about all of your equipment. This data is then sent to a computer or server, which will analyze it and identify patterns. For instance, you could track vibration data on machines and receive a notification whenever your equipment operates outside of its ideal conditions. That notification activates your maintenance staff. You can intelligently schedule maintenance, targeting specific equipment at a time that won’t cause inconvenience.

Automating Operations

With more data available, you can automate operations to a greater extent. One of the key benefits of automation is that you become less exposed on human error in performing your essential processes. In some use-cases, it’s much easier to operate at off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper. Having all data available, you can make a more informed decision  if getting employees onto the night shift with additional incentives is more efficient from the perspective of energy consumption.

You can also find opportunities to reduce delays between steps in your processes. Over time, your data analytics will find more opportunities for improvement. Speeding up a process by just a few minutes multiplied by the hundreds or thousands of times you perform that process in a month can produce significant savings. If your work is done for the day, automation can even shut down systems for you faster than a human could. That reduces energy consumption even more.

Industrial Automation considers energy as an ingredient in the production process, weaving the thread between process automation and energy monitoring. With our multiple use-cases encountered in the field, we can help you to optimize the energy consumption from your industrial machinery.

But it all starts with data collection, here is the true bottleneck in our days. Even if we can find different AI algorithms that can perform great things in terms of efficiency, if we can’t find ways in getting data from the field without increasing the workload of employees, it is very difficult to obtain a visible improvement.

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