Energy Management Technology Helps Food Manufacturers Meet ISO Goals

By Jon Rabinowitz

To attain ISO 50001 certifications, food manufacturers have to implement power consumption policies and design action plans to reach energy usage targets. The problem is, manufacturers rarely have information that details how much power their facilities consume at the equipment level.

This lack of insight can lead to a lot of guesswork, hampering the effectiveness of energy policies. As a result, many food manufacturers trying to attain ISO 50001 certification have turned to technology that gathers and analyses asset-level data.

Devoted solutions are used to aggregate and analyse asset level information from IoT sensors, helping facilitate the reporting needed for specific ISO requirements. Below, I detail what this technological integration entails and how it can help with ISO 50001 compliance.

Collecting Food Manufacturing Energy Data 

Facility managers can't expect to develop effective energy management policies without first collecting operational data. This is the first step and it is required by the first clause of ISO 50001, which holds facilities responsible for:

"[E]stablishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system, whose purpose is to enable an organisation to follow a systematic approach in achieving continual improvement of energy performance, including energy efficiency, energy use and consumption."

Once the data is collected, organisations need a solution to help understand, analyse and report on energy consumption from the device level to the site level. This type of energy management technology can also help food manufacturers leverage asset-level data to inform procurement practices and eliminate inefficiencies.

Using Asset Data to Identify Wasteful Equipment 

Growth in productivity in the UK is still well below pre-recession levels.. In light of this, food manufacturers should analyse their operations' energy input and identify ways to reduce it. Achieving this would increase their overall efficiency, given that productivity is a function of a facility's input-to-output rates. 

So how can an energy management system reveal input reduction opportunities?

Food manufacturer Strauss, for example, used the technology to spot a sequence of operations error within its cooling compressors. Data from sensors tracking energy consumption correlated to ambient temperation revealed sudden bursts that pointed to a certain mechanical miscalibration. By recalibrating the compressor, Strauss saved £115,000 per year.

Energy Management Technology In Context

Hundreds of thousands of pounds in savings can make a huge difference to a company's bottom line. If manufacturers can reduce the costs associated with production, they can lower the price of their goods, giving them a competitive advantage.

Identifying equipment that isn't performing properly enables food manufacturers to make more informed procurement decisions. In addition, they can measure the ROI of asset purchases by measuring energy input after installation. This capability fulfills another key component of achieving ISO certification in monitoring the efficacy of energy-conscious decisions. 

In many cases, the technology food manufacturers utilise will dictate how easy it is to abide by ISO guidelines. Facility managers should look for energy management technology that delivers easy-to-install sensors, data analysis dashboards and sensor management tools. These features make it easier to document energy efficiency efforts, monitor consumption and design power-conscious procurement efforts.