Emergent Energy Solutions
Emergent Energy Solutions
An Energy Services Company

Optimize Manufacturing Efficiency Through Multi-Tier Sub-Metering 

Lavazza Professional Background

Lavazza Professional (formerly Mars Drinks) has been a customer / partner of Emergent Energy Solutions for over 8 years. We have worked closely with Lavazza on many of the site's energy efficiency efforts as they have gained market share over the length of our relationship and has continued to update their manufacturing processes to grow and thrive. As Lavazza seeks to continuously improve efficiency while delivering the highest quality products to their customers, we work along side Lavazza to identify possible cost and energy reduction projects that will allow them to achieve greater levels of product margin or increase production capacity. 

Sub-Metering for Demand Management

The successful balance of supply and demand is as applicable in basic economics as it is in industrial manufacturing. Industrial manufacturing facilities have to continuously balance out raw materials and utilities to ensure capacity requirements are met. Metering of Compressed Air, Nitrogen and Electricity at the facility provides a gauge of how the facility is operating in relation to resource supply limits. The facility utilizes the flow meters to gauge overall compressed air and nitrogen flow to establish capacity constraints and to evaluate new packaging equipment investments, which might exceed current capacity limits. 

During the electrical peak demand summer months, the facility utilizes the electrical meters to determine peak KW demand to participate in the local Demand Response Program. 

Sub-Metering for Process Management

One of the best gauges of process efficiency is proper metering. With proper metering, plant engineers are able to analyze equipment downtime from electrical, compressed air or nitrogen meters. Utilizing this data, they can then establish SKU or production shift specific opportunities that would typically not be available if the facility is utilizing an OEE type SCADA system. Since OEE provides a generalized process efficiency KPI, energy metering can provide greater process data granularity for a fraction of the cost. 

Sub-Metering Tier Structure - Utility Level

Investments in energy metering should be made based on tiers that are tied into the business' operational KPI's and objectives. If a business gauges its success based on carbon reduction vs. cost reduction, the sub-metering tiering structure should be designed to drill down on the utilities that will have the greatest impact on the core business objectives. 

Tiering should start at the highest level to capture the primary utility trunk for benchmarking against the prime utilities (Utility Electric & Gas) and then move down the tiering structure to either Electrical subpanels or secondary utilities such as (Chilled Water, Refrigeration, Hot water, Compressed Air). 

VP Instruments - Compressed Air & Nitrogen Metering

We at Emergent Energy Solutions have used a variety of metering solutions in the past and VPInstruments makes one of the best inline and insertion style meters. Based on the price point, build quality, ease of integration and configuration, the metering solutions from VPInstruments deliver the best value to our customers. 

Electrical Sub-Metering Cloud and Local Data Integration

Ideally, electrical sub-metering  should be the first prime utility to be metered as electricity is the primary energy source that will then be converted into other forms of energy. At Lavazza, electricity is converted into space cooling, compressed air, and finished goods. Capturing electrical demand and consumption data provides important information that will be used to assess the efficiency of the other energy conversion systems such as air compressors, refrigeration systems and HVAC systems. 

Once the appropriate prime and secondary tier metering is installed, data retrieval, ongoing monitoring, dashboarding, and the use of the data to drive conversation and actions are key to the success of an energy monitoring system. For our customers to realize the true value of any metering platform, we work with them to identify objectives, key metrics to success, and technology or process changes that can help them get one step closer to their goals.

The Impact on Manufacturing

The impact of a metering system on an industrial manufacturing facility can vary drastically depending on many different factors such as: 

  1. Technical knowledge and the ability to correlate data with actual events at the facility. Without the ability to correlate data with real events, the true value of a metering system might be missed depending on the facility's goals. The primary goal of our customers who invest in energy metering is the ability to create actionable steps to either improve efficiency or identify issues. Without the ability to pair data with real events, the facility will have great difficulty in developing actionable steps. 
  2. A culture of data driven decision making and a continuous improvement mindset. Organizational culture shapes business practices and eventual success. Our customers that are able to pair their CI mindset with data are able to derive the most value from our metering systems. 
  3. Proper resourcing of capital and manpower also plays a significant role in the success of a energy / carbon reduction program. Without an adequate source of capital to make needed investments or focused manpower, an organization is not able to take the action steps needed to achieve the efficiency improvements identified through a metering system. 

Value Summary

In summary, the metering system at Lavazza provides the facility with essential information on the facility's key energy users. Metering at the prime incoming energy and secondary energy levels provides visibility into the efficiency of the energy converters (air compressors, refrigeration, hvac, lighting). There are several key factors that will determine the success of an organization wide energy management platform. The most important factor is organizational culture. When a continuous improvement culture is coupled with proper resourcing and deep technical process understanding, the true value of an energy management platform is fully realized. 

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