One of the initial problems with energy efficiency is that most companies do not have any energy data other than that at a summarized level. Very little information on the energy consumption of energy by individual equipment or lines is available. This means that on of the first things energy efficiency projects encounter is the requirement to install metering equipment on the major energy consumers. Once the metering is in place and the data can be collected either manually or via data collection system such as data historians the analysis can proceed.
Energy usage of individual equipment can be displayed and compared to the manufacture’s specifications, industry standards, and your own benchmarking data. By integrating this information with Enterprise Asset Management systems and Production Planning systems it is possible to associate energy usage, production, and maintenance information. It is one this to see sudden increase in energy usage, but it is better to know that the increase was caused by the running of an energy intensive product or that there are outstanding maintenance request or orders for the equipment or line. Similarly sudden drop in energy usage can be associated with the execution of maintenance.
Once information is gathered for the individual equipment other analytical possibilities occur. Comparison of like types of equipment can identify better performing equipment which can be used as part of capital equipment justification for upgrades or replacement. In a multi-plant environment comparing identical or similar equipment between plants can identify different maintenance and operational strategies. Further investigation enables companies to standardize on the most appropriate procedures generating benefits not only in energy efficiencies, but in cross training of staff, consistent product quality, and lower costs.
Another aspect of energy effectiveness programs is that most companies establish some for of Kazan program (continual improvement) around energy. Lot of goods ideas are generated, implemented, and filed. In a multi-site corporation these ideas should be available and communicated across the organization. Even ideas that are not successful in one location can be successful in another.