Real-time energy audit reduces power consumption

Oct 23, 2013
Real-time energy audit reduces power consumption
Engineers could reduce overall energy consumption by using new software that monitors the energy usage of individual machines on a factory floor. Credit: Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Governments are pressuring industries to reduce energy consumption for both environmental and economic reasons. Optimizing factory processes and improving equipment can lower energy usage but this not only takes time and money, it also requires a vast amount of background operational knowledge.

Now, Oon Peen Gan and co-workers at A*STAR's Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology, together with researchers at the National University of Singapore and The University of Texas, United States, have developed an approach to track the daily usage of individual machines. Their approach monitors the operational state of a machine in real time.

"Our proposed idea improves energy efficiency through better sequence control of machines and operations," notes Gan. "It can be as simple as switching off a light when not in use."

To test their idea, Gan and his team identified the operational state of two individual industrial molding machines, based on their . The researchers placed sensors inside the machines and fed the data from the sensors into a mathematical model called a finite-state machine (FSM), which is commonly used for analyzing manufacturing processes. Since a machine in the 'start-up' state has a different to one in full production, the FSM could be used to produce power-consumption profiles of the machines.

The researchers then used a unique two-stage framework to help them analyze and classify the data. "During the first stage we cleaned the raw energy signals using a digital filter to produce a much smoother dataset with less noise," explains Gan. "Secondly, we trained a pattern-recognition algorithm, or neural network, to classify the data into separate events. Each event represents a machine operation state."

Using the model, Gan and co-workers determined the exact operational state of each molding machine in . Because the researchers could easily find abnormal energy patterns in the model output, the software tool may prove very useful for engineers looking for machine faults across the factory floor.

With the trained neural network in place, a software user can classify any machine's operational state from its energy output without needing to know the machine type. Theoretically, the model could be used to monitor many different types of in any industry.

"We hope to incorporate our new model into existing software that is used by manufacturers to monitor their shop floors," says Gan. "We aim to validate the with experiments at a number of industrial companies in Singapore in the near future."

Explore further: Audi to develop Tesla Model S all-electric rival

More information: Le, C. et al. Classification of energy consumption patterns for energy audit and machine scheduling in industrial manufacturing systems, Transactions of the Institute of Measurement and Control 35, 583–592 (2013). dx.doi.org/10.1177/0142331212460883

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The ecological badminton robot (w/ video)

Jan 30, 2013

A robot to play with! A childhood's dream has now come true for researchers at the Flanders' Mechatronics Technology Centre (FMTC) in Belgium. Wim Symens and his team pioneered the development of the first robot ever to play ...

Revolutionising European machine tools

Sep 09, 2013

From lathes and shapers to cutting and grinding machines, machine tools helped put Europe at the forefront of manufacturing in the past and remain essential to many industries, including aerospace, automotive, ...

A digital "stethoscope" for monitoring equipment

Jul 20, 2012

An intelligent diagnostic system from Siemens can monitor the condition of mechanical equipment just by analyzing the noises it makes. The system's sensors listen to machine noises in the same way that a doctor ...

Recommended for you

Audi to develop Tesla Model S all-electric rival

7 hours ago

The Tesla Model S has a rival. Audi is to develop all-electric family car. This is to be a family car that will offer an all-electric range of 280 miles (450 kilometers), according to Auto Express, which ...

A green data center with an autonomous power supply

12 hours ago

A new data center in the United States is generating electricity for its servers entirely from renewable sources, converting biogas from a sewage treatment plant into electricity and water. Siemens implemented ...

Can we create an energy efficient Internet?

13 hours ago

With the number of Internet connected devices rapidly increasing, researchers from Melbourne are starting a new research program to reduce energy consumption of such devices.

Shedding light on solar power

Nov 27, 2014

Everyone wants to save energy, but not everyone knows where to start. Grid Resources, a startup based out of the Centre for Urban Energy's iCUE incubator, is developing a new website that seeks to help homeowners ...

Energy transition project moves into its second phase

Nov 27, 2014

Siemens is studying new concepts for optimizing the cost-effectiveness and technical performance of energy systems with distributed and fluctuating electricity production. The associated IRENE research project ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.