Industry 4.0 technologies like cloud computing and big data analytics are rapidly changing the world of manufacturing, making operations more transparent and more efficient. So where do you start? Well, as we all know, nothing works, moves or gets made without energy.
But maybe you aren’t sure yet whether you really need big data on your company’s energy use? Okay, fair enough, but let me put the question differently:
Are you interested in increasing your company’s efficiency and saving costs? With today’s strong global competition in almost every industry, chances are pretty slim you’re shaking your head while reading this. After all, energy costs make up a big part of most companies’ operational costs, and the benefits of knowing more about energy use are tangible.
– I might stop losing money over maladjusted energy-guzzling equipment.
– I might get my company on track for a carbon-neutral future.
– I might be able to negotiate a better energy contract with my utility.
But trying to access the necessary data about energy usage by looking at old utility bills or by relying on intermittent data collection doesn’t only sound complicated – it’s simply not enough. It’s essential to know exactly how much energy you’re using, as well as where and when you’re using it.
And if you’re also interested in reducing your company’s environmental footprint – with industrial companies responsible for 24 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, I would say it’s actually vital that you do – then energy efficiency analytics (EEA) is a must.
Automotive supplier Gestamp, who codeveloped an efficient energy management solution together with Siemens, was able to reduce its energy use by 15 percent and cut its carbon footprint by 16,000 tons in the first year – with more to come.
So the solution to making informed, data-driven operational and investment decisions is implementing a comprehensive EEA solution that can have a big effect on your bottom line and our environment.
In a nutshell, here are my top seven reasons why cloud-based EEA could be the right solution for your company:
Know where your guzzlers are
In order to save energy, you must know where your energy guzzlers are. By cutting down on your energy use alone, you’ll already save a sizeable amount of money.
A carbon neutral future
You’d like to get your company on track for a carbon-neutral future. Reducing GHG emissions isn’t so hard when you know where to look. And remember, the worst offenders might not even be the ones you were suspecting.
Improve overall efficiency
You’re looking to improve overall efficiency and stop losing productivity over maladjusted or faulty (i.e. energy-guzzling) equipment. In order to identify unused potential and optimize your operations, you will need transparent, comprehensive data. How much data? See reason 4.
Real-time big data
You need real-time, big data in order to understand your company’s usual pattern of behavior and when equipment begins to deviate from it. Choose a high-frequency sampling solution to study and analyze your energy use.
If your company has production plants in different locations or is planning to expand I would recommend a tailored, scalable solution that can grow with you. And as you expand, you’ll also want access to your data at anytime from anywhere. These are requirements best answered by a …
If you don’t have a huge internal IT department and don’t want to shell out for establishing one either, opt for a cloud-based solution over a software solution. There’s no CAPEX, no software licensing or updates, no maintenance. And look out for flexible financing solutions such as paying off your EEA with future cost savings.
Improve your energy market leverage
Last, but not least: By knowing your patterns of energy consumption, you’ll be in a much better position to navigate the often complex energy tariffs and improve your leverage in the energy market.
I hope this list will prove helpful for your decision on cloud-based EEA for your company. And here’s one further piece of advice: When you go around looking for EEA solutions, I’d highly recommend giving some thought to where your data will be stored. Make sure that cybersecurity is a prime concern and that your data’s integrity and safety are secured with adequate encryption, authentications and firewalls.
And finally, if you’re interested in an integrated approach to power supply and energy management, I’d recommend checking out Siemens integrated power supply solutions: siemens.com/tip.