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How an energy monitoring system can be used to harmonise energy-intensive industrial systems

The use case shows how an insulation materials manufacturer has built an expandable system for monitoring its steam, electricity and gas consumption using gateways from Elvaco and implemented by ICM Technologies. The result: The energy consumed by the systems has been harmonised and the investments have already paid for themselves multiple times.

ICM Technologies GmbH develops measuring point concepts for energy control in accordance with ISO 50001 and uses measurement technology and data communication to put them into practice. ICM has worked successfully alongside Elvaco in the field of smart metering and energy control for over ten years. Since 2015, ICM has been in charge of the German plant of a pan-European chemical manufacturer of insulation materials.

The manufacturing industry is one of the most energy-intensive sectors. As a result, recent years have seen the insulation materials manufacturer confronted with numerous constraints on the use of energy and CO2. For example, in order to receive exemption from the EEG reallocation charge, the plant must demonstrate that it is structured around an energy management system that is compliant with ISO 50001, while systematically ensuring that energy is used sparingly. The manufacturer must also keep their CO2 balance, i.e. their carbon footprint, in mind.

As early as 2015, ICM had already integrated steam meters into areas where the most energy is consumed, reactors and auxiliary processes. Following this, ICM began designing a system to remotely read the meters. using the CMe3100 gateway from Elvaco. The data generated was incorporated into the energy management data record. Over time, ICM used this as a basis to develop an expandable technical system. Today, the insulation materials manufacturer takes readings from the steam, electricity and gas meters at its plant with the help of Elvaco products and by monitoring these values. In order to take readings and manage the many meter values, ICM has developed its own solution comprised of four CMe3000 gateways, which then deliver their data to a CMe3100 gateway.

The results
On the basis of the data obtained using the steam meters and with the help of the readings obtained using the CMe3100, the mode of operation was harmonised over the course of several months. As a result, consumption has been optimised significantly. Due to the control accuracy, the plant was able to generate high savings. In terms of predictive maintenance, maintenance—on the heat exchanger, for example—will no longer be conducted at specific intervals and will instead depend on the actual condition. This means that energy will not be wasted as problems will instantly become apparent thanks to monitoring and, as a result, maintenance can be carried out earlier. Material damages can also be avoided in this way. These savings mean that the investment costs have paid for themselves many times over.

Products used
ICM developed a system for the insulation plant comprised of four CMe3000 M-Bus gateways, which deliver their data to a CMe3100 M-Bus metering gateway.

Summary quote
Christoph Knaup, Distribution Manager of the Projects Business and Commissioner at ICM Technologies GmbH, says "The interplay between the CMe3000s and a CMe3100 gateway make for a very convincing product combination in our eyes. This is because our customers will only need to set up a few more cables or transmission paths. A lot of industrial plants have now been well-equipped with LAN networks. This infrastructure—which is available in any case—is then also used for energy control. Our customer says that they would definitely recommend the system."