Festo Module Automates Compressed Air Energy Savings
The energy efficiency module MS6-E2M, or E2M for short, can do much more than a conventional service unit. By actively intervening in the air supply, particularly during stand-by operation, the consumption of compressed air can be reduced. At the same time, the automatic monitoring of important operating parameters such as flow and pressure ensures a reliable production process. Not only is this module suitable for new, energy-efficient machines but, thanks to the simple connection of the sensors to a PLC, it can also be used as an easy retrofit on older installations which now need to operate more energy-efficiently.
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. The user can quickly and easily specify parameters on the basis of which the E2M detects whether the machine in question is currently in production operation or not. During downtime, the compressed air supply to the machine is shut off, thus preventing any air escaping through leakages on the machine. This works in a similar way to the automatic stop/start system in a modern car so that no more energy is wasted.
Automatic leakage detection
When the E2M is in shut-off mode, it checks the installation for leaks. If the energy efficiency module detects a pressure drop equal to a value predefined by the user, it signals this 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. The module also has an option whereby the compressed air supply can be switched on and off manually. In the case of particularly complex production processes, automatic standby detection can be deactivated so that plant operators can specify themselves via a PLC whether a machine is in production operation or not.
A further important advantage of the energy efficiency module MS6-E2M is active condition monitoring. This feature 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 and exchanges important data such as energy consumption and machine availability cyclically with the control system.
All values in view
Measured values for flow rate, air consumption and pressure can be called up at any time. Plant operators can use this information as the basis for continuous intelligent energy monitoring of a machine. With the E2M it is possible, for example, to 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 among the finalists for the German Energy Efficiency Award 2014.