Creating €1.4 million in energy savings for a leading edible oil firm

Posted in Food and beverages

Overview

A leading edible oil firm’s Eastern European site tasked CoolPlanet with implementing energy saving measures and process optimisations to improve yields and increase capacity at their facility.


Key Stats

€1.4 Million
2.32 Years

CoolPlanet examined the client’s gas and electricity bills thoroughly. Furthermore, by integrating the existing plant SCADAs and other local control systems, for example the refrigeration and cooling units, with the CoolPlanet Clarity platform, an assessment could be done on the consumption side, to see what the firm was consuming on site and where. CoolPlanet then matched up this ‘demand’ side to the supply side and saw it was costing the client more to operate certain assets, for example lighting and motors.

By incorporating its knowledge of industry benchmark Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and deep engineering expertise, CoolPlanet was quickly able to verify the initial IGA proposals and identify additional and alternative opportunities.

With the Clarity system fully operational and all the necessary data points mapped CoolPlanet was able to undertake, in partnership with the site team, a number of process trials to assess the identified energy saving measures using real, live data from the plant, aggregated, collated and presented in the Clarity platform. This allowed both parties to fully understand and verify the energy saving measures that were proposed before implementing them on a permanent, long term basis.

Challenge

The client simply did not have the resources or the systems to assess and evaluate energy consumption and process efficiency to high granularity.

The trend was for broadly increasing energy consumption per unit output. Furthermore, there were a number of customs and practices on site that had evolved over time that did not necessarily represent the optimal, best practice approach and thus were negatively impacting on the site KPIs.

Solution

On the process side, the data incorporated into the Clarity platform was used to develop a ‘digital twin’ of the actual production plant.

CoolPlanet’s bespoke software Clarity was used to track energy consumption and understand what drives energy consumption on site.

The statistical analysis tools in Clarity take into account all the variables such as production rate, weather and the maintenance status of the plant to generate models which can accurately predict what the overall energy consumption will be.

Models were created and brought to life, and then continually reviewed, with opportunities for optimisation identified by CoolPlanet’s subject matter experts.

CoolPlanet specialists worked with the client’s site team to deliver a number of process optimisation trials and verified the performance of these trials through the Clarity system before a final, agreed range of energy saving measures were adopted on a permanent basis.

Whilst the main focus of these trials was on energy saving without negatively impacting on the other process variables, quality and consumables, there were a number of further positive benefits in terms of a reduction in solvent loss and improved yield and plant throughput, none of which are captured in the fiscal figures reported within this case study.

Within the refinery process on site, a number of energy saving and heat recovery measures were identified, verified with Clarity and then implemented when production breaks allowed, to further reduce the overall consumption of energy on site and improve plant KPIs.

Furthermore, the range of CoolPlanet’s ‘standard’ energy conservation measures – lighting, motors, compressed air, etc – were implemented on site to deliver an overall site energy reduction of more than 30%.

The below graphs show clear steam and vacuum drops after the ABO installation takes place. The blue line represents the chilled water temperature drop for both graphs to show that the other drops happened at the same time, ie as a result of the ABO.

Result

By adopting an ‘optimise first approach’, real savings, yield benefits and production throughput achievements can be delivered with minimal new equipment requirements.

It is possible to re-optimise pre-existing equipment and processes, particularly those that involve continuous processing.

By developing the ‘digital twin’ models within theClarity platform, and integrating with all pre-existing controls and SCADA systems, adding in hardware where gaps exist, CoolPlanet can not only deliver a step-change in energy and KPI performance on site, there is the potential for ongoing optimisation, tracking and the development of future phases of improvement projects, facilitating an ongoing, continuous improvement journey.

As a result of this project, the edible oil company improved its site energy consumption performance by over 30% and benefited from a range of ancillary improvements in terms of solvent loss reduction, yield and throughput benefits.

Energy savings of €1.4 million were delivered to the firm, with process savings over delivered compared to the initial IGA assessment (€600,000 vs €335,000) and with less capital deployed.