Manufacturers in plastics processing and countless other industries are looking for opportunities to further reduce energy consumption. Generally, the potential for savings is high. Those who find ways to tap into this potential stand to gain a sustained economic benefit along with clear competitive advantages.
Thomas Rienessl, plastics industry expert at B&R says: "Demands on quality continue to rise in the plastics industry, and there is a steady pressure to reduce energy consumption and unit costs in spite of shrinking batch sizes. The goal of an automation solution is therefore to provide the necessary flexibility, added value and efficiency."
Before you can make your production more efficient, you first have to know where, when and how much energy is actually being consumed. B&R offers a convenient and powerful tool for monitoring energy consumption: APROL EnMon. APROL EnMon is easily integrated and comes preinstalled on a B&R box PC. This out-of-the-box option has only a few parameters to set before it can begin collecting data. Then you can take advantage of the many straightforward and reliable consumption analysis options.
A significantly higher level of process optimisation can be attained by controlling and monitoring not just a single production line, but rather an entire plant along with all of its auxiliary equipment. The most certain guarantee of success is to view and analyse a production system as an integrated whole. Manufacturers who react accordingly in their production processes can substantially improve the energy balance of their products - and they can do it without generating any additional process costs.
Martin Reichinger, manager of B&R's process automation business unit, says: "The performance-monitoring features enable significant reductions in material usage, energy consumption, production times and unit costs." Well-coordinated machine operation improves capacity utilisation, reduces wear and eliminates sources of inefficiency in the production process. He continues: "APROL Process Data Aquisition (PDA) provides a central, seamless and long-term archive of all data. This strengthens quality assurance and makes a manufacturing process more competitive."
In addition to software products like APROL EnMon and PDA, the entire B&R product lineup is designed to provide optimum energy efficiency. Machine manufacturers can plant the seeds of efficient energy consumption early in the design process by optimising motion profiles and correctly dimensioning machine components. B&R offers them a development environment that provides all the tools and features they need to design and manage every aspect of an entire automation system. Drive components from B&R also reuse braking energy distributed throughout the drive network via a DC bus circuit and allow unused power to be fed back into the grid.
For more information about APROL EnMon and energy efficiency in plastics processing, visit www.br-automation.com.