Energy efficiency evaluation made easy
Turning, pressing, cutting, saving: Energy management not only makes energy consumption transparent in the press shop but also supports the optimization of consumption.
Making energy efficiency measurable and visibleSiemens AG manufactures high-power converters and motors on well over 70 machines and systems at the Vogelweiherstrasse site in Nuremberg, in some cases with a batch size of 1. Energy consumption is a major cost factor in this operation – and energy is not always used productively. For this reason, the facility’s production managers sought a solution that would enable them to evaluate energy consumption based on the operating state of the machines – and thus not only reduce the CO₂ footprint but also optimize energy consumption.
One system for energy consumption and machine stateBy combining the S7 Energy Efficiency Monitor (with S7-1200/S7-1500 and TIA Portal) and SIMATIC Energy Manager PRO, energy consumption can be detected in “non-value-adding” periods (such as when machines are in standby mode) and subsequently optimized. A major plus: this solution is not only for new machines. A smart solution enables the energy status model to be implemented for existing machinery as well.
Energy consumption is correlated with the actual operating state so that machines’ energy efficiency can be evaluated correctly.
As Tobias Grüner, head of digitalization and infrastructure at Siemens’ Vogelweiherstrasse site in Nuremberg, explains, the question of how efficiently a machine utilizes energy cannot be answered by simply looking at the consumption data: “During operation, a machine naturally uses more energy than when it is in standby mode. That is energy consumption that is value-adding for us. But a considerable proportion of energy is often consumed during non-value-adding periods. Some of these times are unavoidable – run-up and setup times, for example. Others could be avoided, though. But how much of our energy consumption is value-adding and how much is non-value-adding? Finding that out was the aim of the project.”
The solution also integrates existing machinery into the new energy management system.
With new machines, the S7 Energy Efficiency Monitor can be used to document the machines’ energy efficiency based on specified operating states. But what about existing machinery? Project manager Reinhard Federer and his team have found a solution here too: The machines are retrofitted with SIMATIC ET 200SP modules. Energy data are captured via an Energy Meter, and operating states via the digital inputs. The states are derived from the machine’s status tower light indicators. All the data are collected by a central SIMATIC S7-1500 and transmitted to the Energy Manager – “and the correlation of operating states with the energy data allows us to analyze the energy efficiency of existing machinery in Energy Manager,” explains Federer.
All data are collated in SIMATIC Energy Manager – and are available to all involved thanks to clearly structured dashboards.
Data acquisition is one aspect – however, it is just as important that the data are prepared well and made available for analyses. Key energy efficiency indicators can thus be computed for the entire press shop – for example, how much energy was consumed in standby mode over a specified period. “But I can also look at an individual machine in detail and see when it was in any specific state and how much energy it consumed. The transparency we have in terms of energy consumption goes beyond merely enabling us to justify the implemented measures better than we could before – and the results are plain to see,” explains Anton Kupec, a member of Federer’s team who is involved in the implementation of energy management with SIMATIC Energy Manager and works on energy efficiency analyses for the machines.
And often the measures are quite simple – switch off machines during long breaks in production, adapt heating times to production when using thermal systems – “but without transparency, you can’t see the benefit you’re gaining,” adds Kupec. Employees on the shopfloor now also see the contribution they can make to energy efficiency. “We have set up a monitor with the key energy indicators in the press shop so that the operators can see for themselves what they can change,” he says.
How energy-efficient is my production? With the Energy Manager MindSphere app, the data you need are available anywhere, anytime.
But, as Grüner explains, energy efficiency is not only interesting in terms of the proportions of value-adding and non-value-adding energy consumption at the site. Several other sites now use an energy management system as well – “and of course we compare ourselves with other sites. That is very important to us.” That is why Siemens has added a cloud-based solution to the local energy management system. Energy efficiency data are uploaded to Siemens MindSphere using a secure connection, where they can be accessed by authorized users via the SIMATIC Energy Manager MindSphere app. This means the data are available anywhere, anytime, and can also be combined with data from other sources – weather data, for example.
In the next phase, Grüner and Federer are planning to take energy optimization a step further – with Industrial Edge and SIMATIC Energy Manager.
But the energy efficiency evaluation project in Vogelweiherstrasse is not finished. Grüner and Federer are currently working on further simplifying and automating the integration of existing machines. This undertaking will be based on an Edge app of the S7 Energy Efficiency Monitor. The app will run on an Industrial Edge device and use a smart algorithm to automatically detect the machine state based on its energy data. This eliminates the need for a significant amount of hardware and wiring work for energy management at the machine level, and the consumption data can be correlated more precisely to the machine state than is possible at present. Grüner is excited about the integration of artificial intelligence enabled by Industrial Edge: “Our machines may even optimize themselves automatically one day.”
Simple measures – great benefitsIn a step-by-step process, the specialists in Grüner and Federer’s team have already integrated more than 70 machines and systems into the energy efficiency evaluation system – and the benefits increase with every additional machine. For the first time, it is now not only becoming evident how great the potential is for saving non-value-adding energy, but the system can also demonstrate the significant savings that even simple measures can achieve.
Energy transparency reveals untapped potential in processes and machines.
At the beginning of the project, all those involved assumed there would be considerable potential for achieving savings and boosting efficiency by reducing non-value-adding energy consumption. Grüner’s team was nevertheless surprised by the actual data acquired from production. “It really opens your eyes when you see that only one-third of a machine’s energy consumption is value-adding,” says Grüner. Meanwhile, the results of the energy management project have led to considerable process improvements – in some cases due to very simple measures, as Grüner explains: “For example, in one case we managed to cut the standby consumption on a machine by 64% – simply by implementing purely organizational measures, that is, switching off the machine during breaks in production.”
The transparency we have in terms of energy consumption goes beyond merely enabling us to justify the implemented measures better than we could before – and the results are plain to see.”Anton Kupec, a member of Federer’s team who works on energy efficiency analyses for the machines, Siemens
We can now see that the machines hold great potential.Reinhard Federer. Siemens Project Manager
In one case we managed to cut the standby consumption on a machine by 64% – simply by implementing purely organizational measures.Tobias Grüner, Head of Digitalization and Infrastructure at Siemens’ Vogelweiherstrasse Site in Nuremberg