EPOC® – Energy & Production Optimization Control
For energy-intensive industries and utilities, the challenges are changing dynamically. Scarce availability causes prices for energy sources to rise massively. The requirements of the “European Green Deal” impose additional costs (CO2 pricing) and restrictions on fossil fuels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, in addition to complying with statutory emission limits and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there is also the parallel challenge of reducing costs by reducing primary energy use. More and more often, a shortage of skilled workers is also a task to be overcome when staffing the operating team.
EPOC stands for “Energy & Production Optimization Control” and provides a site-wide, overarching optimization solution. With the core modules from the areas of advanced process control, simulation, energy balancing, diagnostics and monitoring, built with deep process engineering know-how, you get a comprehensive tool to achieve and maintain a maximum efficiency level and adapt to new conditions. The modules can be deployed quickly and are integrated precisely into existing systems.
The EPOC® Suite is composed of six standardized process and control engineering modules and the integrated web platform for monitoring, data availability, visualization and reporting. Demand-driven implementation combines fast realization with optimal impact. You benefit from the improvement of the overall efficiency by increasing the degree of automation and the constantly efficient operation of your plants in compliance with legal requirements.
Energy demand fluctuations are optimally balanced by integrating forecast tools into the control of energy supply and distribution. Less fuel consumption, reduction of the CO2 footprint and optimization of the balance between energy supply and energy use have a direct positive effect in terms of climate protection and costs.
Smoother driving and less work due to a significant reduction in the number of manual interventions required are significant from an organizational and economic point of view. Thanks to the simplification and stabilization of (production) processes, productivity and quality are increased. The life and travel time of your equipment will be extended thanks to uniform operation.
You can design the EPOC® implementation project as an investment or without CAPEX, through a user agreement. In this case, a usage fee is served via the optimization revenues. In both cases, the implementation is compliant with the EU Taxonomy Regulation on the achievement of climate targets (EU 2020/852). The EPOC® Cloud enables a clear presentation of your investments as well as the explicit reporting of your contributions to climate protection.
Your benefit at a glance
Based on a precise analysis within the scope of the potential study, we work with you to select the combination of EPOC® modules and toolboxes that is right for your specific plant configuration. Necessary adaptations – especially concerning sensors and actuators – are also clarified. Accordingly, we design the control of the included plants in the higher-level EPOC® Suite.
The EPOC® Suite increases the overall performance of the included plants through innovative control concepts that are optimally designed for the processes of energy-intensive industries. The EPOC® Suite acts as a superordinate control system with different plant controls in the inventory and ensures an optimal balance of energy supply and energy use by utilizing intelligent forecast models, storage and buffers. Integration into the existing environment is seamless during operation – without downtime and with full cloud connectivity.
The safety of your plant is paramount, which is why the EPOC® Suite follows a higher-level control strategy that specifies setpoints for existing control loops. This ensures that the existing plants integrated in EPOC® continue to be operated within the process engineering limits and corresponding safety concepts specified by the plant manufacturer. The existing safety concept remains fully in place and is not affected or restricted in any way by the overriding regulation. As a result, your plant runs better and is just as safe as before.
Thanks to improved overall efficiency and a significant reduction in fuel use and energy losses in distribution and balancing, the use of the EPOC® Suite optimizes the sustainability of your plant in step with the increase in economic efficiency. This also leads to a reduction in emissions. EPOC® Cloud also enables accurate reporting to reduce your carbon footprint, making valuable contributions to sustainability reporting.
EPOC Suite Modules
The EPOC® IT and OT infrastructure (hardware and software – PLC, server, network, IT security) represents an important pillar alongside the software modules to ensure permanently stable operation. In line with the on-site IT, the EPOC® hardware is delivered, the software is installed and the IT security is designed. Process engineering know-how in the potential study, levers and opportunities from data-based analysis, and professional commissioning guarantee maximum success with minimum project lead time. Possible improvements are suggested and the measures to be implemented are defined together with the customer. According to the selected measures, the overall optimization solution is compiled from the predefined control engineering modules and toolboxes of the EPOC® Suite, suitable for your plant configuration.
Integration into the inventory, topology, hardware
The integration of EPOC® into your IT inventory involves several levels:
- EPOC® SPS (Customer OT): Level with connection to existing control technology
- EPOC® Server (Customer IT): engineering station, data hub of other data sources
- EPOC® Cloud (External Services): Reporting, Service, Monitoring, Remote Maintenance Connection
The hardware used for the controllers (PLC) is highly available and can optionally also be designed redundantly. The connection to the existing infrastructure is carried out with the highest IT and OT security criteria. Signal tracking takes place between the stock and EPOC® , enabling skip-free switching. The signal switching is implemented together with the I&C programmer responsible for the site.
EPOC® Cloud represents a web-based platform for more information gain from process and control optimization within the EPOC® Suite. By using fail-safe resources, modern web frameworks and state-of-the-art security concepts, all services are provided securely, with high performance and high availability.
The standard EPOC® Cloud functionalities relate to visualization, documentation and reporting, as well as diverse evaluations of your plant data, which can be extended on request from other data sources or with AI models. You benefit from a holistic view of your investment in real time as well as a clear presentation of KPIs and benchmarking. Soft sensors for non-measurable parameters are also shown.
The EPOC® Cloud also supports reporting on the achievement of sustainability targets in accordance with the EU taxonomy. With EPOC® Cloud, you get a company-specific portal with secure access. If you have multiple facilities with EPOC® Suites, the EPOC® Cloud also allows you to bundle data from multiple sites. Monitoring can also be done via mobile devices (smartphone). This allows you to benefit from a holistic visualization and evaluation of your data as well as from cross-site reporting.
The integrated role-based authorization concept, two-factor authentication and the use of common security standards enable the secure and functional use of your data. The data connection is made with modern protocols such as MQTT, OPC UA.
The network topology is aligned with the client’s security policy.
EPOC® Cloud functions:
- Performance monitoring
- Live KPI calculation
- Data Historian
- Simple dashboard management
- Alarming API for AI models
- Service support
EPOC® project procedure
In the potential study, we analyze your plant and derive process and control improvement potentials that can be exploited through plant adaptation and implementation of the EPOC® Suite. The potential study includes a well-founded analysis of available operating data with suitable tools, an on-site inspection of the plant for the purpose of identifying the plant condition, and an intensive exchange with the operating team.
We link the findings from on-site visits and discussions with the results from the data analysis and derive the optimization potentials. Furthermore, we develop variants for the implementation of the optimization as a basis for decision-making for the following phase of implementation
In accordance with the jointly defined characteristics of the optimization, the engineering for the plant adaptation (process engineering), the elaboration of the control concept, the customizing of the control system and the implementation on site are carried out. We adapt your plant in coordination with planned downtimes, supplement or renew sensors and actuators and create the prerequisites for the EPOC® Suite (hardware, software). Hardware (PLC, server, network connection) and software are delivered pre-configured and the customized EPOC® Suite is installed.
In the course of the commissioning of the EPOC® Suite as the new higher-level control system, the cold commissioning with the signal changeover is followed by the warm commissioning and the start of operation. In the first phase of trial operation, tuning, fine-tuning and training of the operating crew take place. The benefits of the new, higher-level control system are felt very quickly by the operations team.
The commissioning is immediately followed by an operation that is intensively accompanied by us via secure remote maintenance in order to round off the optimization, taking into account the various operating states. The EPOC® service comprises several services in stages, such as the periodic hardware check, license maintenance, software updates and process and control engineering support for new operating states.
In many cases, this is also rounded off with complementary service packages for ongoing optimization and sound interpretation of available information. Based on evaluations, we support the adaptation of your parameterization, carry out changes and advise you if necessary. This ensures secure and high-performance operation throughout the entire lifecycle of the EPOC® Suite.
Information about our service packages can be found under the following link: Service packages