According to the International Energy Agency’s latest report, in 2021 the industrial sector accounted for 38% (169 EJ) of total global final energy use, as compared with 33% in 2000. Growth in energy consumption over the past decade has been driven largely by an ongoing trend of rising production in energy-intensive industry subsectors. Fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy for industry – near zero emission energy use is increasing, but more slowly than is needed. Meanwhile, industrial activity is growing and that is projected to continue – material efficiency strategies can curb demand and reduce emissions

To reduce industrial energy consumption and achieve carbon emission reduction goals, major economic blocks such as the EU, as well as organisations including the UN, have set out agreements and norms aimed at reducing emissions. For example, the European Commission announced its Fit for 55 plan in 2021, with the expectation that the EU will reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% (relative to 1990 levels) by 2030.

To achieve these carbon reduction goals, manufacturing plants worldwide have adopted smart technologies and solutions to improve their energy management. For example, a well-known Taiwanese electronics manufacturing service (EMS) foundry has adopted Advantech’s iFactory Energy Sustainability Management Solution in its factory in Mexico to accelerate regulation compliance.

The solution enables factory energy management without a large capital investment while also reducing energy waste costs by 8% to 13%. The continuous monitoring of factory energy usage helps operators respond quickly to abnormalities, whilst the seven-day energy consumption forecasting helps avoid exceeding the contracted energy capacity.

Modular I.Apps provide flexible features

Despite most factories having sufficient resources and capabilities to develop effective energy management systems, the time it takes to do so still incurs a considerable expense. Therefore, most businesses are constantly looking for solutions that can be implemented quickly at lower cost.

Advantech’s IFS-51A-EGW1 iFactory Energy Sustainability Management Suite is a complete solution that integrates software, hardware, and various systems. It can swiftly acquire information from facilities, obtain realtime data from smart meters, and help comprehensively master analytical data and smart factory energy management through data visualization and dashboard management. Using data acquired by IPCs at the edge, the suite utilizes modular I.Apps that allow companies of all sizes to flexibly select which features they want to implement based on their needs, which is why this particular EMS factory sought to implement Advantech’s solution.

To date, the factory has integrated and implemented three I.Apps. These allow factory personnel to monitor energy consumption in line with their management system and accurately assess their energy costs while optimizing energy efficiency. Ultimately, it helps them realize a sound business intelligence strategy in energy management. First, the EMS I.App monitors energy consumption, optimizes energy usage, reduces energy waste, and minimizes costs. Second, the Energy KPI I.App, which complies with ISO 50006 for setting energy efficiency management key indicators, provides an effective method for optimizing energy processes, and this can be leveraged in making critical judgments in production processes in order to understand possible causes of waste and make timely improvements. Third, the Predict I.App combines statistical models and can also expand on or add AI for performing energy demand analysis, thereby helping businesses work out their energy baselines and use them as a strategic basis for energy management.

Meeting the all-round needs of enterprises with multiple suites

In addition to the IFS-51A-EGW1, Advantech’s iFactory also has the IFS EGM Starter Suite and IFS-51C Data Center Suite, which provide enterprises with even more options and allows factories to determine their own most suitable energy management solution. This means that factories are more able to quickly respond to international environmental norms while also reducing their energy costs, thus helping them achieve carbon emission reductions and meet social responsibility goals at the same time.