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Improving Energy Efficiency in the Industrial Sector With Data-Driven Analytics

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Laura Miller

Industrial buildings account for 37% of natural gas, 42% of electricity and 73% of coal used globally. These numbers are powerful evidence that factories and other industrial structures have a major role to play in efforts to control climate change and cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Energy efficiency has already become a goal for many manufacturers. Yet global primary energy intensity—a key indicator of how efficiently economic activity uses energy— improved by less than 1% in 2020. This means that more manufacturers need to prioritize efficiency, and more effective methods must be used to achieve it. 

Smart technologies are powerful tools for minimizing power consumption within manufacturing while simultaneously enhancing the production process itself. For building owners, using these tools for improving energy efficiency in the industrial sector is not only a good financial choice, it is a wise investment in a greener future.

Smart Factories and Energy Efficiency in the Industrial Sector

Over the past decade, digitization and smart automation have transformed manufacturing around the world. Known as Industry 4.0, this approach embraces the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning (ML), big data analytics, and other smart technologies to improve the production processes.

Making factories smart means:

  • Automated workflows
  • Better quality products
  • Greater efficiency in production and distribution 
  • Improvements in tracking and scheduling
  • Increased ability to predict and adjust to changes
  • Less production downtime 
  • Lower overall manufacturing costs  
  • Optimized energy consumption
  • Reduced waste and costs
  • Synchronized assets that work collaboratively together. 

Fully-integrated smart factories work seamlessly with distribution networks and retailers worldwide to get goods to market more quickly and efficiently. One of the most valuable features of this approach is the ability to adjust to changing demands and conditions in real-time. In a well-designed system, that data-driven agility extends to energy use. In fact, the energy-intensive nature of Industry 4.0 means optimizing efficiency is imperative.

Challenge of 24/7 Operations

Optimized smart factories can operate with very little human interference. As a result, many manufacturing sites run 24/7, almost never stopping. This poses real challenges when it comes to energy; a 24/7 operation means constant energy consumption, even when demand and costs are highest. In these environments, opportunities to reduce energy use may seem elusive. But data-driven smart systems and automation are already increasing energy efficiency in industrial sector buildings, including round-the-clock manufacturing sites.

Data-Driven Efficiency

Energy-efficient smart factories are made possible by harnessing the power of data. Connected building systems within these structures use smart sensors to collect data on building conditions and performance. An analytic platform turns the ever-expanding volume of data into insight. It is this constant collection and analysis that makes buildings more energy efficient.

An advanced platform, like onPoint, allows you to: 

  • Identify energy waste and inefficiencies.
  • Implement efficiency-focused automation.
  • Adjust energy use based on availability and price when possible.
  • Take a preventive and predictive approach to maintenance.
  • Optimize scheduling for production and logistics.
  • Reduce costs for research and development by allowing virtual testing and modeling including the use of digital twins.
  • Track progress toward efficiency goals.

Capitalizing on the potential of smart technologies and analytics requires system integration and uniform control software that uses standardized interfaces and homogenous system architecture. This ensures seamless communication, infrastructure interoperability, and agility.

Improving energy efficiency in industrial sector buildings is a significant step toward more sustainable manufacturing. With the right tools, you can minimize the carbon footprint of your property while reducing operational costs for years to come.

Buildings IOT offers state-of-the-art solutions to improve energy efficiency in the industrial sector. Contact our team of experts to learn more about what we can do for you.



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