Power management in Industry 4.0

Here, Anoop Gangadharan, product marketing manager – Power Measurement Solutions, Yokogawa Europe, explains how accurate measurement is the key to energy efficiency in the implementation of Industry 4.0

As industry evolves to 4.0, energy management assumes new significance as the convergence of IoT, analytics and cloud computing leads to new complex, decentralised, connected industrial systems and ecosystems. Factors such as environmental considerations, cost challenges, and the evolving regulatory framework mean that smarter energy management becomes a key part of Industry 4.0. At the same time, businesses have an ongoing need to reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and maintain high availability, reliability and quality of power to ensure business continuity and reduce production downtime.

This increased focus on energy efficiency demands measurement tools to ensure that the correct levels of power management are being maintained in these complex systems. Hence there is a growing interest in a new generation of power measurement and analysis solutions offering higher levels of accuracy.

This new breed of power analysers will need to have accuracy not just for short-term requirements but also to ensure validity over the long term to ensure standards compliance for years to come. They will also have to ensure that this accuracy applies across the board: in power measurements, harmonic analysis, mechatronic and motor evaluation testing, and overall efficiency monitoring.

A power engineer in the Smart Factory must be able to accurately measure more than just voltage or current uncertainty and take power uncertainty, as a whole, into consideration. This means going beyond the multichannel electrical measurements under the appropriate bandwidth, power factor, wiring configuration and measurement range suited for the application under test. Measurements now have to account for varying power factors, fluctuating signals and the harmonics associated with higher switching frequencies. In case of mechatronic evaluations of motors or drives, accurate measurements of torque, mechanical power, slip, rotation speed, temperature, pressure, strain etc. may also be needed.

In order to achieve these goals, the next-generation instruments will have to be flexible, extensible and versatile and be capable of synchronised multi-motor measurements and will have to pack all this complexity into an intuitive, easy-to-use platform.

Conclusion

Engineers are now faced with growing network complexity and therefore the number of measurements and tests they must carry out in their role has greatly increased. In order to achieve optimum energy efficiency, power engineers have a growing need to correctly and accurately characterise the behaviour of all power system components in the Industry 4.0 Smart Factory. They will have to be helped in these endeavours by a new generation of power analysers that will combine accuracy, long-term reliability and versatility to respond to the multiple challenges of the factory of the future.

To learn more about how Yokogawa employs these principles to help you get precision insights from your test bench, sign up for this webinar on the Next Generation in Power Measurements.

http://tmi.yokogawa.com/eu/

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