Controlling energy costs is an increasingly critical aspect of efficient process management. Consequently, many companies are discovering significant opportunities for improving efficiency as they tap into relevant data. They use this knowledge to enhance decision making around their production processes.
This Denca project is an example of how we can help deliver real benefits in this area.
Know your consumption
Our customer’s plant processes are energy-intensive, requiring large volumes of gas. As a result, consumption data is important information to help maximise efficiency. The plant managers had a good understanding of overall energy consumption. However, they recognised they would be able to make better decisions if they had more granular data. The team knew they were using a large amount of gas across the site but they were unsure how usage volumes varied between different areas of the plant.
As the need for efficiency improvement grew, the shortage of detail from within the overall consumption figures became a significant issue. It was impossible to properly improve efficiencies without access to the relevant data. Ideally, the plant managers wanted to know where the gas was being used. This would help to focus efficiency drives on areas where consumption was higher than expected.
Our customer turned to Denca for help. Our team designed a practical solution that integrated standard industrial gas meters with a bespoke control panel designed to take the standard 4-20 mA output from the meters. The data was then distributed over the company network via modbus. Data from individual stages of the overall process was now available to the management team.
We configured a standard Wonderware Historian to read and log the values from the meters. We now had the necessary data but it is also important to ensure that this information is readily accessible by users in a clear and relevant format. To deliver this, as part of our project, the Denca team designed and configured a web-based reporting interface running on top of the Historian. Through this interface, plant managers can access reports clearly breaking down the gas usage across different areas of the process line.
Partnership for performance
Feedback from system users has been extremely positive. The team is now using the data to make more informed decisions. These decisions are, in turn, delivering significant efficiency improvements.
The Denca philosophy is one of ‘Partnership for Performance’. Our goal is to build on initial success in helping a customer to improve their business. To deliver even more benefit. In this case, our customer commissioned Denca to extend the project to look at and monitor electricity usage at their factory.
This is an ongoing project for Denca as we continue to deliver more solutions leading to further improving efficiency.