Friday, January 28, 2011

Reducing consumption to save

Proficy® for Sustainability Metrics Accelerates Energy and Water Reductions with Actionable Information

GE Intelligent Platforms has a new software solution aimed at helping producers achieve more environmentally sustainable operations. Going beyond utility billings, or facility-level meters, Proficy® for Sustainability Metrics offers a starting point for measuring and analyzing energy and water consumption at the area, process or machine level within a facility. The solution makes utility consumption data actionable by exposing it to those in a position to manage it day-by-day in a facility.


“A combination of regulatory, customer and cost pressures are driving every sector, most notably manufacturing, to reduce consumption of energy and water throughout their operations,” said Erik Udstuen, Vice President, Software & Services. “Some customers may realize significant savings, on the line of approximately 20% of energy or water in an area or process, simply by exposing unusual consumption patterns and prompting intervention by operators and supervisors.”

Measurement of resource usage has commonly been based on utility bills, or on “whole facility” levels of measurement. And, most existing software applications that deal with utility consumption deliver information and analytics in isolation from contextual data that would provide insight into the factors that actually drive usage. By enabling detailed measurement and reporting in relation to the processes and equipment that are consuming resources, Proficy for Sustainability Metrics enables both real-time response to unusual usage, and provides a detailed history to drive analysis and improvement efforts. This combination of responsiveness and data-driven equipment tuning has enabled some GE customers to realize water or energy usage reductions of more than 10%.

The Proficy for Sustainability Metrics solution is built on industry-leading software products from GE’s Proficy Software Platform: Proficy Historian, Proficy Pulse and Industrial Gateway Server I/O drivers, and it includes visualization objects that can be used in the Pulse environment as well as Proficy iFIX. This architecture means Sustainability Metrics to be easily integrated with existing supervisory and monitoring systems or deployed alongside, leveraging existing investments in data collection or automation.

“Providing a solution that contains standard products with a set of re-usable objects enables customers to quickly construct a measurement and reporting framework that matches the physical realities of their facility, and reduces the time and cost associated with delivering by-area or by-asset views of consumption,” Udstuen continued.

Manufacturers will be particularly interested in this solution as it represents a low-cost, low-risk way to begin collecting and presenting data that not only offers internal economic value, but also is required by an increasing number of customers. And, for campus-based organizations like universities, multi-building corporations and hospitals, it is the first step in a campus optimization journey to view data from islands of automated systems across the campus.

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