Digital Service for Reduction of Compressed Air Costs

For compressed air consumption measurement and avoidance of losses due to leakages and inefficiencies

  • by SICK AG
  • August 7, 2023
  • 348 views
  • Digital Service for Reduction of Compressed Air Costs
    Digital Service for Reduction of Compressed Air Costs

SICK presented the Monitoring Box FTMg Premium, a new digital service for compressed air monitoring. In addition to continuous compressed air monitoring, this solution makes it possible to detect leaks at an early stage and report them by means of an alert, as well as identify consumption losses due to inefficiencies in machines or processes. Furthermore, the digital service is able to compare compressed air consumers with each other in regard to their consumption and costs, and consequently suggest optimization opportunities. The benefits include cost savings in production, a lower carbon footprint, and more efficient service planning. Bottom line is that production planners, energy managers and maintenance staff can reduce compressed air costs in the company by up to 30 % using the service.

Compressed air is one of the most expensive forms of energy. Companies report the cost of this energy source to be up to eight times higher than the cost of electricity. The carbon footprint of compressed air is correspondingly high – especially since leakages and inefficiencies can further worsen the efficiency. Consequently, the ISO 50001:2018 standard calls for the consumption of compressed air to also be taken into account when setting up energy management systems. The FTMg Premium Monitoring Box digital service from SICK helps to identify causes of compressed air losses, and to take measures to reduce compressed air consumption significantly, efficiently and sustainably.

Digital services for comprehensive compressed air monitoring 

In addition to continuous compressed air monitoring, the FTMg Premium Monitoring Box digital service makes it possible to detect leaks early, reliably identify consumption losses due to inefficiencies in machines or processes, and compare compressed air consumers. The digital solution for monitoring and analyzing compressed air consumption consists of three components: a multifunctional FTMg flow sensor, a TDC gateway system, and the new FTMg Premium Monitoring Box. The plug and play digital service can be implemented and operated independently of existing customer IT systems. It is ready to go in no time at all with no further configuration measures – especially since it requires neither intervention in control systems nor special programming knowledge. The Monitoring Box FTMg Premium runs in the SICK cloud by default but can also run in the customer's cloud on request. It can be accessed via URL from any suitable mobile device. It is also possible to provide raw or processed data to the customer's energy management system via a commonly used interface.

Consumption and cost transparency through data analytics

While the FTMg Basic Monitoring Box, which has already been successfully launched on the market, focuses on continuous compressed air monitoring, the Monitoring Box FTMg Premium offers an extended range of functions, which are unique on the market for solutions of this kind. The condition monitoring of the Basic variant is extended by the Data Analytics functionality, which offers both the ability to detect leaks and to analyze compressed air data. This makes it also possible to identify consumption losses due to inefficiencies, the causes of which lie in machines or processes (for example, because of a dirty filter). The FTMg Premium Monitoring Box not only makes the costs for compressed air, leakages, inefficiencies, and excess consumption transparent – it also allows “compressed air benchmarking”, i.e., the comparison of compressed air consumption at comparable measurement locations, machines, lines or production sites. This allows valid, data-driven profitability calculations as well as a realistic quantification and presentation of potential cost savings.

The data provided by the digital service can be used to derive measures for reducing energy consumption in accordance with ISO 50001. Specifically, these include the start-up and shutdown management of processes and machines, compressor control, or peak load management. The enhanced information provided by data analysis thus enables targeted decision-making for greater production efficiency. From a sustainability perspective, the digital service from SICK helps reduce compressed air consumption by up to 30 %. The increased energy efficiency reduces carbon emissions from compressed air generation – and thereby the carbon footprint of the company. For service, the FTMg Premium Monitoring Box provides dashboards and alerting tools tailored to the application. Maintenance work can be carried out on an as-needed basis, which saves time and money. At the same time, the transparency that the digital service provides can help avoid unplanned service measures and machine downtimes.