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Smart solution for a smart sustainable future

A smart innovative solution developed for monitoring and saving power used by machines in the factory

The challenge in terms of sustainability:

Based on the Omron Group Corporate Motto: "At work for a better life, a better world for all" Omron constantly contribute to the reduction of global environmental loads by maximizing the effective use of management resources such as human resources, materials, money and energy, and by providing useful products and services for society. Omron's target is to achieve future CO2 reductions of up to 50%. To achieve this Omron has adopted a twin-track approach. Firstly, using renewable energy sources will have a direct impact on CO2 emissions. Secondly, by developing products and services that will help in reducing waste and improving efficiency that will further help in reducing the CO2 emissions.
In order to achieve this:

  • OMRON established the Group's environmental management vision from 2002 to 2010, entitled "Green OMRON 21" in 2002. Based on this vision, OMRON has promoted environmental management practices centered on lessening the negative impact of its business activities on the environment. Efforts were mainly concentrated on reducing total CO2 emissions and amount of waste associated with business activities in Japan (Domestic in approach as the solutions were implemented in the domestic factories in Japan).

  • OMRON established the Group's environmental management vision from 2011 to 2020, entitled "Green OMRON 2020" in 2011. OMRON is determined to create and supply products and services that help reduce environmental loads, keeping in line with its core value of "working for the benefit of society." By doing so, OMRON aims to further advance environmental management in order to contribute to creating a sustainable resource-recycled society. (Global approach as the products are implemented in the factories of Omron's customers.

The initial situation:

In order to achieve its aim Omron conducted a survey in Japanese factories to find out the main areas of energy consumption in the factory. It was found that that maximum energy consumption was in the area of lighting (20%), production equipment (35%), incidental facilities (25%) and air conditioning (20%). The need was therefore to develop monitoring systems that can be deployed in the production sites in Japan aimed to promote visualization of energy usage in the above mentioned energy consumption areas and improvement of equipment operations such as appropriate air conditioner temperature settings, and power-off for unnecessary lights and PC monitors especially when staff members are away from their desks. Besides this, the importance of building a system that encourages production staff to maintain awareness of wasted or inefficient use of energy for themselves and adopt necessary measures on their own initiatives was also recognized.

The solution:

In order to reduce the energy consumption in the factories and to create awareness regarding energy consumption amongst the employees, Omron in Japan introduced the energy saving component KM50 (KM50 – C and KM50- E). KM50 is a smart power monitor that monitors the power used by each machine in the factory to detailed energy management to support counter measures to save power. They can measure both the power and current simultaneously. KM50 can correctly sense the target electric power range and stand-by electric power with same setting. This means that our customer can sense minute electric power by using same controller because of our special algorithms and circuit methodology.

The sustainable strengths:

The energy optimization of the water pumps system must be noted, as the facts of OMRON energy saving applications which have been proven in the factories. The facilities being in continuous operation for the production always have to be cooled down so that a lot of cooling water is constantly circulated by the water pumps system. And also, the water pumps system itself has to keep non-stop operation usually by controlling the number of pumps running with using spare pumps. OMRON has proven that the energy optimization of the water pumps system could be derived by analyzing the data of the electrical power consumption of case by case in the non-stop operation. And also by constant monitoring of the electric power consumption, the pumps could be diagnosed individually and improved the maintenance productivity. Actually in the implemented cases, this application has proven 5% reduction of the electric power consumption in the water pumps system in average.

The various functions implemented in KM50 that helps in energy saving are as follows (to name a few, not all the features have been listed here)

  • Energy Classification (specific to KM50 – E): Three-state Energy Classification with three-color displays lets the customer know where energy can be saved. Three-state Energy Classification divides the total power consumption into stopped power, standby power, and operating power depending on the power usage conditions so that the customer can see where the energy can be saved.

  • Conversion to Monetary Costs: The total power consumption can be converted to the equivalent monetary cost. Energy consumption classified as standby and stopped power can also be converted to the cost. Displaying the cost of the wasted energy can be used to support energy-saving measures.

  • Total Regenerated Energy: The generated power is measured, recorded and displayed.

  • Total Reactive Power: The total reactive power is displayed and the power factor is improved to support energy-saving measures.

  • Flow Rate Measurements: The flow rate and power can be measured simultaneously, enabling the optimization of energy usage and production.

The inventors:

OMRON Corporation

Brief profile of the company:

Name: OMRON Corporation
Headquarters: Shiokoji Horikawa, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8530 Japan
Year established: May 10, 1933
Employees: Omron Group: 35,92
Solutions: Omron provides a wide range of products and services for industrial automation, electronic components, automotive electronics, social systems and healthcare. The main business segments of Omron include Industrial Automation, Electric Components Business, Automotive Electric Components Business, Social System Business and Healthcare Business
Internationality: Omron is a truly international company with its presence in almost all the regions: Japan, Europe, America, Asia pacific and China