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When tech comes together to cut CO2

Energy management and asset management are converging. The result? A deeper understanding of energy use and greater CO2 reductions.

Almost every company shares a common goal – maximising profits. One of the most obvious ways to achieve this is to increase production while keeping costs down. Or, to put it simply, get more from less.

That’s by no means easy. But here are two ways that can help: asset management and energy management.

Control the asset, control the performance

Large operations, especially those in manufacturing, rely on a host of equipment for production – from heavy and light machinery, to the facilities that house them. As a result, the performance of these assets is vital.

The goal of asset management is to extract as much value as possible from every factor of production. As a rule, this process is guided by failure prevention and, amongst other things, involves:

  • Asset maintenance
  • Behaviour analysis
  • Risk mitigation
  • Compliance auditing

This is quite an undertaking, but, thanks to advances in cloud computing and sensor technology, it’s a lot easier than it used to be. These days, asset management is mostly handled by software using information from embedded sensors (usually RPM meters, oscillatory, heat and/or inductive distance measuring sensors) and BMSs.

From asset management to energy management

Energy management used to be about finding and eliminating waste. Over time, that gave way to the more sophisticated goal of understanding the role energy plays throughout an organisation. More recently, that understanding has been applied to improving efficiencies in process and equipment operations. What started as a matter of simply logging energy intakes has transformed into ongoing monitoring to unlock operational intelligence.

A meeting of management types

Energy management and asset management have traditionally operated as separate fields, however, that’s all changing. Energy management is taking on asset management tasks, and asset management must consider the energy factor to be effective.

This convergence is largely driven by the Internet of Things (IoT). As energy management embraces IoT technologies, its data dragnet is capturing more and more asset management intelligence.

Of course, it’s not just the information captured, but how it’s processed and used. That’s where Big Data, machine learning, and predictive analytics come in. These technologies are increasingly being deployed in business settings to further enmesh energy management and asset management.

Looking to the future

Energy management has expanded to include:

  • Performance screening
  • Anomaly detection
  • Machine diagnostics
  • Predictive analytics
  • Plus numerous other tasks that once fell exclusively within the domain of asset management

It’s fair to say that an asset performance management tool that doesn’t take energy into account is not comprehensive. Without an analysis of energy flow patterns, you’re likely to miss out on crucial intelligence needed for sustained asset performance.

Some businesses are already wise to this fact – and are astutely working it to their advantage. These companies deploy complementary asset and energy management systems (EMS) and draw on both – each informing the other – in making operational adjustments aimed at peak performance.

A recent survey conducted by Panoramic Power found that 50% of companies with EMS-informed asset performance management systems (APMs) boast routine maintenance and repair costs below 10% of their total operating overhead. By comparison, only 27% of companies without EMS informing their APM manage the same.

Right now, energy management and asset management are two sides of the same coin. Eventually, the market will demand solutions that can provide both EMS and APM functionality seamlessly and smart solutions providers will be all too happy to oblige.

This emerging mega-field is not just about a new way to track or control machinery – it is quite literally changing what it means to monitor energy and manage assets. Those who embrace the single solution will be more evolved, more capable and ready for the future of energy.

Find out more about transforming your energy footprint.