Drives & Controls Magazine September 2023

n FOOD AND BEVERAGE To control its air-conditioning system automatically based on the energy demand, Famiel has linked the system to the energy demand monitoring system via Mitsubishi’s AE-200J air-conditioning management interface. “I adjust the settings according to the season and the weather,” Moriya explains. “We cannot get the full effect with the same settings all year round. To save energy, it is necessary to make full use of the system we have.” In addition to controlling instantaneous energy demand at the new factory, Famiel is also promoting activities to reduce demand over the longer term. Electricity demand spikes when the three ovens are turned on at the start of the day. Once they are warmed up, they use less power. A key to lowering the demand was therefore to suppress the peak after starting the ovens. The company’s contracted power level is based on demand in 30-minute periods. To lower this, Famiel had to ensure that its power consumption was not concentrated in one of these periods. It therefore changed the sequence in which it turned on the ovens so that the second was turned on 30 minutes after the first, and the third 30 minutes after that. “After we start heating the first oven, it takes about 30 minutes to reach the required temperature,” says Moriya. “The change in the baking process therefore had a great impact on the preceding and succeeding processes, so we had to adjust each process, including how we prepare the cake dough. However, the significant fact was that the total daily working hours did not change.” Balancing demand By optimising the processes based on data from the demand monitoring system, Famiel was able to balance the demand and reduce the contract power without affecting its work hours or product quality. By also visualising the water and gas consumption data at the new factory, the company was able to cut its costs further. “For example, in a device that sterilises equipment with boiling water, the water is always kept at boiling point,” Moriya explains. “However, in reality, the time we need it for sterilisation is limited, so it is not necessary to keep the water boiling all the time. If we efficiently control the device so that water is boiled in time for the sterilisation process, then it will save energy. By visualising the real-time consumption of water and gas, we were able to identify where there was room for improvement.” As a result of these measures, Famiel was able to cut its electricity consumption by 6.3% in 2021 compared to 2017 when it moved to the new factory. Demand fell by 3.7% and, by reducing the contracted power, the unit cost of electricity it consumed dropped as well. Visualising gas and water consumption achieved volume reductions of 38.4% and 25.1% respectively over the same period. As a result of these efforts, the company cut its total costs by nearly 10 million yen (equivalent to more than £54,000) over the five-year period, far exceeding the amount it had invested in the monitoring system. Famiel now plans to increase the number of items that it monitors, increasing the visualisation of detailed data, to get an even wider understanding of its use of energy. n Famiel sells cakes to hotels and restaurants across Japan. One manual process is to spread jam on baked cheesecakes.