Electrical Consumption Data: Giving Factories More Power Than Ever Before

If your operation is like many industrial facilities today, you’re working hard to capitalize on the promise of the Industrial Internet of Things and creating an intricately connected enterprise. Most impactfully, that often means linking devices and analyzing data so you can identify changes in vital metrics that can help you optimize uptime by identifying potential issues before they happen, as well as using the intelligence to fine-tune your processes for maximum yields.

And if you’re like many facilities today, you’re getting some pretty good results.

However, perhaps you’re also getting an inkling that something might be missing.

For example, we are often hearing of operations plagued by motors or other heavy equipment still burning out unexpectedly. Or experiencing uneven performance of “identical” production lines or laboratories. Or seeing plug temperatures that flare up in-between manual readings. Or getting sidelined by the occasional “surprise” thermal runaway incident.

And, unfortunately, in these cases and many others, existing metrics and data capture procedures don’t seem to provide the early warnings operators are looking for.

Hearing this again and again, some engineers at Hubbell began thinking that perhaps there is an opportunity for process visibility that is still hiding from us. Perhaps even hiding in plain sight!

Maybe electricity has the answer
Indeed, electricity is so obvious and ubiquitous, so under our very noses all the time that when Hubbell engineers first thought of tracking and trending consumption data about a year or so back a lot of people both inside and outside the company, frankly, just didn’t get it at first. Then they started thinking about the potential benefits of tracking trends and changes in metrics like amperage, voltage and plug temperature, and the lights, so to speak, went on.

It can be a real “a ha” moment! Truly, electric power is the foundation for every other metric we might be tracking, and many common production and operational problems give clues of their progression through the way they draw and use electricity over time, with otherwise indiscernible hidden changes in current, temperature and more.

Now, with Hubbell’s new electrical consumption monitoring products, the potential to see these invisible clues is within our grasp—providing a huge improvement to the clarity of the picture operators can get of the real time production environment.

Rockwell onboard
As a matter of fact, our partner Rockwell Automation is so taken with the idea and its potential for huge benefits on the plant floor that they have added Hubbell’s new electrical consumption monitoring products to their FactoryTalk® industrial automation software, perhaps the most widely used and respected suite of its kind. This capability expansion means that FactoryTalk users will be able to add electricity usage data to their dashboard of production metrics, and have even greater insight into their operations—with even more power to increase yields, reduce downtime and optimize predictive maintenance efforts!

You can achieve big benefits quickly
But no matter what stage you are in in your data monitoring and analytics efforts—cutting edge pro or relative newbie—electrical consumption data monitoring can likely help you increase yields and reduce downtime. Indeed, Hubbell is currently working with manufacturers in automotive, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, refining and other industries, as well as with big data centers. All of these operations and more want to begin monitoring the electrical consumption patterns of key pieces of equipment in their facility—even hundreds of them at a time. Goes to show, even with large deployments, the benefits to be had make it that cost-effective and powerful!

Want to find out more? Download this free white paper, “Electrical consumption data—a powerful tool for process optimization. How tracking a new data flow can further increase uptime and minimize waste.” We’ve put it together to help give you an even better feel for the possibilities.

Or, if you’re ready to discuss the specifics of your operation, we’re here for you. Just drop me a quick email at mkwilliams@hubbell.com, and I or one of my colleagues will be glad to think through the possibilities with you—no obligation.

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