Making production processes more sustainable: How industrial software can simplify sustainability

Worker optimising automation

In 2015, government leaders from around the world reached the Paris Agreement, pledging to keep global temperature increases to below two degrees celsius. Achieving this goal requires a significant shift in energy globally, both in terms of generation and use in energy-intense markets such as the industrial sector. Here, George Walker, managing director of Novotek UK and Ireland, explores how industrial business leaders can simplify the process of managing energy usage and improving sustainability.

According to PwC’s 23rd Annual Global CEO Survey, almost one in four (24%) of global CEOs surveyed in late 2019 were extremely concerned about climate change, marking a 25% increase compared to the year prior. This reflects the ongoing drive by industry, public and policy alike to reduce global carbon emissions and turn the tide on manmade climate change.

A key focus for all

Even for CEOs and business leaders that are not personally concerned by the issue of climate change directly, sustainability remains a key focus. PwC’s survey also found that 25% of respondents saw commercial opportunities due to climate change initiatives. Similarly, increasingly strict regulation and standards will make effective energy management, reduced power usage and more sustainable operations more financially appealing, particularly for the traditionally power-intense manufacturing sector.

In the UK, the industrial sector encompasses just shy of one-third of the country’s annual energy demand, with approximately 117,149 gigawatt hours needed to maintain operations each year. Most manufacturers have started taking steps to reduce this energy demand by investing in energy efficient technologies and metering systems. However, these technologies are only as useful as they are monitored and managed, which can be more difficult for larger industrial businesses.

Yet sustainable business practices do not stop at energy usage. Industrial plant managers aiming to improve operational sustainability will also need to consider factors such as water usage. This is more challenging and, therefore, arguably more important in process industries such as food manufacturing or chemical engineering.

Industrial management systems

Plant managers can, however, make sustainability more manageable by integrating it into industrial management systems alongside other key process performance data. In doing this, it not only becomes easier to visualise and monitor, but it also allows for a more comprehensive and practical strategy.

For example, a plant might have a fleet of 30 water meters and 100 smart energy meters. The data from these meters could be integrated into an industrial software platform to show plant managers clearly that usage is high. This might flag the issue, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of insights.

But if this data is viewed alongside the data from washdown schedules, pump pressure or motor speed, plant managers have a glimpse into the underlying issue. It could be that adjusting the pressure of a pump or the speed of several motors could positively affect resource use.

Across an entire production facility, there could be hundreds or thousands of minor adjustments that can reduce energy usage and support more sustainable operation. The bigger an industrial business is, the more difficult this may be to see all these opportunities for improvement.

That’s why at Novotek, we recommend larger industrial businesses consider operations management software that can present insights into collected data in different ways, including running calculations on field data that can scale it up to form a clear picture of everything from energy consumption to overall equipment effectiveness.

Improving sustainability as an industrial business is no easy task, and it’s one that differs substantially from one company to the next. Although globally we have a general agreement that action is needed to minimise global temperature rises, there can be no consensus on what specific actions need to be taken to do this. That’s why the best path forward is one where energy demand and resource consumption is managed closely by plant managers and that’s a step most businesses can take.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

RECENT ARTICLES

Altron Arrow Partners with Fibocom to Advance Commitment to Providing Best-practice IoT Solutions in Africa

Posted on: July 5, 2022

[Sponsored Article] Altron Arrow recently signed a new distribution agreement with Fibocom, one of the world’s leading providers of IoT wireless communication modules and solutions, advancing its commitment to providing best-practice solutions for the IoT industry. The distribution partnership with Altron Arrow expands Fibocom’s footprint in the Africa market, allowing it to offer class-leading wireless

Read more

PCTEL announces its new CMTA portfolio for intelligent transportation systems

Posted on: July 5, 2022

Bloomingdale, USA. 30 June 2022 – PCTEL, Inc., a global provider of wireless technology solutions, announced its new 5G FR1, 10-in-1 combination antenna portfolio, the CMTA, for rail, fleet, and mass transit.

Read more
FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more
IoT Newsletter

Join the IoT Now online community for FREE, to receive: Exclusive offers for entry to all the IoT events that matter, round the world

Free access to a huge selection of the latest IoT analyst reports and industry whitepapers

The latest IoT news, as it breaks, to your inbox