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PII Oct-Nov 2013

EFFECTIVE ENERGY MANAGEMENT PROVIDES KEY TO SURMOUNTING PRESSURES IN THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR director to make real changes to their business, being able to take a true holistic view of their entire plant is key, which is where the importance of digital technology comes into play. Blissful ignorance… Executives, facility managers and operations staff are hit with unprecedented levels of information from a variety of data sources across their operations every day, to the degree that many manufacturers are data rich but information poor. The answer is not just more data, but technology to automatically pull data from their control and monitoring systems, organise it into the relevant information for each function, and, more importantly, into actionable insight to make better decisions and improve efficiencies. The key is being able to understand what that data is telling you in order to act on it to implement long-term, on-going change – such as recognising that one certain production line may be using more energy than necessary at the wrong times of day – allowing decision-makers to use their energy more wisely and in turn reducing consumption. Granulating data in this way not only enables manufacturers to save more energy, but also use less. Today and in light of the Energy Bill’s new incentives, the ‘Negawatt’, or energy you don’t use, can pay far more dividends than the Megawatt which you do. In common with other providers looking to help manufacturers tackle the data challenge, Schneider Electric has launched StruxureWare™ software applications and suites to address the energy and production management needs of manufacturers in different market segments. Designed to provide a consistent user experience and scalable platform across all areas of their organisation, StruxureWare software enables users to optimise business processes while conserving enterprise resources as well as integrating seamlessly with third party and legacy products. You can’t manage what you can’t see. If manufacturers utilise the right software they can remain competitive by reducing their overheads, and at the same time look to reap the benefits from the incentives laid out in the Energy Bill. Increasing profit margins in this way frees up much-needed finance to invest further in R&D in order to compete on a global level. We are living in a digital age where UK manufacturers need to embrace software as the ‘glue’ to bridge the gap between their existing enterprise and control systems, in order to maximise their business performance and be more efficient and sustainable. Only then can we hope to keep British manufacturing firmly on the map. 1 The Independent Schneider Electric Ltd, Coventry, Warwickshire Can be contacted on: Tel: 0870 608 8 608 E-mail: gb-customerservices@gb-schneider-electric.com Web: www2.schneiderelectric.com/sites/corporate/en/ solutions/struxureware/struxureware-applications.page Increased competitive pressures, tighter margins and rising energy costs are forcing manufacturers to alter their methods of operation. At the same time, new ways of managing energy consumption and quality through sophisticated power monitoring tools have emerged – providing the information that companies need to be able to take action to reduce energy usage. In short, effective energy management is no longer an option; it is a strategic business necessity. Here Jez Palmer, Business Development Manager (EMEA) at Schneider Electric discusses how a change in mindset within the industry, combined with a focus on digital technology can provide a light at the end of the tunnel. As the UK finally begins to emerge from the deepest recession in history, Britain’s manufacturing sector is gaining momentum, with figures showing the strongest growth since the start of the economic downturn1. Therefore there has never been a more pertinent time for plant managers to make improvements onsite, in order to cope with growing demand. This requires manufacturers to change the way they view their site – they must gain a deeper understanding of their energy portfolio in order to ensure that they can gather the right information about energy use in their plant at the right time, so that informed decisions can be made. A massive 90 per cent of a manufacturer’s energy is consumed through their processes. When the government announced its plans for the Energy Bill earlier this year, there was widespread uproar from many of the UK’s businesses claiming that the measures would have a detrimental effect on an already fragile economy. However, for the industrial sector, many of the proposals offered light relief from ever increasing energy bills. Under the new Energy Bill, certain energy intensive industries could benefit from economic support to maintain competitiveness while the UK makes the switch to lower carbon generation. In addition, under the new legislation, a separate incentive also means manufacturers could in fact, be paid for every kilowatthour they save through energy reducing measures, such as the implementation of variable speed drives, low energy lighting, smart metering and monitoring. Energy has long been viewed as a fixed cost by businesses when in reality, the thinking needs to shift towards energy as a variable cost where real changes can be made to the way it is used, when it is used and for what. Making these changes however relies on one thing – information – but more importantly, the appropriate information, delivered to the appropriate people at the right time. For a facilities or company Process Industry Inforem r October-November 2013 7


PII Oct-Nov 2013
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