Industrial Control

Managing Electricity in Control Engineering


MManaging the health of your Industrial Control assets is more important than ever when downtime, cost pressures, employee safety and productivity are factored into the cost of processing or value adding. Reducing maintenance costs is pivotal in ensuring that organisations maintain their competitive advantage. There are a number of ways to track asset health but real-time energy monitoring in one approach that may help your business up-time goals.

Inefficient plant costs more to operate

Plant and equipment often consume more energy if stressed or long overdue for scheduled maintenance. Loss of efficiency could flag a worn part, extended downtime or in the worst case, pose a life-threatening employee risk. Metal fatigue could quickly develop into a costly repair instead of a scheduled part replacement. Equipment maintained at minimal standards may operate at below-par performance and efficiency levels. In the case of costly plant and equipment, even minor drops in efficiency soon affects productivity and increases electricity consumption. Prevention is always better than the cure – in the case of unplanned outages, preventing revenue generation and creating the unwanted scenario that could damage business reputations and the bottom line. Even a small failure can cascade across and entire process and contribute to a greater failure that stops output.

Energy Consumption as a Diagnostic Tool

Proactive diagnostic capability may prevent an equipment failure and can be combined with pre-configured alerts that inform if operating parameters are outside normal tolerances. Distant pumps or unmanned heavy machinery are good candidates or electricity monitoring and voltage and current metrics offer a perfect view of real-time operating parameters.

Reliability and Uptime

The only difference between a good outage and a bad outage is planning. Downtime is always bad and hits the bottom line adversely. Energy monitoring can alert facilities managers to changes in machine operating parameters that could flag maintenance issues or imminent failure.

Safety

Equipment failures may pose a significant risk to employees and other stakeholders. Any form of risk mitigation only needs to prove its worth once to protect employee safety or reduce the potential of litigation.

Tariff and Cost Allocation

Allocate costs based on customer, process or time of day.