As industrial businesses strive to reduce their energy use – to be more sustainable and save on operational costs – ifm’s self-service IIoT platform, moneo, offers an easy solution.
According to Freddie Coertze, the National IoT Business Manager for ifm Australia, moneo draws on all the data collected from an industrial powermeter – including historical data and livestream analytics – then uses artificial intelligence to provide insights that can be actioned immediately.
“Unlike other systems that only monitor power usage, moneo will measure voltage, current, power factor and harmonics – which are commonly used to identify a lot of mechanical faults – and having these insights available can be hugely beneficial to an industrial business,” explains Freddie. “For starters, you can determine what your power factor is and if this needs to be corrected.”
Power factor expresses the ratio of actual power used in a circuit compared with the power delivered to the circuit. The higher the power factor, the more energy efficient you are. Whereas a lower power factor indicates inefficiency.
“If I explain this using the beer analogy, true power factor is the useful beer liquid in the glass, whereas the total power delivered includes the useful beer liquid in addition to the foam on top. That foam represents lost or wasted power – energy being produced but not doing any work,” says Freddie. “If your circuit is 100 per cent efficient then the power that is delivered to you is all useful. It’s the good stuff; the liquid part of the beer.”
Whereas if a business has a lot of ‘foam’, they are also potentially wasting a lot of money.
“Once you have corrected your power factor, moneo can be used to set a benchmark on that – so you can set limits with moneo to provide ongoing monitoring,” says Freddie. “And if something changes, such as the condition of a machine or if a motor starts degrading, or a circuit is acting out, moneo will actually flag you and let you know that your power factor is out again.”
Whilst power factor is important, Freddie says that the moneo toolbox can provide a whole host of insights that can help industrial businesses be more energy efficient.
“By having this extended visibility of the energy used at your site you can actively optimise your system to save power,” he says. “And the other aspect with this is the harmonics. This tells you what’s happening with your machines in real time.”
However, Freddie stresses that moneo isn’t just a condition monitoring tool. It is a predictive maintenance platform that gives you information well in advance of any event. The point of difference is that moneo has been designed as an out-of-the-box, all-in-one solution, that is easy to integrate with existing systems at an industrial operation.
“It comes with the hardware, software and predictive formulas included so that you just hook it up to your power meter and it will give you insights straight away,” Freddie concludes. “It is self-service and you can expand easily, or ‘grow as you know’ is what I like to say. For example, you can start with your power meter, but then expand into water tracking for water monitoring or temperature tracking – it’s not limited. Whereas other suppliers can perhaps just give you an energy monitoring platform, moneo can be used to enable a successful predictive maintenance program across your entire facility.”