Thursday 22 January 2015

A smart way of reducing energy consumption!

A smart way of helping OEMs achieve their energy efficiency and sustainability targets of machinery, the MS6-E2M module from Festo monitors and regulates the compressed air supply in new and existing systems fully automatically. As opposed to conventional service units, the MS6-E2M energy efficiency module, or E2M, actively intervenes in the air supply.

“Saving energy is easier than ever thanks to the MS6-E2M energy efficiency module,” says Steve Sands, product manager at Festo. “For the first time, the air preparation system is monitoring, diagnosing and notifying maintenance teams based on actual requirements.”

MS6-E2M completely blocks air flow 
when the machine is stopped
When the E2M detects a standby status on the basis of predefined data, the compressed air supply is shut down automatically – similar to energy-saving start-stop systems in cars. At the same time, the automatic monitoring of important operating parameters such as flow and pressure ensures a reliable production process. Not only is this module suitable for new, energy-efficient machines but, thanks to the simple connection of the sensors to a PLC, it can also be used as an easy retrofit on older installations which now need to operate more energy-efficiently.

The energy efficiency module can be adjusted manually by the operator or via Profibus to the requirements of a particular installation. The parameters can be quickly and easily specified on the basis of what the E2M detects, whether the machine in question is currently in production operation or not. During downtime, the compressed air supply to the machine is shut off, thus preventing any air escaping through leakages on the machine.

During shut-off mode, the E2M checks the installation for leaks. If the energy efficiency module detects a pressure drop equal to a value predefined by the operator, it signals this to the machine’s control system via Profibus – in the event of leaks in the piping system being detected, maintenance can be carried out promptly. The module also has an option whereby the compressed air supply can be switched on and off manually; this feature can be used in particularly complex production processes, enabling the automatic standby function to be deactivated so that plant operators can specify themselves via a PLC whether a machine is in production operation or not.

A further important advantage of the E2M energy efficiency module is active condition monitoring, which gives plant operators instant access to energy- and process-related data. The module can be integrated fully into a machine control system via Profibus and exchanges important data such as energy consumption and machine availability cyclically with the control system.

Measured values for flow rate, air consumption and pressure can be called up at any time. Plant operators can use this information as the basis for continuous intelligent energy monitoring of a machine. With the E2M it is possible, for example, to determine whether equipment is consuming more air now than a year ago, how much compressed air is needed for a production batch, whether the pressure is correctly adjusted or how high the pressure and flow rate were at the time of a machine breakdown.

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