Case study: Energy transparent machines cut consumption by one-third

By IoT Now Magazine

A few weeks ago the World Climate Conference was held to discuss sustainability targets for lower energy consumption and less pollution. Few organisations have embraced the goals but Festo, at its Scharnhausen Technology Plant in Germany, has already shown its support for them in the Industrie 4.0, energy efficient, IoT-enabled factory

Energy efficiency often starts from the ground up in manufacturing environments and, for Festo, a major decision was to develop an energy efficiency module that is a plug-and-work solution for the pneumatic circuit as a whole. The module is able to summarise, evaluate and analyse data by using artificial intelligence (AI). The data collected can therefore be pre-processed inside the unit and/or completely transferred into a cloud. A decentralised automation platform usually collects data from different Festo devices and combines them on a valve terminal with Codesys controller on board.

In the Festo Technology Plant at Scharnhausen, this type of installation has been retrofitted to all older machines since 2015 – and is a must for all new machines. The target was to make them energy transparent and to optimise air and current consumption by dedicated switching-on and off cycles depending on several criteria – thus avoiding that energy peaks are just added without any benefit, or leakage causing high extra cost. Data had been fed via object linking and embedding (OLE) for process control (OPC) unified architecture (UA) into the on-site manufacturing execution (ME) system from SAP by its plant connection module (PCo), and further to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with SAP HANA cloud. Now the new solutions allow – in conjunction with other actions taken like solar panels or re-use concepts for heat – saving of up to one-third of energy compared to the old plant. Amortisation is expected to be around two years.

In the latest use cases, the data from such energy efficiency modules is brought via OPC-UA and a Festo CPX-IoT Gateway to cloud or IoT platforms like Siemens MindSphere or Rockwell Factory Talk. Festo also provides its own cloud for deeper analytics of all its pneumatic and electric drive components and mechatronic sub-systems as a long-term target. Data is also fed into SAP HANA, Festo’s on-site option in the Scharnhausen factory.

The required apps are developed by Festo, and in the case of external cloud providers, are then installed in the MindSphere environment (using Siemens MindConnect LIB) or the Rockwell Device Analytics (via Shelby Appliance or Team ONE tools). The app for the Festo energy efficiency module inside these clouds or IoT environments allows easy visualisation, quicker set-up and parametrisation of the product and online visualisation during machine run-time. The data analytics support advanced diagnostic and condition monitoring concepts and could lead into predictive maintenance systems by combining data from different sources inside the cloud.

Today, a cloud based visualisation makes many things easier, but a high degree of expertise and IT knowledge is needed to make the devices communicate to clouds offered by the market today. In total, the Festo energy efficiency module reduces energy cost, and […]

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Posted on: January 19, 2018

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