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Remote monitoring of production energy use

20 April 2017

Energy consumption is a major cost for food manufacturers and, for smaller companies in particular, measuring (and regulating) the energy consumed by specific pieces of equipment can be a challenge. 

Italian company Inoma has worked with Omron Electronics to develop the Easyprofit system, which allows for the remote monitoring of energy usage. The system can monitor processing and auxiliary equipment, including different types of cooking system, as well as refrigeration, freezing and air conditioning. It can also will measure consumption of other utilities such as gas, as well as electricity. 

The technology utilises Omron’s KM1 smart power-monitoring platform and an NJ controller within a Sysmac automation environment. The iCloud architecture permits remote real-time monitoring via a tablet or other device.

“The KM1 allows us to save space, thanks to its multi-circuit capability,” according to Gianluca Giovanardi and Morgan Cabbia, partners at Inoma. “It also measures with high accuracy even currents below 5% of the nominal value.” 

The space-saving potential of the KM technology and its master-slave architecture has allowed the size of the electrical panel to be significantly reduced, in comparison with measurement equipment from other suppliers, says Inoma. This in turn has helped to reduce the cost of the system to end users. 

The Italian installations of the unit have helped customers reduce energy consumption by up to 20% with payback within two years. It allows managers to monitor consumption to ensure that higher tariff thresholds are not triggered. 

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