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More transparency for machine pool energy balance

News 26.08.2016
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The hall management system is an intelligent function which distributes a previously specified power quantity to individual consumers.

Being the central part of inject 4.0 program by ENGEL, the smart plant involves extensive system integration and networking. The equipment supplier from Austria developed its own Manufacturing Execution System (MES), following its commitment to increase the efficiency and productivity of the customers. ENGEL e-factory is specifically built focusing on the needs of injection molding, making it possible to integrate process data at every level down to each mold cavity. Being modular by design, the system get new modules developed constantly. A new one, named Energy, will be on display at the K show this year. The module visualizes, assesses and optimizes energy consumption by individual process consumers, including equipment by different manufacturers. Thus, a full and detailed energy balance is established; it allows for manual entry of data on non-integrated consumers as well. This functionality of the MES provides for EMAS (the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) certification.

Ruling out the power peaks

The Energy module has the additional benefit of intelligent power distribution to consumers. When the whole equipment pool is powered at the same time after a maintenance or a weekly shutdown, the system provides the most advantage. Peaks of power consumption are reliably prevented even in these situations thanks to the dynamically allocated consumption limits for individual machines.

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The new Energy module in the ENGEL e-factory MES solution makes the actual energy requirement of each consumer transparent.

To enable the smart power allocation, the Energy module gathers data provided by ecobalance, the energy management system that is part of the CC300 control system of ENGEL machines. Both at startup and during production, individual consumption limits and priorities are allocated to consumers comprising an injection molding machine or a production cell. High power requirements of machines at warming-up, during plasticizing and material injection are taken into account. Upon the end of every cycle, the ecobalance system updates the priorities and limits of power consumption, reducing those for the consumers that were allocated a considerable amount of power in the last cycle, and vice-versa.

The new Energy module provides for the same functionality as ecobalance, but covering the entire pool of machines. Injection molding machines, other equipment and entire production cells can now be grouped as the customer chooses, and consumption limits allocated per production hall or area. The energy management system becomes more efficient as it gathers data on more consumers and power sources.

Sustainably reducing the cost per unit

The new MES module provides injection molders with a powerful tool of cutting down their power bills, especially by preventing power peaks. Maximum power requirements may not often be reached, and still, they have to be provided by the power supplier on a continuous basis. And every exceedance of the maximum connected load leads to penalties.
Energy efficiency has always been a key to cutting down the cost per unit. First, many innovations in drive systems made it possible to reduce the power needs of individual consumers. But the current focus shifts to smart power distribution. Today’s mushroom growth in equipment pool networking sustained by the Industry 4.0 concept throws open new opportunities in this area.

  • The hall management is a smart function keeping power consumption by individual areas, machines or units below the specified limits.
  • The newly developed Energy module for e-factory MES by ENGEL provides transparency over the actual energy needs of each individual consumer.


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