Following the advice from the Fit for the Future series so far will see your operation collecting rich operational data to drive continuous improvement. However, with rising prices and increasing costs placing a burden on every individual and industry, there is a quick and straightforward way to gain greater insight into your energy and utility usage.
The rewards of connectivity
By configuring your existing OT solutions, such as SCADA, Historian and MES, you can integrate real-time energy usage data within your existing platforms. One of the significant benefits of undertaking monitoring in this way is that it becomes effortless to determine the effect of utilities on your total cost per unit of production.
By leveraging cloud elements of the three solutions mentioned above, it is possible to visualise your utilities and energy usage alongside your production data to enable the creation and monitoring of KPIs. With such a level of insight into the actual cost of production, managing your use of utilities becomes much more accessible.
And the good news is that implementing energy monitoring in this way requires no additional investment in other software systems. Extending SCADA systems to water and energy meters provides all the data necessary, while MES and Historians offer the context for analysis.
Connectivity further supports this low-cost option for a greater ROI, as the steps outlined in the Fit for the Future series provide the perfect groundwork to bring the required systems together easily.
A pressure release valve
Energy prices are soaring. Both households and industries are feeling the pressure of price hikes. For manufacturers, these price rises are compounded by the increasing costs of hardware and materials.
Getting a handle on your energy costs is one way to relieve any economic pressure your operation is experiencing. And with the infrastructure already in place, the potential upside is a fantastic opportunity to extract more value from your investments.
So, how do you extract value from the data with such monitoring in place?
Depending on your specific operation, you can first establish baseline costs against your expectations. You may see that certain production processes are consuming more than you expected. With accurate information in hand, opportunities for data-driven improvements can arise.
One area where you can realise optimal utility usage is scheduling and finding the most efficient way to run your processes. Determining when prices are the lowest, when and where you can save background running costs, enables more energy-efficient process flows to minimise downtime and associated costs.
Get more from your investments
A significant factor in extracting value and cost savings with this technique is visibility. An energy bill at the end of the month will offer minimal insights into your utility usage.
Instead, with detailed dashboards, you can see real-time data and view trends along with consumption by area, batch, day, product, and asset. Such granular detail allows for the creation of strategies to reduce consumption and costs while enabling a more environmentally friendly operation.
Using the systems you’ve already invested in gives you more scope to reap greater rewards and increase ROI. Correlation and discovering improvement opportunities become much more straightforward when all of your production data, including energy and water consumption, is in one place.