When you come home from a week’s holiday and discover that you have left the light on or that a tap is dripping, it is an unhappy surprise. After all, a waste of energy or water costs you unnecessary money. When it comes to our own wallet, we are keen to prevent unnecessary energy consumption. Unfortunately, this is sometimes different in the industry. Due to misuse, leaks and other waste, up to half of the world’s compressed air consumption is lost. That is a pity, because all this waste including leaks, no matter how small they may seem at first, can cost your company greatly.
To avoid unnecessary costs, energy management is required and this is a continuous process. Overtime your production process changes, maintenance issues can occur, new leakages can come to live and more. Therefore, to maximize your energy savings, permanent monitoring is key. In this article we will present more reasons why you should start monitoring permanently.
What are the advantages of permanent compressed air monitoring?
Efficiency, quality and safety are essential when it comes to a compressed air system. In order to keep your system that way (or make it even more efficient and safe) monitoring is a must.
Permanent monitoring allows you to:
- Get direct insight into your factory baseline (such as energy and flow).
- Monitor and optimize the control system.
- Have maintenance management and optimization. This prevents too high maintenance costs and equipment failure. By measuring permanently, you can maintenance just in time.
- Size the equipment (compressors, pipework and downstream consumers). This way you can check if you have enough capacity when you have new equipment coming in.
- Allocate costs. Energy costs can be a significant part of the product costs (just as cost of labour and material). These costs should be allocated accordingly.
- Be compliant with energy directives (EED, ISO 50001).
- Collect (big) data, which is key to be prepared for the near future.
- Benchmark machines & production sites. You can benchmark your product equipment or production sites.
- Manage leaks.
- The human factor: showing energy costs will make people aware that compressed air is not free. This will impact human behaviour.
Example how permanent monitoring keeps your energy consumption at a low level
There are several advantages to permanent monitoring, as shown above. Let us take a closer look at one of the points: leakages. Leaks in any system are unavoidable, but unwanted: they are a waste of money. Any day new leaks occur, and multiple leaks together can affect system performance, e.g. impacting system pressure. A permanent monitoring system provides insight into the baseline of your compressed air system. When consumption goes up, this can mean that more leakages occur. You can determine when it is worthwhile the manpower and investment, to organize a leak survey. Your leakage management can be further optimized by placing flow meters strategically in your factory, for you to allocate the leakage level.
And when you are fixing leaks, you will see your consumption level drop, showing the savings immediately. Permanent monitoring provides fact-based improvement. No longer annual leak surveys but execute them when you know that it makes sense.
Why should I install a permanent monitoring system when I can hire an expert for an air audit?
An air audit is a great way to uncover your savings potential and based upon its results, great improvements can be made to your compressed air system. However, as expressed in the beginning, your system is subject to change and maintenance. Therefor your savings results will only be temporarily. To keep your energy consumption low, permanent monitoring and continuous improvements are required.
By using a permanent monitoring system, you will learn your consumption baseline. Any occurrences that are out of the ordinary will be noticed quickly. Moreover, a monitoring system that provides proper alarms, dashboarding and reports, will provide the right insight to track the performance of your compressed air system and other utilities.
Improving your system one step at a time
Insight into unnecessary energy consumption makes waste concrete. Determine the right KPIs and keep checking in during the improvement process. Make changes step by step, so that it remains realistic and manageable. Energy management is a continuous process that initially costs money and time. Using a step-by-step approach keeps initial investment limited. With the energy and cost savings achieved, new investments can be funded for further improvements. A permanent monitoring system helps to provide the necessary data to valid your investments to higher management.
In the long run, however, your investment will be more than worth it. The potential is enormous: a reduction of 10 to 50% can be achieved for just your compressed air system.
VPVision: the solution for energy monitoring
The advantages of compressed air monitoring are clear. But which system do you use for this? One very complete solution for energy monitoring is VPVision. VPVision makes energy savings simple, fast and cost-effective.
The VPVision monitoring system collects information via analogue sensors and Modbus/TCP sensors, which are installed strategically in your factory. The data of your sensors are collected and stored, and can be viewed in real time on any PC via Ethernet. The VPVision dashboard can be arranged to fit your needs. Via alarms and reports critical information is send to your email inbox.
The possibilities of compressed air monitoring for your company
Are you ready to optimise your production process and save money? Our experts are happy to talk you through the possibilities and guide you every step of the way. Contact us today!