Enterprise Resource Planning Enables Energy Management In A Continuous Process Plant
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Enterprise Resource Planning Enables Energy Management In A Continuous Process Plant
Article Introduction
In the early days of business computing, companies used to write their own software to control their business processes, which was an expensive approach. Since many of these processes occur in common across various types of businesses, common reusable software may provide cost-effective alternatives to custom software. Thus some erp software caters to a wide range of industries from service sectors like software vendors and hospitals to manufacturing industries and even to government departments.

Article Description
With energy costs rising faster than the rate of inflation, combined with the freeing of imports, all hitherto protected industries have to face the challenge of overcoming the price war, and creating adequate profits for future growth. This has created an immense need for cost consciousness among all the plant personnel along with the need to maintain international standards of quality. Towards this endeavour, it has been observed that energy management and energy conservation measures are indeed a major step in improving bottom lines. This is possible by having a continuous energy improvement program based on real-time, on-line, plant data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, decision-making and energy savings implementation, in a closed loop. The key factor for the success of the above is the speed and accuracy of data collection and its integration with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) packages.

Enterprise resource planning is a term derived from material resource planning. ERP systems typically handle the manufacturing, logistics, distribution, and inventory, shipping, invoicing and accounting for a company. Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP software can aid in the control of many business activities, like sales, delivery, billing, production, inventory management and human resource management. ERPs are often called back office systems indicating that customers and the general public are not directly involved. This is contrasted with front office systems like customer relationship management (CRM) systems that deal directly with the customers, or the eBusiness systems such as eCommerce, eGovernment, eTelecom and eFinance or Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) that deal with the suppliers. ERPs are cross-functional and enterprise wide. All functional departments that are involved in operations or production are integrated in one system. In addition to manufacturing, warehousing and shipping, this would include accounting, human resources, marketing and strategic management. In an enterprise energy management network the three database servers should be able to communicate among each other over the network. Once this requirement is fulfilled, energy data can freely flow in the organisation, to fulfill the objective of data analysis and corrective actions.

The Enercon advantage
Enercon Systems have created a niche in the field of Electrical Energy Management Networks, which forms a part of enterprise energy management system. Many electrical parameters need online measurements and real time controls, the most important one being the maximum demand control. Total Harmonics Distortion is creating unpredictable problems in industries, which is created due to non-linear loads like variable speed drives soft starters, DC drives and electronic ballasts. Some of the identified problems include transformer overheating, fuse blowing, CNC system malfunction, computer data corruption, frequent breaker tripping, etc. Hence monitoring of industrial harmonics is very important. Other parameters needed to monitor quality of power include power factor, apparent power, reactive power, active power, number of trips run hours and trip hours of a feeder. Enercon supplies a range of instruments to address all these complex parameters.

Enercon Electrical Management Network
1. Remote units: Installed at various factory load-monitoring points.
2. Data concentrator: Used to covert the energy pulse outputs from the energy meters to RS 485 output.
3. Data communication cable: This is the RS 485 communication backbone, over which all remote units get connected to.
4. Data convertor: This is a RS 232 to RS 485 convertor.
5. Modem: Used for long distance communication over telephone lines.
6. Modem convertor: This is a modbus to modem convertor used for modem communication. Personal computer: All the data from the remote units get logged into the computer for meeting the energy management goals.

Total Electrical Energy Management Network System
The system comprises of a PC based Energy Monitoring System (eLANTM) networked to Enercon range of instrumentation (Smart demand controller, power & energy monitors, trivector monitors, universal power & energy meter, power analyser (CVM 96 & CVMk) and digital energy meter).

The networked energy monitoring system proposed would enable the user to monitor the energy consumption of the entire plant as also various subsections of the plant in real time. Some of the major advantages of the system are:
a. The instrumentation provided at the incomers help in monitoring and verifying the EB (Electricity Board) billing readings, as also track the demand profile as seen on the EB lines and the DG (Diesel Generator) incomers. This would enable the user to control the demand by suitable strategies. The benefit of this being avoidance of demand penalties and optimal utilisation of international generation.
b. The instrumentation provided at various load centres and major loads enables user to monitor the energy consumption at these points. The eLANTM system computes the energy balance at various nodes and computes the system losses to enable formulation and implementation for loss elimination/reduction schemes, thereby effecting energy conservation.
c. The eLANTM system also computes the specific energy consumption of the plant and the sub processes. This would enable the user to identify the process inefficiencies and improve the same, leading to energy conservation. The specific energy consumption also helps the user benchmark his process energy efficiency within the industry.
d. The instrumentation and eLANTM system enables the user to monitor the electrical system and major equipment healthiness. The run-hour log for major equipment is maintained by the system. This would help in better, cost effective and need-based maintenance compared to the open-loop time-based systems thereby improving the equipment availability and overall UP time of the plant.

· Continuous and real time energy audit - localize process inefficiencies.
· Monitor and benchmark specific energy consumption.
· Optimise cost of electrical energy inputs.
· Monitor electrical system healthiness, T&D losses, and harmonic distortions.
· Demand and power factor management by analyzing the data.
· Customised MIS reports of energy usage.
· Avail 100% depreciation.
· The eLANTM software enables collection of data, viewing of data in graphical and tabular formats and processing of data as desired, using standard widely used packages such as MS Excel, etc. The software generates reports on measured as well as calculated parameters.
· The eLANTM software runs as an application under MS Windows and reports can be generated on the network.
· Expandable.
· Multilevel security.

Continuous process plants can redefine the way they undertake energy management studies by using modem energy management technologies, giving fast energy savings and fast paybacks, which in most cases has been less than a year. This is clearly a viable option for many industries where survival and growth are clearly defined as their organizational goals.
Posted : 10/26/2005

Enterprise Resource Planning Enables Energy Management In A Continuous Process Plant