Energy efficiency in industry and production

Resource-efficient operation of production systems based on an example from car body construction

Energy PLC Case Study
Integrating energy from renewable sources into the power supply network requires communication between the producers and the consumers. The importance of integrated load management is growing because of the need to ensure automatic regulation of supply and demand for securing the power supply network and the supply itself. Phoenix Contact is therefore developing solutions that integrate automation into energy management according to the requirements of the operators for modern energy automation.

Roland Bent, Executive Vice President Marketing and Development, Member of the Board

The benefits of energy automation are reflected in reduced power consumption of machines and systems during breaks in production. The prerequisite for a solution to energy automation is the acquisition and analysis of the media and energy use of the components installed during the "production" and “production breaks". By appropriate deactivation of parts of the system, it is possible to reduce energy consumption during breaks without reducing productivity. This advanced  function in system automation is implemented in the Energy PLC that was developed by Phoenix Contact.

The fundamental principles for developing the Energy PLC were compiled by the "Green Carbody Technologies innovation alliance that is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research as part of the "Researching for the production of tomorrow" concept.. This research project is supervised by Projektträger Karlsruhe (PTKA). In this case, it was possible to acquire detailed information on media and electrical energy from an active car body production line and form the basis for an innovative power management solution.

Analysis of the data acquired made it possible to identify recurring cycles. Furthermore,  detailed statements on the use of energy and resources can be made for all components involved in the process. The use of simulation and planning tools helps to identify potential for savings during production and breaks and therefore to evaluate them.

Analysis of the measured data made it possible to describe the general state of systems and components and this served as the basis for development of the energy management system Phoenix Contact.

The Energy PLC represents  the core of the configurable power management system . It receives information on planned production times and breaks from a higher-level control system via a standardized interface and then determines the optimum switching strategy based on the lengths of the planned breaks. The method of function and parameters of the installed system components are adjusted by control technology and switched to “Ready” or “Off” during those periods where production is at idle. The Energy PLC integrates all relevant infrastructures of both media supply in the production hall. This overall view can result in a reduction of energy use of up to 15%.

contact details/company:
Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG
Flachsmarktstraße 8
32825 Blomberg

contact person:
Angela Josephs