How to boost the competitiveness of industrial companies? One way is to optimise the energy budget line! Implementing an energy information system enables you to automate the acquisition of data generated by various devices, to analyse these data, and often to make the right decisions. Yet nearly 4 out of 5 Energy Managers still use an Excel spreadsheet as their only tool to track consumptions(1), and spend 85% of their time collecting the data instead of analysing them or supervising actions in the field. Blu.e gives an update on how to enhance their productivity.
An energy audit, now mandatory in industrial sites, is generally followed by the implementation of a continuing process of energy management as defined in the ISO 50001 standard. The Energy Manager is the key player at the core of this process. If the site belongs to a large group of companies, the Site Energy Manager is different from the Corporate Energy Manager. For each factory, the Site Energy Manager is responsible for optimising the generation and use of utilities and energies. At group level, the Corporate Energy Manager consolidates the data from all sites, ensures the overall energy governance and reports the initiatives carried out to achieve the annual energy consumption and CO2 emission reduction targets for the entire group.
Site Energy Manager: 85% gain in productivity with connected tools
At the scale of a plant, the role of Energy Manager is a full-time job. Yet this role is often assigned as a double hat to the maintenance manager or to the process engineer.
If the Energy Manager merely uses an Excel spreadsheet as the sole tool for the job, 85% of their time may be devoted to collecting data for the purpose of reporting energy consumptions. By automating the tracking of Energy Performance Indicators (EnPI), time can be easily saved for the Energy Manager to focus on analysis and actions.
In parallel, the Energy Manager is in charge of keeping the factory’s metering plan updated and detailing the energy consumptions of the equipment (new indicator calculated or new sensor). The Energy Manager thus ensures the measurement and continuous monitoring of the energy performance for each Significant Energy Use (SEU) and identifies any drifts or potential improvements.
Energy planning and budgets
And that is not all: the Energy Manager is also in charge of planning actions to be implemented for energy efficiency, whether replacing a piece of equipment by a more efficient machine or improving the operation of existing equipment. The Energy Manager budgets these initiatives, monitors their progress and checks that they deliver the expected savings.
Last but not least, in the context of periodic energy reviews involving stakeholders from energy management, production, quality assurance, maintenance and top management, the Energy Manager presents the site’s energy footprint, the ongoing and future action plans, along with potential improvements to be leveraged.
Corporate Energy Manager: variance analysis, a tool relevant on a multi-site scale
In addition to the above, the Corporate Energy Manager of a large group has additional roles, in particular central coordination. There again, the Corporate Energy Manager often uses only an Excel spreadsheet as the sole tool to collect data on hundreds of actions of all types that must then be converted into a structured action plan consistent on a group-wide scale. This action plan serves as guidance to assess on an ongoing basis the progress of actions and the savings achieved. The Corporate Energy Manager’s job consists in aggregating all initiatives linked to a similar topic, finding generic practices that could impact several sites, thereby delivering a genuine leverage effect. In brief, this is a huge job of structuring and coordinating the community of Site Energy Managers. The purpose is to monitor continuously the Energy Performance Indicators consolidated from the various levels of the organisation, without neglecting to adjust them for the impact of non controllable inductors, such as weather conditions, production rate, product mix or raw material quality.
In order to simplify the task of the Energy Manager, why not use an application dedicated to variance analysis?
The tool automatically displays any variances between actual and baseline consumptions, by assigning the variances to the different influencing factors, whether controlled or uncontrollable. The Energy Manager can thus isolate the actual contribution of the improvement initiatives implemented, and benchmark the performance results among the Group’s factories on a comparable basis. A further asset is the ease of detection of best practices that can be rolled out in all other sites.
The benefits delivered by advanced Web-enabled tools are substantial for the Energy Manager, both at the scale of a factory and of an entire industrial group. Maybe