Unplanned power outages can be costly both from a production and financial point of view for those operating manufacturing sites. Even a short outage can become a major problem, with some factory floor equipment shutting down immediately as the power is cut, forcing motors, drive systems, conveyor belts, and other machinery to stop and then begin the process of resetting.
In some environments, this rebooting process can take hours. In production environments for food and beverage or life sciences, entire batches of products may have to be discarded because of potential contamination. Power outages can also cause havoc with manufacturing processes which involve chemical reactions, which may become unstable if halted at the wrong time.
To avoid these types of problems, manufacturing operators should focus on boosting their power availability – ensuring downtime is restricted as much as possible.
Gaining better visibility on your plant’s electrical infrastructure can help you manage your power network so you can significantly reduce costs, improve sustainability, and help ensure the continuity of power that is critical to your processes.
Installing a complete EcoStruxure Power solution, comprised of connected power distribution devices and smart meters, edge control software, and cloud based advisory services, allows manufacturers to manage and monitor their assets. This power management digitisation helps teams continuously monitor the operation of their energy and power network, as well as uncover and act on many other opportunities.
With the use of connected products, such as MasterPact MTZ, if a fault condition occurs on a circuit, only the breaker closest to the fault will trip. The circuit breakers upstream from the tripped breaker are unaffected, and power remains available to all other circuits and loads. This improves power availability by quickly getting power back online.
On its own, MasterPact MTZ will help you recover power when a fault occurs. Further, the use of the EcoStruxure Power Device app coupled with MasterPact MTZ digital modules will help you reduce troubleshooting time in power outage events by up to 15%. Even without a power supply, you can still identify the outage root cause with an easy, touchless NFC connection and then access a simple and interactive power restoration guide to help restore your installation quickly and safely.
Another benefit of greater connectivity and visibility is seeing beneath the surface of your electrical system. Power quality events, such as high harmonics, voltage sags or transients, can cause ongoing problems, and are often not identified until an undesirable outcome occurs. Events such as random trips of circuit breakers, or the premature replacement of burned-out electric motors and variable speed drives are all symptoms of poor power quality. This can be expensive and time-consuming to resolve.
With EcoStruxure Power Monitoring Expert, manufacturers can identify, analyse, and isolate any power quality (PQ) event or condition that could affect the reliable operation of their production lines. The system will alarm on such anomalies, giving plant personnel time to find and address the source before it can cause damage or downtime.
Expert services for peace of mind
As workforces change, and new hires may not be as experienced as those they are replacing, some manufacturing teams are turning to expert services to provide an effective and affordable solution to ensure their uptime. Schneider Electric’s Field and Digital Services engineering teams combine cloud-based tools with experienced advisors to monitor and improve the performance of onsite assets and maintain high power availability.
These expert services take advantage of connected systems to collect and analyse data from the assets so they can mitigate any risks to reliability and identify root causes. Some of the advantages of using a service team include:
Integrity of data: Important plant decisions must be made with reliable and timely data. Schneider Electric’ advanced analytics tools leverages plantdata to detect any errors in how metering devices have been wired or configured, whether communication connections are working properly, what power quality problems are present and provide recommendations on mitigating these issues. Such problems can be quite common and can greatly impact plant performance. Advisors can also make sure your onsite power management system server responsible for the data acquisition and storage is operating reliably.
Promoting Power Availability: Electrical distribution systems have become more complex, including more power-sensitive loads. Advisory services can provide access to our 24/7 service bureau that remotely monitors power, energy, power quality, and asset conditions across your entire power infrastructure to reveal hidden risks to reliability and efficiency. Even in cases where physical access to a plant is restricted, the service bureau team can remotely monitor your electrical infrastructure. If a problem surfaces, the advisor tools alert all stakeholders and our field services experts can coordinate with your team or contractors to arrange for onsite servicing activities. This means trucks roll only when needed, improving efficiency and safety for everyone.
Ensuring Asset Health and Safety: The newest sensor and smart device technologies combined with advisory services now offer a greater scope of analytic capabilities to help you keep your critical assets and operations running safely.
Energy Efficiency and Cost Optimisation: An expert services partner can help you reveal opportunities to reduce energy waste and inefficiencies.
Ultimately, the greatest value of using expert advisory services transcends the list of benefits above. A typical service team will be working with large numbers of clients, drawing experience from these sites to gain a depth of insight not possible using your own team and tools.
There are many options when it comes to improving the power availability of your manufacturing plant. Keeping systems up and running, whether through better monitoring and predictive maintenance, innovative products which reroute the power network, or with greater remote connectivity, can ensure better profitability and smoother operations.
To find out how Schneider Electric can improve power availability at your manufacturing plant visit se.com/au/power-availability.