Understanding Energy Use in Manufacturing

Smart Manufacturing Data Hub online workshop Understanding Energy in Manufacturing highlights ways to reduce energy costs and work towards Net Zero

SMDH has held the first in a series of online workshops developed to assist manufacturers reduce energy costs and work towards achieving Net Zero targets using simple methods of data collection that will highlight energy spikes and phantom load in the factory.

 “Understanding Energy Use in Manufacturing” the first online workshop, was facilitated by SMDH partners D2N2 and Energy Systems Catapult.  It was aimed at UK Manufacturing SMEs seeking to understand how they could proactively measure, monitor and reduce their energy consumption. 

Can you access your energy data easily?  Accessing energy data is essential to seeing an overview of the energy consumption trends in the factory and can be achieved using a Smart Meter.

Smart Metering

UK* Energy suppliers will provide and install smart meters that monitor energy usage in the factory on a live basis, allowing instant monitoring of energy consumption.  It’s free, live information and allows a business to make decisions based on real time information, saving money and reducing their carbon footprint. Another bonus of having a smart meter installed is that all future energy readings are transmitted to the supplier, relieving the pain of predicted energy bills.

Start collecting Energy Data from individual machinery and isolate trends

Sub-metering individual machinery or equipment can provide a source of raw energy data that reveals trends in energy consumption, on individual machinery or equipment. This is particularly useful in identifying and eliminating costly and wasteful “phantom load” energy consumption and tracking machinery that could have high energy consumption.

What is Phantom Load?

Is your factory being attacked by the Phantom Load gremlins? There are 3 types identified below. Read more and start eliminating the Phantom Load from your factory.

Ghost load
Energy used by unnecessary “always-on” equipment.
Examples: Equipment controllers, computers and screens when not in use.
Indicator: Low, constant energy use during non-working hours (e.g. weekends/holidays)

Gremlin load
Excess energy use from equipment needing maintenance or replacement.
Examples: Leaking compressed air lines lead to the compressor running more.
Indicator: Slow increase before then large drop in energy use after maintenance

Zombie load
Energy used by equipment when idling (or when someone forgot to turn it off).
Examples: Machine left on over lunch break, overnight or over the weekend.
Indicator: Large differences in energy use during similar out of hours periods

All three, are types of unproductive energy use which can add up to a lot of wasted energy and money.

The benefits of identifying the Phantom Load

Reducing energy consumption using smart metering or sub-metering has been proven to save manufacturing businesses around 5-10%, so it is well worth the effort.

A step further with SMDH sensor technology

Creating a fuller analysis of factory data is highly recommended. SMDH data experts can provide detailed insights and ultimately save the business even more money, by analysing data from easy to install sensor technology in your factory. A deeper picture of energy consumption can be provided to you by the SMDH data team. Previous energy savings have been as high as 36% from manufacturing sector businesses.

With increasing energy costs, it has never been more important to understand and manage your business’ energy consumption.

Sign up with the Smart Manufacturing Data Hub and start a project with us, and we can help you take steps to identify your unproductive energy use by analysing your energy data.

*Smart Metering may not be available in NI at the time of this news item.


How to Understand Your Corporate Energy Use

Find out more tips and tricks to reduce your energy usage. 

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