Digitalization in industrial plants is fully underway: Already today, production facilities are automated and networked. Intelligent machines control and monitor their own operations independently, recording data and sending information into the cloud. A decisive contribution to digital transformation takes place within the field of electrical power distribution while it is integrated into the digital world.
The interaction of power distribution and industrial digitalization begins already with electrical planning, long before the actual construction of an industrial control cabinet. With digital twins, the coordination between electrification and automation components can be simulated and virtually tested. This requires software-based planning tools as well as product data such as macros for eEngineering systems, 3D models and circuit diagrams. The benefits for control cabinet manufacturers and panel builders are vast: Faults in the real world are prevented from the beginning – resulting in up to 80 percent savings in costs for planning, configuration, construction, documentation, ordering and commissioning!
The technical integration of power distribution into industrial automation occurs via communication-capable components, such as the 3VA molded case circuit breakers and 7KM PAC measuring devices from Siemens’ Sentron portfolio. These devices are fully integrated into the TIA Portal as well as the Energy Suite of the TIA Portal – and they are among the most important providers of energy related data in the industrial Internet of Things. They can be configured and put into operation directly in the TIA Portal. Status monitoring and the capture of power diagnostics data at once become possible. As a result, electrification becomes an integral part of industrial automation. Standardized interfaces ensure an efficient interplay of all devices within the communication network.
Via MindConnect components all the energy related data can be uploaded into the MindSphere. They are available in the cloud for detailed analysis, e.g. for evaluating the system state and power quality, along with optimization of energy consumption and capacity utilization. Companies can, for example, examine their energy consumption per day, shift, line or production unit, comparing consumption in production time with the non-production time and identifying potential for savings. Comparisons among plants, for certain procedures or processes within one plant or across all manufacturing locations are also possible.
Electrical power distribution thus creates the basis for systematic energy and plant monitoring and sustainable industrial energy management in the age of digitalization. Communication-capable devices and systems, integrated seamlessly into digitalized factories, make plant data and energy flows transparent. Based on the derived recommendations, production plants can be continuously streamlined and potential system faults identified at a very early stage. Companies can thus boost the productivity and efficiency of their entire operations. They benefit from low downtimes, increased production and more effective use of their plants, in addition to overall higher competitiveness.