Smart sensors for sustainable production

We have been working on making our production even more efficient in collaboration with the start-up envuco and the Westphalian tech-group netgo. This involves the use of smart sensors that measure energy flows.

Energy System Asset Management – in short, eSAM.

Together with the start-up envuco from South Baden and the Westphalian tech-company netgo, we are currently engaged in a pilot study to evaluate an innovative method for measuring energy flows and a concept for interpreting the results.

The objective is to employ smart sensors for the measurement of local energy flows in a new manufacturing plant currently under construction at the production site. Smart, because the sensors source the energy they need not from batteries or a power cable, but solely from the ambient energy of their surroundings by so-called ‘Energy Harvesting’. This means that the sensors can be conveniently installed to measure energy consumption at appropriate measuring points on the production line without interrupting the production process.

Other potential uses have also been identified. The sensors can be employed for collecting valuable data in predictive maintenance scenarios to detect impending failures and monitor machine performance. This allows early identification of potential malfunctions or failures within the production system and timely initiation of remedial measures. 

Thanks to the solution developed in co-creation by envuco, netgo and Pfizer, energy consumption can now be transparently visualised with a minimum of effort. It therefore also offers an important starting point for systematic energy optimisation throughout the new building project.  

Pfizer, netgo and envuco first met in the course of their engagement in the Smart Green Accelerator project at the ‘Kreativpark Lokhalle’ in Freiburg. This is where the plan to work together on a tool for energy monitoring was born. The idea: envuco provides the hardware, netgo develops the IT infrastructure and Pfizer implements the digital solution in its own pharmaceuticals production plant. The pilot project at the Freiburg production site serves as a real-life laboratory in which the new, energy-efficient technology can be used in practice. This joint project was simultaneously the starting point of a long-term cooperative agreement between envuco and netgo.