Festo’s new energy efficiency module has compressed air systems firmly under control

Festo introduces a smarter way to keep energy consumption of compressed air systems firmly under control.

The new energy efficiency module MS6-E2M is an intelligent service unit system that monitors and regulates operating parameters in new and existing plants automatically. Going beyond the capabilities of a conventional service unit, the energy efficiency module MS6-E2M, or E2M for short, reduces consumption of compressed air by actively intervening in the air supply, particularly during standby operation.

Automatic monitoring of important operating parameters such as flow and pressure by the E2M ensures a reliable production process. The module is not only suitable for new, energy-efficient machines but can also be used as an easy retrofit on older installations, thanks to the simple connection of the sensors to a PLC.

No wastage of compressed air during downtime

The energy efficiency module can be adapted by the user by means of a manual input device (MMI) or Profibus to the requirements of a particular installation. Parameters can be quickly and easily specified based on which the E2M will detect whether the machine is currently in production operation or not. Compressed air supply to the machine is shut off during downtime, preventing any escape of air through leakages on the machine.

Automatic leakage detection

In shut-off mode, the E2M checks the installation for leaks and any pressure drop equal to a value predefined by the user is signalled to the plant control system. The E2M automatically detects leaks in a piping system, enabling the user to carry out maintenance as and when needed. Compressed air supply can also be switched on and off manually if required. Automatic standby detection can be deactivated in particularly complex production processes, so that plant operators can specify via a PLC whether a machine is in production operation or not.

Active condition monitoring

A major advantage of the energy efficiency module MS6-E2M is active condition monitoring, which gives plant operators access to energy- and process-related data at all times. The module can be integrated fully into a machine control system via Profibus, exchanging important data such as energy consumption and machine availability cyclically with the control system.

All values in view

Plant operators can recall all measured values for flow rate, air consumption and pressure at any time, and use this information as the basis for continuous intelligent energy monitoring of a machine. The E2M can help determine whether a plant is consuming more air now than a year ago, how much compressed air is needed for a production batch, whether the pressure is correctly adjusted, or how high the pressure and flow rate were at the time of a machine breakdown.

The energy efficiency module was a finalist at the German Energy Efficiency Award 2014.