Practical Experience- Energy Management in the Automotive Industry

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Most of our end-users are coming from the Automotive Industry, where energy management is vital for reducing high energy costs. As this is a global industry with fierce competition, production plants and suppliers need to set a common goal and build the infrastructure to know how, when, and where all forms of energy are being used in their facilities. Only after establishing this information can the energy be optimised and the cost reduced by shrinking exposure to fluctuating energy prices and tracking energy costs per unit of production.

The fear of the car manufacturers our team has registered is to build a whole new Energy Management System from the ground up. Energy management can be weaved into the current ISO 14001 management system that so many automotive companies and suppliers already have in place. Manufacturing plants can continue to manage all of their environmental impacts while at the same time they are also able to evaluate, measure and reduce energy consumption.
Many clients amongst the Automotive Industry have already applied the ISO 50001, an international standard that provides a framework to help manage the energy supply and consumption in a highly effective way, in these cases AVReporter is an essential tool providing a speedy, easily manageable and transparent tool. 

Employing AVReporter Energy Management System will result in real-time, actionable information that can deliver cost savings internally and throughout the supply-chain. But cost saving is not the only achievement of this system; it will deliver increased production efficiency and using the PR power of being an environmentally responsible production company.

Our team has gathered several case studies from the industry, including brands like Honda, Audi, Fiat, and Chrysler. All the cases suggested following certain steps to complete an energy management system successfully:

  • Identify the responsible unit/ personnel for consumption and motivate them to achieve higher efficiency
  • Arrange measurement system to these units to gather exact and reliable consumption data, aiding more precise analytics. 
  • Make sure the measurement process allows the necessary frequency of the data collection, for example getting the consumption of each technology used on the production line. This will support the control over the whole production process against consumption.
  • Normally a pilot project is suggested for a few production lines to gain experience supporting a better understanding of the needs, demands and opportunities when making a final decision over the location of measurement points, the type of hardware and potential investment into updating the existing infrastructure. 

The AVReporter Energy Management Software was used to fulfill the requirements below.

DATA HANDLING:

  • Collect data from electrical, compressed air, water, heat and gas meters, etc.
  • Defining energy consumption and production cost per production unit
  • Defining energy consumption per cost allocation places
  • Monitor and calculate applied energy performance

USER REQUIREMENTS:

  • Information can be accessed by web browser interface
  • Multi-User and Security Access Level Management
  • Quick report building web and desktop environments 
  • Schedule report creation for management site

INTEGRATION:

  • Integrated data visualization on one interface
  • Collection of measurement data of more sites in one system (centralized energy management); application of integrated energy contracts
  • Comparing energy use and production data of different production plants, application of global solutions, controlling and improving possibilities of global energy efficiency indicators in a multi-national environment

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES:

  • Application of renewable energy sources- reduction of CO2 emission

STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATES:

  • Serving the ISO 50001 Energy Management System Standard - reduce costs, increase energy efficiency and improve energy performance

QUALITY ASSURANCE:

  • Schedule maintenance on the bases of CB operation numbers
  • Analyze and isolate the source of power quality problems (EN50160)
  • Improve continuity of service
  • Implementation of load-shedding (in case of electricity and gas)
  • Reduce peak demand and power factor penalties

In case of production lines (e.g.: motors) an average 20% energy saving can be achieved when comparing consumption against production, following the steps below: 

  • Identifying and repairing the places of the lost compressed air
  • Optimisation of the production processes 
  • Optimisation of the Stand-by factory settings (in case of production lines), switching off the unused technologies at stand-by times. Generally, when planning the automation of the production lines (PLC, HMI, etc.) the main object is the functionality and often the energy management issues are being ignored by the programmers (stopping compressors, heating valves etc.), because of this at the AUDI factory the electrical energy consumption was 70% in stand-by mode, after the optimisation n it dropped to 30%. 
  • The production lines producing the same items now could be compared and the line managers to be motivated working towards higher efficiency.
  • Also in case of the production lines the potential faults can be detected easier and quicker (e.g. Insufficiently increased electrical energy consumption indicates the building up of some faults in the motor- motor current)
  • Network power quality problems can also be detected by reading the measurement results (e.g.: THD.) applying the right solutions (e.g.: filters) the number of faults and production line stops/ break-downs were successfully reduced.
  • The Energy Management System supplies instant feedback of the current situation and events (alarms) to the engineers, so the potential problems or stop-by can be detected a lot quicker. „Experience confirms that the detection time of energy supply problems, cuts dropped to the 10th.” 
  • The car manufacturing production plant’s side buildings (production buildings, service buildings, storage buildings etc.) energy savings can also achieve a 60% reduction. This confirms the need for EMS for the side buildings, as well. The data collected will indicate the most important points for energy consumption reduction (HVAC) and also will help to estimate the ROI of the potential infrastructural investments (led lighting, automated systems, solar panel etc.). 
  • A production plant often requires re-location of some production lines or additional ones, the EMS can supply useful information on capacity management. 
  • Based on the above results the ROI for energy management systems is really short, not only important for higher efficiency but also to ensure the plant’s secure and reliable working method and at the same time reduce work-load on the admin side. 
Energy Management for the automotive industry

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