Paul Hurst, Director at Products4Automation, a SCADA expert and exclusive distributor of Progea products in the UK, explores Pro Energy.NExT and its benefits to energy conscious businesses
The demand for businesses to adopt an energy policy that increases efficiency has grown exponentially over the last few decades. New legislation, rising fuel prices and changing industry standards all require companies to monitor and control their energy consumption with higher accuracy. This can not only help to achieve more sustainable operations, but also allows businesses to reach incentives for particularly environmentally friendly conduct. To achieve the real-time monitoring required, businesses need to invest in a future-proof system tailored for energy applications. To this end SCADA expert P4A is launching Progea’s Pro Energy.NExT.
Pro Energy.NExT is a standalone option for the company’s latest SCADA platform Automation Platform.NExT, a future-proof software package that has been built from first principles on the .NET framework. The software is designed to offer real-time monitoring and control, but also offer easy integration for technologies of the future, while enabling total Internet of Things (IoT) operability. The Pro Energy.NExT option differentiates itself by being specifically adapted for the demands of the energy conscious user.
The framework aims to allow operators to record and analyse energy usage, with the versatility to quickly originate and apply efficiency concepts to operations. Pro Energy.NExT connects to meters and other assets to record environmental values, working periods and energy carrier vector information – providing a comprehensive overview of energy consumption. Data is recorded in real-time and transferred to a dedicated SQL database, which is accessible anywhere via a HTML 5 web client.
The specialist features of Pro Energy.NExT include inbuilt project wizards and templates that are specifically tailored for energy monitoring and control requirements. This allows operators to set up new systems with increased speed, enabling the easy addition of functionality and a straightforward customisation process. In addition, Pro Energy.NExT couples this with adaptable energy dashboards, which can quickly display at a glance the operational parameters which are of most use. Next generation graphics delivered by Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) technology further enhances the intuitiveness of the monitoring framework.
Reports and analytics can be structured entirely to an end user’s preference with the in-built report designer. Reports are integrated into each specific project, but by further connectivity, cross reference reports between production data and energy consumption can also be viewed to offer unparalleled analysis.
The modularity of Pro Energy.NExT simplifies the implementation path for system integrators, while also offering increased options for expansion. Versatility due to a design that is tailored to incorporating future technologies ensures that new devices can be easily integrated as plug-ins, allowing operators to build a truly customised energy monitoring system with ease.
IoT compatibility aids integration, but further allows operators to monitor and assess energy performance from anywhere using an internet connection; whether on a mobile device, HMI or PC. End users can therefore quickly assess energy consumption and respond quickly to particular alarms or changes in operation, boosting efficiency across a facility and keeping decision makers abreast of the latest data.
Ultimately, Pro Energy.NExT provides the functionality and flexibility to allow businesses to reach the very highest standards of energy efficiency. The framework collates all relevant data regarding energy consumption, so that it can be applied to restructure organisational policy. Operators can make truly informed energy decisions, minimising the energy intensiveness of processes or areas. This results in reduced building and process management costs, and can open the door for businesses to earn government incentives to further aid long term profitability and sustainability. For effective monitoring and control of energy parameters to achieve the environmental standards of now and the future, end users have the option of a readymade solution.