Energy efficiency in intralogistics
©iuriimotov - stock.adobe.com
Intralogistics still has potential for improvement in terms of energy efficiency for manufacturers / production.
In the production of goods and merchandise, complex processes have to be mastered so that the finished end product can be made available for sale in the sales warehouse from a raw material in the warehouse. In this context, there are numerous processes to be handled by the company's intralogistics. These include:
of material, semi-finished goods, and end products. Intralogistics machines and systems handle all these processes. Movement means drive, and therefore, a certain amount of energy is always required.
The trend towards sustainability and energy efficiency is clearly on the rise. Many measures in the field of renewable energies have already been implemented. But in many production halls, old conveyors and transport systems are still operating in intralogistics that are not state of the art. These transport systems are harmful to the environment and are not well thought out in terms of energy consumption savings.
Because a large part of the energy costs in a production plant are attributable to intralogistics, a modern and energy-saving transport solution is needed that will help to significantly improve energy efficiency in your company.
The most efficient transport is usually the one that consumes the least amount of energy over the shortest distance. To achieve this, it makes sense to integrate a transport system into the production operation in such a way that it can be adapted to modified manufacturing processes at any time. Here, a flexible transport system in modular design helps to improve efficiency within the company's intralogistics. This is the first step towards an energy-efficient transport solution in your company.
But you can also pay attention to efficiency in energy consumption with the transport system itself. Thus, a transport system of intralogistics 4.0 should be able to offer these advantages:
Each of these characteristics is important and means lower energy requirements and gentle production. The sum of the many individual measures adds up to a contribution to energy efficiency in your company and provides significant relief in terms of manufacturing costs. At the same time, you are making an important contribution to environmental protection.
Due to rising electricity costs and the demand for enhanced sustainability in industrial manufacturing processes, energy-efficient drive technology is coming increasingly into focus, not only in the industrial production itself, but especially in the area of intralogistics systems. Especially in companies with continuous operation of machinery and internal transport systems, energy-efficient drive systems make a significant difference in reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions while initiating environmental impacts.
Industry 4.0 means networkable drives that run safely and energy-efficiently at the same time.
To achieve a higher efficiency rate in the area of drive technology, the following energy efficiency measures are essential to use energy intelligently and convert it efficiently:
Energy losses during acceleration and braking processes can be minimized with energy-optimized drive control. Smooth acceleration and braking technology not only reduces energy consumption, but also ensures that the drive works resource-conserving, as the mechanical components are exposed to less wear. In addition, an energy-optimized drive control system independently detects different workloads in production and can precisely dimension the required energy supply. In addition, energy-recovery drive systems, which feed the kinetic energy generated during braking back into the grid, also secures lower energy consumption.
An example for energy-efficient drive technology is the drive of the montrac® transport shuttles: Due to the direct feed at the drive via the busbar integrated in the montrac® monorail, line losses are minimized and the energy consumption of the montrac® system is additionally reduced.
Another important factor for energy-efficient drive technology is the use of low-consumption motors. For example, motors continuously operating at constant load must comply with the IEC classifications IE2 to IE4.
Prudent and economically effective energy management in a modern intralogistics system requires energetic resources based on state-of-the-art technology. This includes, for example, lithium-ion batteries as a key technology for storing reserves of renewable energy. Efficient energy storage devices are created during the liquid phase crystallization of silicon. The products produced in this process are suitable for developing optimized thin-film solar cells as energy storage devices.
In semiconductor technology, energy-efficient new developments are also on the advance. For example, nanotechnology is being used to improve the structure of components in optoelectronics significantly.
Qualitatively as well as quantitatively, the new technologies lead to more energy efficiency in the components for Intralogistics 4.0 in modern production facilities.
In the course of evolution, many plants and animals have developed nano- and microstructured surfaces, so-called bionic surfaces, some with fascinating properties suitable for technical applications. Such solutions from nature offer, for example, a model for coating in the micro and nano scale of electronic components for better conductivity and increased energy efficiency.
Using the example of a transport system for production companies from state-of-the-art Intralogistics 4.0, it is easy to see how important an efficient control center is for the entire transport system. The diverse interfaces enable at any time:
State-of-the-art technology in the form of optoelectronic function modules enables permanent data exchange along the entire transport route between:
Data communication between the individual parts of the system takes place by means of infrared signals.
Another advantage of this flexible solution is the integrated TracControl system. Modules integrated in the individual components of the transport system can control and optimize the entire material flow in the system. This prevents jams or blockages at any time during transport.
This advanced control technology creates a total solution in your production hall, where you are always informed about all processes in real-time. Via the Internet of Things (IoT), the control of the transport system can be conveniently integrated into all other manufacturing processes. Concerning manufacturing costs, it is crucial that this optoelectronic control system works economically at the same time and thus contributes to energy efficiency in your operation.
What is the delivery time for a transport system?
Montratec's products convince with their reliability, are simple in system design and can be delivered within 4-6 weeks.
However, energy efficiency in intralogistics can’t be reduced only to individual components of the transport system such as energy-efficient drives or energy-efficient control technology; instead, the focus should be on consumption-optimized operation of the entire intralogistics system. This means, for example, that the entire conveyor system or all stacker cranes should not permanently run at full capacity, but should be switched off as needed. Furthermore routes should be turned off on demand, respectively be reduced or optimized.
Transport goods in a warehouse that are in higher demand should be arranged in such a way that they can be accessed by the shortest route, while items that are in lower demand should be positioned further back in the warehouse. In this way, an intelligent distribution of transport orders enables ecologically sensible driving and lifting times.
Virtualization of the management server to different servers on which individual intralogistics processes are managed independently also reduces energy consumption.
One example for an energy-efficient intralogistics is in itself is the montrac® monorail and shuttle transport system: here, based on the integrated power supply, the various transport shuttles only consume power when moving.
Even at a maximum speed of 55 meters per minute, the average power consumption of a montrac® transport shuttle does not exceed 24 watts.
The entire montrac® system operates with energy-efficient DC power and a voltage of 24 volts, that is directly taken without line losses via the power rail integrated in the monorail during travel time. DC networks are also characterized by much higher efficiency, as conversion losses are eliminated.
In addition, each montrac® transport shuttle is equipped with an integrated power supply, which means that no additional power connection is required for the so-called on-board power supply. Thanks to this integrated power supply for external consumers, even travel time becomes production time, because workpieces can be inspected and processed while the shuttle is still in motion. The other electrically operated montrac® components are also characterized by extremely low power consumption: For example, the switches require only 8.64 watts and the intelligent control unit, the SmartRouter, just 4.8 watts.
In addition to lean production, modern manufacturing companies in the field of Industry 4.0 also pay attention to efficient structures in their intralogistics to work cost-effectively. In addition to energy-saving transport, this also includes effective solutions in drive technology
The focus here is on the exchange, storage, control, and distribution of energy. In the context of intralogistics in your company, the energy efficiency of transport systems from montratec is a decisive economic advantage. The powerful, intelligent transport solutions work flexibly, safely, and reliably and ensure a positive energy balance in your business.