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Energy management | processing

Left: A Shotscope graph showing energy consumption in kWh according to the amount of material processed

Husky is also currently working on an OPC (Open

Platform Communications) connection for energy. OPC specifi es the communication of real-time plant data between control devices from different manufacturers. “We have found that some customers already have an existing solution monitoring energy in their plant,” says Blenkiron. “We will soon have a solution available so that these people can connect their existing stuff to Shotscope over an OPC connection, saving the expense of any additional hardware.”

Energy monitoring One company offering energy monitoring and manage- ment solutions for a wide range of industries, including plastics processing, is Italy-based Electrex. It claims to be one of the fi rst companies to enter the fi eld (which it did in 1993), and says that over the years it has acquired considerable experience and competence. The company claims its solution for the plastics industry makes possible acquisition, analysis and management of data not only related to electrical energy usage but also regarding machinery operating status and other energy carriers used (gas, water, steam, etc.). The latest addition to the company’s product line is Energy Brain Cloud 2.0, which allows data to be retrieved from individual measurement devices and uploaded to the Cloud to make it accessible on any web-enabled device. Several companies offering ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are also adding energy monitoring and energy automation solutions that can be used in the plastics industry. Andrew Jewell, Senior Territory Manager for Mattec MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems) production control software at Epicor, says that while plastics processors have in the past largely concentrated on individual equipment energy effi ciency,

many are now focusing on high plant-level. “Monitoring at a plant-level, however, can make it

both diffi cult and time-consuming for manufacturers to identify where the issues or problems lie in terms of real usage or real losses, as well as where they can make inroads in their energy savings,” he says. Jewell claims that MES solutions can play a

signifi cant role in helping manufacturers analyse and reduce their energy consumption by scheduling workloads in a way that reduces the plant’s total power demand and takes advantage of rate variations, which can translate to signifi cant savings. “They also allow users to accurately measure and visualise electricity consumption in real-time, providing signifi cantly more accurate costings and pricing leading to overall improved plant and company profi tability,” he says. “Energy effi ciency will be an integral part of Industry 4.0, and networking beyond the boundaries of individual companies is an essential prerequisite for greater energy fl exibility. In the future, production planning and production control systems will also be charged with energy management, in order to exchange data on upcoming power requirements,” Jewell says.

Driven by demand Syscon-Plantstar puts it rather differently. The company was established 40 years ago to provide real-time plant fl oor data acquisition solutions for the plastics moulding industry (it has since moved into other industries as well), but Vice President Gary Benedix says that while it has the capability of monitor- ing energy consumption on machines, “we’ve never really had a customer request it.” Benedix believes that providing processors with good data for OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) enables

September 2016 | INJECTION WORLD 31


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