Posts Tagged ‘Energy Management & ISO 50001’

Reaching ISO 50001 with zenon. Part 4: Continuous Improvement

Friday, January 10th, 2014

What the International Standard requires:

Continuous improvement of energy performance is the guiding idea of the ISO 50001. It is therefore an integral requirement to all energy management related activities. Not only shall the measured energy performance be improved but the whole energy management system shall be continually revised, based on the observations and progress which is being made. It shall be assumed that, amongst other criteria, especially the following aspects play an important role in the process of continual improvement.

The active involvement of persons from different corporate areas will be crucial to the prosperity of the energy management initiative. In addition to communicating the basic energy policy, the targets and objectives of energy management in each area and on each level must be communicated. Hence, professional energy management is a demanding collaborative and communicative process. Furthermore, a systematic improvement procedure based on consistent findings shall be pursued. This requires a clear structure of managing respective data and transparent means of data evaluation – the simpler the better. Information once attained shall be available for alternative assessments in the future. Furthermore, it is essential to be able to prove evidence of actions taken and to allow for tracking respective evolvements. Finally, the adaptive nature of corporate energy management inherently requires the system to be able to change. Moreover rearrangements or extensions within a company will require the energy management system to grow correspondingly. An information system for corporate energy management must therefore promote this evolution with maximum flexibility without any constraints.

How zenon supports the fulfillment of these requirements:

  • zenon is a modular system which supports alterations and extensions with great flexibility – technically and economically. Any kinds of control and measurement equipment can be connected to zenon without extensive implementation effort. This is also a great advantage if additional control sequences are required, incorporating actuation in the process.
  • The flexible creation and adaptation of energy performance reports and related figures help the Energy Management Team to incorporate new ideas and observations without having to invest time into programming. This perfectly suits the required tasks of reviewing and evaluating the ongoing developments in defined time periods as well as the enhancement of the entire Energy Management System.
  • zenon´s development suite is offering highly practicable and universal engineering features based on the principle of “setting parameters instead of programming”. Engineering templates such as alarming, monitoring and data-archiving features can be used right from the beginning. Self-made features can be preserved for later usage. Moreover, the zenon Editor comprehensively supports team development scenarios.
  • zenon sees to the specific needs of members of the Energy Management Team. Meaningful visualization elements and well-conceived interactive dialogs provide maximum orientation to any person getting in touch with zenon. Furthermore, descriptive illustrations and documents can be dynamically incorporated in respective views. Due to highly sophisticated networking features, zenon makes visualization, data and reporting available on each level of the facility, dependent on the desired access points and individual authorities.

Scalable coverage of all relevant facility levles

  • The cooperation with companies using zenon for corporate energy management results in valuable experience for both, the users and COPA-DATA. Users tend to be very creative in utilizing the potential of zenon in order to create an energy management platform that perfectly suits their specific needs. Hence, corporate energy management initiatives will be very well supported by zenon in the future. Moreover the scalable architecture of zenon allows for a seamless integration of energy management with other production management or automation and visualization tasks.


Reaching ISO 50001 with zenon. Part 3: Internal Audits, Management Reviews and Reaction to Non-Conformities

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

What the International Standard requires:

zenon Analyzer TrendInternal audits shall be conducted in a cyclic manner to check the ongoing adherence of energy performance objectives and the effective implementation of Energy Management. Management Reviews shall be conducted to strategically assess the effectiveness of corporate energy management. Respective definitions, i.e. the Energy Management Policy or respective action plans as well as measures and EnPIs may be adapted or extended during these review processes. All controlling and reviewing activities shall reveal existing non-conformities or potential problems. Corresponding corrective or preventive action shall be taken.

How zenon supports the fulfillment of these requirements:

  • zenon offers reporting functionality based on the data collected from the processes. Data can be aggregated, statistically analyzed and EnPIs can be compiled. For that purpose, historic data from the MS-SQL-Server 2012 database as well as real-time data directly from the field level can be incorporated. This allows for a fast and precise reaction to upcoming trends and processes. Moreover, the creation of reports can be scheduled on specific dates (i.e. repeated each week or month) or triggered by specific events and automatically archived for later inspection or directly forwarded to inform respective persons.
  • zenon supports a data exchange to systems on corporate management levels, i.e. SAP ERP (certified direct connection). A bidirectional information exchange between SAP and zenon builds the foundation for a seamless integration of process level control and strategic production and business management. Process and Energy Management related KPIs can be integrated into a company-wide reporting and benchmarking system. Furthermore, this direct connection to management platforms builds the foundation for the efficient integration of commercial tasks, relating energy and resource consumption with energy prices. Hence, optimization and evaluation takes place on the most actual and reliable information base.

Reaching ISO 50001 with zenon. Part 2: Monitoring, Measurement and Analysis

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

What the International Standard requires:

One section of the ISO 50001 Standard relates mostly to the technical requirements to measuring, monitoring and analyzing relevant energy uses. Relevant variables must be recorded (sampled) at planned intervals and compared to planned energy performance and performance objectives. Although this part of the energy management definition is one of the most specific ones, it shall be assumed that it is also one of the most demanding ones. Typically, a variety of different automation systems and measurement equipment as well as other IT-systems are relevant for energy monitoring. Manual data input will most likely be necessary in order to complement the information base. A respective energy management platform shall allow for a seamless integration of all relevant inputs. Furthermore, current standings as well as statistics have to be made available to the relevant people or archived for later investigations and audits.

How zenon supports the fulfillment of these requirements:

  • zenon comes with more than 300 protocols of proprietary and standard industrial networks and field-busses. Hence, without any further development effort zenon can be hooked up to a variety of industrial control systems, sensors and actuators. Through the support of proprietary communication protocols, zenon can be integrated in a “non-intrusive” manner. Solely reading from existing installations means that the existing automation environment and control programs don´t have to be adapted. This allows for fast implementation and an immediate indication on the validity of improvement steps taken. Moreover development, debugging and commissioning costs can be reduced drastically.
  • Values can be visualized and monitored in flexible ways. zenon Logic offers possibilities to define control and monitoring programs in IEC 61131-3. Each event of data alteration or received commands from other stations or simply time based events can be used to trigger respective actions. Automatic alarming is integrated into zenon as well as the possibility of logging each user interaction. Respective lists (alarm lists, event lists etc.) can be filtered as well as exported into universal text based formats (XML) for use in other applications.
  • Monitoring, Measurement, Analysiszenon offers a variety of functions for advanced visual design. This allows for a meaningful display of the process status and statistics based on historic and real-time data. With the advanced networking capabilities of zenon, visualization clients can be flexibly arranged within all levels of the facility.


Reaching ISO 50001 with zenon. Part 1: Implementation and Operation

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

What the International Standard ISO 50001 requires:

“The organization shall use the action plans and other outputs from the planning process for implementation and operation” (ISO 50001:2011, Chapter 4.5.1). The securing of sufficient competence, training and awareness about energy related topics of involved persons has to be ensured by the organization. Furthermore, involved persons shall understand their specific roles, responsibilities and authorities in the context of the energy management initiative. The benefits of energy management in general, as well as their individual contributions shall be clearly visible to involved persons. Among other managerial documents, relevant recordings and reports have to be consistently managed and stored (identification, versioning, traceability). During operation and maintenance respective facilities (processes, systems, and equipment) shall be managed under defined conditions. This shall be ensured by respective monitoring and messaging mechanisms. Finally, design of new facilities and procurement of energy services, products, equipment and energy shall be supported by past energy performance observations.

How zenon supports the fulfillment of these requirements:

  • zenon offers advanced ergonomic features. Hence, visualizations and interfaces can be created in a flexible way, taking specific user preferences into account. A meaningful illustration of processes and values helps to avoid mistakes and lowers necessary training efforts and related costs.
    A variety of visual elements help the user to picture relevant activities at a glance, avoiding confusion or misinterpretation. Features include touch or multi-touch operation, process animation or the zenon “World View” option for visualization of extra-large objects, facilities or maps. Of course zenon supports flexible language switching.

  • User administration is a build within the zenon functionality. Various user levels can be flexibly arranged and linked to specific permissions. This allows for a secure and controlled operation. Furthermore, the user administration within zenon can be based on Active Directory and thus be seamlessly integrated into existing IT-infrastructures.
  • The creation of reports is another striking functionality of zenon, allowing for meaningful evaluations on the basis of the entire data volume being available in a facility. The seamless integration of process data from any data source for reporting on a corporate management level is one of the most striking functionalities of zenon. Process data can be comprehensively archived (Microsoft SQL Server 2012) in defined cycles. The historic data can be used along with actual process values for evaluations. This allows for instant benchmarking based on real-time and historical data.
    Respective documents can be either displayed immediately (client terminal, HMI or Webclient), sent to involved persons via E-Mail for further investigation or can be archived. Reports can be exported to well-known office application standards. Moreover, zenon can interact with established document management systems in order to store and archive important documents.
    A link to ERP level allows the providing of KPIs or statistics to existent management dashboards. Respective values can be freely defined and calculated by zenon on the basis of the available process values.

  • Online monitoring of process values and respective alarming and messaging (instant messages, SMS, E-Mail) is a built-in function within zenon. Every person involved in the Energy Management initiative can be informed about important developments and incidents in real time.

 Monitoring, alarming and messaging functions of zenon

From acquisition to reporting – the data flow for dynamic reporting with zenon, as used in ISO 50001 energy management (part 3: Reporting)

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Now, as all relevant historical data is consistently stored in respective data archives, we are prepared to enter the next stage, namely to exploit the information in the context of general and specific trends. Means to comprehensively access (centrally or distributed) information sources is, once more, key. Moreover, the required values have to be selected, matched and interrelated in order to generate meaningful Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This is where zenon Analyzer comes into play. Its seamless integration into the overall data flow of a zenon application builds the foundation of a meaningful and reliable reporting system at the transition point between production and corporate management level.

What does this look like in practice?

In applications like ISO 50001 energy management it is beneficial to collect consumption related data centrally, e.g. on a dedicated resource consumption server. However, in order to relate energy consumption with general productivity figures (e.g. OEE), it is typically also necessary to relate series of measurements and key figures from separate sources. For example, the ISO 50001 standard recommends the determination of so called Energy Performance Indicators (EnPI). Examples range from the simple caluculation of “consumed electricity per shift and/or equipment unit” to more demanding calculations, such as “electricity costs for the provision of air pressure, related to each produced unit”.

A system for a high-performance and reliable determination of EnPIs facilitates internal and external performance reviews and benchmarking.

zenon Analyzer offers comprehensive functionalities to generate, visualize and deliver reports. In the context of a zenon application, a variety of report templates can be directly applied. This means that specific attributes of variables, such as related equipments, shifts or administrative units like cost centers, can be used directly for filtering and statistical evaluations. A data-access architecture based on abstracted connectors allows access to both realtime SCADA data as well as historical values and database archives. Mechanisms of report synthesis are largely based on the Microsoft Reporting Services technology, including web-based configuration and user interfaces. Stored procedures and user-defined functions are integrated into the data preparation processes in order to allow for high-performance reporting cycles.

Quite naturally, reports can be automatically generated, e.g. depending on a fixed schedule, in the case of specific events or when particular values are exceeded. Respective actions simply have to be configured, so that a user can find the according document (PDF, Excel etc.) in the defined folder or document archive.

The ability to integrate information from various data sources into a consistent and clearly arranged data flow is fundamental with respect to advanced energy data management.

In all stages, flexibility is required to integrate various sources of information and to preserve sufficient space for new ideas and approaches. This seems to be crucial for companies to be able to retain the technical and analytical capabilities to support their business and, ultimately, to maintain their competitive position.

From acquisition to reporting – the data flow for dynamic reporting with zenon, as used in ISO 50001 energy management (part 2: Data Archiving)

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

In the preceeding part we discussed the possibilities for data acquisition with zenon. Now let´s assume that the desired variables are available in the zenon Runtime context. A number of data processing, visualization and control features can be utilized in the context of ISO 50001 energy management. For example, variable values can be pre-processed and limited, automatically scaled or monitored. Respective violations and inconsistencies are captured and – if desired – trigger specific reactions, such as control interventions, warnings or alarm messages.

One particularly important task with respect to ISO 50001 energy management and the related reporting is data archiving.

ISO 50001 Overview

Organize and retain your data

In zenon, data archives can be composed freely from any number of type-independent variables (i.e. binary, numerical, string). Values can be stored on change, cyclically or on event. System functions to activate and deactivate logging allow further customization of the archiving system; for instance, to use it in batch-oriented production environments.

Another important feature is the flexible creation of archive structures. Hence, in zenon, data from central archives can be automatically transferred to other archives. This facilitates data aggregation from archives with high frequency granularity into summary or trend archives.

Archive Cascading Example

The archiving mechanisms of zenon are transparently integrated into the overall data flow of an application. Thus, archive data – no matter if it is kept locally in files, on hard-disk or remotely on an SQL server – remains accessible for zenon´s functional modules, e.g. trend visualization or event parsing. Moreover, the archiving features fully comply with zenon´s redundancy standards and are protected against data consistency issues or unauthorized access. Exporting data into open formats such as XML, CSV or dBase is possible for any archive.

Exploit your data

zenon Analyzer is able to access these archives directly and to generate reports from the historic data, utilizing various filtering and data aggregation features. In the next post we will explore this in more detail.

From acquisition to reporting – the data flow for dynamic reporting with zenon, as used in ISO 50001 energy management (Part 1: Data Acquisition)

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

What is it all about?

A variety of performance improvement initiatives in the field of industrial production use zenon´s cutting edge technology to manage respective data volumes. For ISO 50001 energy management, this specifically relates to the monitoring and evaluation of corporate energy consumption.

This article will give you an insight into how data handling mechanisms are arranged by zenon in order to generate a consistent data flow, starting with data acquisition, followed by data archiving and reporting.

Generic Data Acquisition

The industrial IT and automation environment comprises a large amount of entities to monitor and control specific equipment, such as machine, process or building automation equipment, as well as business related systems (ERP, CAQ etc.). Data interfaces can range from well-defined and standardized (i.e. branch related) to proprietary communication mechanisms.

The ability of zenon to hook up to those entities is based on four pillars:

  • Direct out-of-the-box support of a large variety of communication standards and protocols
    More than 300 communication protocols can be utilized right away with zenon, with minimum development effort. All 300 are well integrated and tested. If a 3rd party product supports the generation of configuration data, i.e. variable list export, zenon can import this data accordingly to reduce implementation time and potential mistakes.
  • Flexible network technology
    Application design using zenon allows the use of powerful network design features, such as multi-server/multi-client or redundancy. Moreover, the system can be altered at any point in time, without indepth networking know-how. Hence, it can be easily modeled, according the best fit with regard to the coverage and the logical arrangement of information sources on all levels.

If the integrated communication features of zenon are insufficient, one has the option to use predefined programming interfaces in order to realize specific data links. This will require some programming.

  • Integrated scripting module (API)
    Script modules can be embedded as an integrated part of a zenon project. These establish a link between the zenon Runtime application and the “external world”. By means of VBA, .NET or C# scripting the developer can, using a COM interface, create a customized bridge between zenon Runtime and external components (e.g. SQL database).
  • Modular integration of communication drivers (“driver kit”)
    The integration of communication protocols, as described above, is based on a well-defined interface which connects a communication driver module (Windows .exe or dll) with the central communication management module of zenon (Dispatcher). This interface is open to use for a modular implementation of any further communication standard.

Preserve your flexibility

Typically, there are multiple sources of data within the industrial environment which need to be accessed. It is important for the practitioner to consider the limits of any system before specification, in order to ensure the system deployed can support possible future extensions to the system as well as current requirements.

In the next part we will have a look into the task of data-archiving, typical requirements and how zenon manages this.