Industrial organizations around the world are under pressure. The price of electricity and fuel have skyrocketed in many regions, with some areas experiencing rate increases of 200-300% compared to a few years ago.
In Europe, these cost pressures are extreme. For energy-intensive sectors, astronomical prices are jeopardizing the viability of businesses.
The costs and risks to other resources are also rising. Regions are facing water stress caused in part by drought, changing weather patterns, and current water management practices. Raw material prices in some sectors have risen dramatically or become volatile while for others, availability of key materials poses an extreme threat.
Furthermore, the pressure to address industrial impact on the climate crisis is coming from all sides:
- Investors view sustainability as tactical risk management
- Consumers demand products that align with their values
- Legislators are mobilizing to mandate climate disclosures
These global pressures require industrial companies to rethink their value chains and explore new ways to optimize their facilities to improve their resource efficiency and effectiveness. Industrial companies are responding by setting ambitious targets with timelines between 2025 and 2050, which require meaningful and demonstrable progress year over year.
Two of the foremost challenges in addressing industrial organizations’ sustainability impact are:
- Access to high-quality data relevant to their sustainability goals
- Understanding of how to act upon the data
Fortunately, proven automation, historian, and analytics technology support this demand for data and drive the right actions to optimize utilities usage and provide significant energy savings.
Utilities Software for Automation and Analytics to Optimize Energy Savings
Utilities software for optimization can leverage existing HMI/SCADA, MES and historian technology in conjunction with modern, persona-based dashboards and industrial analytics. This innovation such as Proficy from GE Digital provides industrial companies with the ability to monitor, correlate, understand, and then optimize the resource consumption within each plant in their enterprise. By putting the right data in the hands of those who need it to make plant-floor decisions – supported through AI/ML-driven insights – industrial companies can continuously and effectively manage their resource usage at the point of consumption.
Companies can achieve energy savings of 10% or more within the first year, depending on their specific application. Furthermore, the software provides companies with the contextualized data that is needed to drive substantive progress toward their sustainability KPIs, such as the company’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon footprints. Operational emissions and any other sustainability KPIs can be managed alongside cost, throughput, quality, or any other operational target.
As an example, a large automotive Tier 1 OEM recently achieved 18% energy savings on its heating. The company has used GE Digital’s Proficy software for its SCADA for many years. With a growing focus on energy optimization, the company looked to leverage their existing SCADA with new analytics and dashboard innovation to optimize the heating and cooling in its many energy-intensive production facilities.
In conjunction with its CIMPLICITY SCADA, the team used Proficy CSense industrial analytics and Proficy Operations Hub to optimize system setpoints based on outside air temperatures. Additionally, the CSense Troubleshooter identified a problem in the heating system control related to response to temperature setpoints as well as a problem with valves not closing correctly.