Industrial energy management systems critical for competitiveness
July 29, 2013 - Industrial energy management systems (IEMSs)—which consist of software, upfront services, and ongoing monitoring and management—are increasingly necessary for large energy users to actively manage their energy consumption and procurement activities so as to remain competitive or gain a competitive advantage.
By Anthony Capkun
A recent study from Navigant Research says IEMSs enable industrial companies to advance their initiatives with regard to cost reduction and improved efficiency by providing detailed knowledge of ongoing energy use patterns, and present and future energy consumption requirements, as well as the internal capability to act on that data.
As such, Navigant concludes the market for IEMSs will reach $22.5 billion in annual revenue by 2020.
“Energy usage is now considered an important data source that can be combined with other business intelligence to provide a more holistic and complete picture of overall business performance,” said Eric Woods, research director with Navigant. “An IEMS enables companies to bring information and knowledge of all aspects of energy-related matters into the present, where cost-effective tactics can be employed before high charges or inefficient usage occurs.”
The depth of the capabilities of IEMS solutions can vary widely, the study concludes. Some IEMSs are passive and perform only a monitoring and analysis function. Other systems are designed to be active, with the ability to control portions of the industrial processes they monitor. Although an IEMS rarely controls all or even major portions of an industrial process, “it can provide significant input into the control processes themselves”.