Managing Energy as Raw Material

Better management of energy is a profitable way of approaching results and leaves lot of money on the table, if a good management investigation is not implemented. Thus, a project is not approved till the promoter has dog-tired all avenues to conclude that, there’s no better approach to energy consumption within the project’s specifications.

To monitor foundry’s overall energy cost savings annually, energy saving programs is conducted. A monitoring system known as M&T enables continuous, real-time monitoring, and estimation of energy consumption. Energy is required to be managed systematically and consistently to ensure that the energy resources are utilized effectively. And this constitutes the principle of the U.K.-developed monitoring and targeting (M&T) technology of energy management.

As an energy management technique, M&T helps the companies to achieve high efficiency improvements through recorded energy consumption data. This principle also signifies that energy and other utilities are direct and controlled costs, which are required to be monitored and controlled unlike any other significant production component in foundries, like labor, materials and product distribution. M&T does not imply to attach greater importance to energy costs as compared to other controlled costs. However, energy plays a significant role in foundries.

M&T Energy Management Process

Monitoring and targeting (M&T) process divides the plant into energy-accountable centres. These centres should correspond to existing centres like melting, fishing etc and within each of these centres energy consumption is monitored. Depending upon the installation of adequate monitoring and measuring equipment, individual key energy-using equipment can also be checked.

With continuous analysis and collection of the data; supervisors, maintenance personnel and operators can fine-tune foundry operations. Aberrations, such as excessive consumption peaks, can also be investigated and acted upon immediately.

Primarily, the system builds a historical database – creating a base to which the future actions will depend upon. Each item monitored (e.g., furnace efficiency) will necessarily, develop a suitable index against which to assess performance. And a performance standard will be derived from historical data for each index. Although factors significantly affecting efficiency; should also be reflected.

There may be a scenario, where historical data is unavailable because of the previous lack of instrumentation. In such cases, several months of data gathering will be required to derive the standards. From the derived standards, progressive individual future energy consumption targets can be agreed upon by managers involved. Also, these targets should be assumed to be realistic and achievable representing improvements in energy usage.

Application of M&T:

M&T Energy Management System can be useful to energy and non-energy ‘consumables’ such as water, natural gases, waste streams like seepage, solid waste, toxic waste, etc. M&T also provides an exceptional stand for measuring and subsequently validating reductions in CO2 emissions causing green house effect.

Functions of Energy Management System
  • To monitor usage rates of natural gas/oil, water, electricity and compressed air under all plant operating conditions;
  • To calculate energy costs/unit of production, for each operation;
  • To evaluate the impact of process changes on cost involved;
  • To determine effective strategies on electrical peak load control;
  • To analyze the process and reduce fresh water consumption;
  • Entwine the M&T system with a foundry-wide energy management computerized system for process control condition monitoring and automation; and
  • To monitor and troubleshoot the energy consumption.

The cost of installation of Energy Management System would depend on the extent of installed apparatus, required coverage, and the methods for recording and analyzing data. The installation can pay for itself in increased efficiencies and savings in a matter of months. And with the appropriate trainings, operating staff can identify and rectify these energy management problems based on the M&T data.

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