Controlling machinery processes is crucial to productivity – but it can also affect energy use, impacting on the bottom line. t-mac Technologies outlines its product offering, which helps identify ‘hidden’ energy wasters
Under-performing or poorly-maintained equipment is not only a drain on resources – it is often difficult to identify where wastage is occurring, especially where air compressors are being used.
Under the Government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), companies which used more than 6,000 MWh of electricity in 2008, must now measure and report their carbon emissions annually. This means businesses can incur energy costs from three directions – immediate loss of efficiency from machinery; the associated cost of running that machinery at increased power levels to combat leakage or wastage, and the CRC payments which accrue from unnecessary energy usage.
Leaks in the high-pressure pipes in air compression systems can go undetected for long periods, especially if those pipes are concealed behind walls. Even though the air which leaks is harmless, the loss of pressure isn’t – if left unchecked it can cause energy usage to spiral.
Additionally, leaking compression pipework places a heavier load on the machines and processes which rely on that compressed air to function. They in turn will use more energy to compensate, and the cycle continues.
t-mac Technologies can help businesses identify energy reduction opportunities by isolating ‘hidden’ energy wasters such as poorly performing equipment and machines sitting idle. The company manufactures and designs remote equipment diagnostics and condition monitoring technology. It also produces energy management software to help businesses control the energy they are using.
The hardware works by monitoring energy consumption patterns to highlight inefficiencies in use. t-mac can also monitor equipment conditions and provide information on remote diagnostics, identifying changes in equipment temperature or pressure, then alerting on fault codes and analysing performance. All information is logged and mapped through t-mac’s online software suite, with alerts set up for dedicated users against pre-defined limits and desired settings.
Lisa Gingell, from t-mac said: “Systems like t-mac let businesses see which pieces of their network are using more than their fair share of the energy budget – then act to reduce usage and save money as well as the environment.”
t-mac units work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so any irregularities are spotted early – meaning maintenance issues can be dealt with before they escalate in time and cost. This predictive maintenance saves resources, minimises equipment down-time, reduces staff time pressures and reduces the need for expensive engineer call-outs.
The t-mac online software suite works in tandem with the hardware, and provides a single portal for businesses to analyse, identify, quantify and report on energy inefficiencies throughout a site or multiple sites.
When connected to machinery, t-mac can send SMS or email alerts to users when pre-set conditions are broken or levels become abnormally high, providing remote access to diagnostics information and enabling users to either turn the equipment off or up, as applicable. They can control these functions either on-site or remotely over the internet with online analytic software from any location.
Once identified, alerts can be configured against profiles, fault-codes and machine performance such as vibration and temperature, ensuring remote users are alerted when energy-inefficient activity takes place. This enables businesses to eliminate energy wastage early, in order to reduce the cost associated with excess energy consumption, machine downtime or the development of further machine faults.
t-mac’s dashboard software can help align machine operating hours with business opening times and high/low energy tariffs. It displays real-time energy and environmental data to educate a company on its energy management activities and carbon reduction commitments. Dashboards encourage buy-in, and connecting with staff in this manner allows companies to share the fruits of their energy saving efforts, with transparent and instant results shown on plasma screens, PCs, tablets and the web.