We as Sinani Energy pride ourselves in our ability to add value in whatever industry we are commissioned into. One of our most important and widely used tools is the benchmarking of energy versus production within a business. In any organisation that is able to quantify their production process outcomes, we are able to set a benchmark as to how much energy should go into producing a unit of that outcome. This outcome can be measured in single units, litres, kilograms or any other unit of measurement.
In most businesses that have a quantifiable production process outcome, one of the largest inputs is energy and so there is value in monitoring and optimizing the energy usage. The importance of a benchmark comes in having a reference point that can be used to decide whether the production process during a set period was energy efficient or not. Having set a benchmark, it is possible to give a financial indication of how much has been saved or lost during a period by using the energy effective rate which is the rand value per kilowatt hour of energy used.
The benchmarking can be done for different timeframes ranging from monthly to hourly. The process however must start with larger timeframes and then work must be done to reduce the length of time of benchmarking. The importance of a shorter benchmarking time is to allow for quicker response to issues and better analysis and problem solving in the case of inefficiencies.
With a monthly benchmark, it can be found that the month was inefficient however, going back to pin point the causes of inefficiency can be difficult if not impossible. In this case, the problem may have been reoccurring and cost the organisation a lot when it could have been fixed sooner. Once hourly benchmarks are set, it is possible to get notifications as soon as inefficiencies occur, and immediate response can be carried out which will increase efficiency and profitability.
Monthly analysis is the simplest way of setting a benchmark. Depending on the availability of data, historic bills and production data over some months can be used to find a benchmark by simply comparing the quantity of outcomes to the energy used each month. This benchmark will have inaccuracies though because more often than not, the energy that an organisation is billed for is not going to just the production process. Other departments and sections will also need to be powered by the same supply.
Weekly analysis is the next step to efficient benchmarking of a production process. For this, meters need to be installed so that electricity data can be accessed for the period of interest and then the production data can be taken in weekly chunks instead of monthly.
This level of benchmarking allows for the faster response time. Sinani Energy uses highly accurate Elster meters that are SABS approved and so these can also be used to verify that billing is being done correctly and should there be discrepancies between the bill and our meter readings, we are able to challenge the electricity provider and ensure the correct amounts are being charged to our client.
Finer analysis getting close to real-time analysis can be achieved with incorporation of the Internet of Things (IoT) or interactive web applications provided by Sinani Energy. Installing IoT devices that can count or record and transmit the production data onto the internet removes lag time required for production data to be recorded and sent by people.
Algorithms and coding can then be used to link the data from the IoT devices to the data from the electricity meters to give immediate energy versus production numbers and as such, whenever the numbers are above the set benchmark, a notification can be sent out to the relevant authorities and the cause of inefficiency resolved. The same data can be inputted by the client via web applications that will link the production data to live energy data and the efficiency can be established this way.
Data from all our devices can be viewed from our online monitoring platform remotely and in real time. Training on the platform can be provided on request and the platform is completely customizable to display whatever information is required and in the desired layout.
Our Journey with Twizza
Twizza has three plants that each run three processes forming preforms, bottles, caps or cans. Sinani Energy put energy meters on each of these processes and initially, got monthly production data from the production managers on site. The process has gotten to a weekly reporting level where every Monday, shiftly production numbers for the previous week are supplied by Twizza and Sinani Energy reports on efficiency of each six-hour shift.
Losses due to inefficiencies are also quantified and Rand figures provided to Twizza.
This visibility and simple report presentation has allowed for energy efficiency to be an important consideration for everyone on the production floor and has had Twizza see considerable savings from more efficient utilization of their production lines.
Work is currently being done to further improve the frequency of efficiency reporting at the Twizza sites.
Energy vs Production Benchmarking
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