The Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) has been expanded with Energy Application Objects to help provide network-based energy optimization throughout industrial plants. A "Base Energy" Application Object standardizes access to the most basic data and services common to the various energy resources used in industry. This object provides the method to aggregate energy information and present the data consistently at all levels of the production and enterprise domains. Two resource type-specific application objects include an "Electrical Energy Object" that provides electrical energy-specific data reporting capabilities and diagnostics for the electrical energy consumers and producers found within an industrial facility. A "Non-Electrical Energy Object" provides unified reporting of energy consumption and production of non-electrical energy data such as gas and steam. A new "Power Management Object" provides standardized attributes and services to support the control of devices into and out of "paused" or "sleep" states.
PI International conducted an extensive, highly instrumented study of different automotive plants, and looked at what happens during a production pause. The conclusion from that study is that up to 30% savings are achievable using Ethernet protocols such as PROFIenergy. That is a significant impact.
This technology is an excellent example of how intelligent algorithms and network communication will enable better energe management in the future. As part of the application software on machines, energy solutions such as CIP Energy, PROFIenergy and sercos energy (to name a few) are going to provide tools that make it relatively easy to implement energy saving strategies on the machine level. Will be interesting to see the adoption rate for this technology moving ahead.
Yes, it's a good idea, Naperlou. We may end up winning the energy challenge -- in many industries -- through inventive conservation. Just 10 short years ago, energy consumption wasn't really on anyone's radar. With an intense focus on energy, we may make some real progress.
Rob and Al, I thought from the title that this might be something different. As it is, it is very interesting. As Rob mentions, this is a lot like the automobile with an autoshutoff/start engine. In the computer world, it is a lot like the ARM processor. This processor architecture is unique in that parts of the CPU can be shut down to the point that only those parts essential to the current operation powered. This is why ARM has won in mobile device/battery run applications. The CPU can go into a state where there is just enough circuitry powered to respond to an external signal (or interrupt). All of this is under programmer control. In the same way, these power management objects mentioned in the article allow detailed control of power usage by machinery. The parallels are very interesting. Next stop, the power generation grid.
Rob, You're right. The energy focus is now here to stay. But the possibilities going forward with this technology will get even more sophisticated because of the ability to implement energy algorithms that save energy within the production cycle itself as well.
Nice story, Al. This is the plant version of the car that shuts down when it's at a red light. It wasn't too many years ago that plants didn't monitor energy consumption or even care about the subject. That certainly changed for a few short years.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
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