• Building a Better World through Better Engineering

5 Reasons to Consider a Power Monitoring System

Besides providing an easy way to retrieve and analyze power quality events, a power monitoring system offers several other benefits related to energy use.

A power monitoring system provides an easy way to automatically retrieve and analyze power quality events. Unlike building automation software, which typically counts the number of events, a power monitoring system extracts event forensics. And unlike software that comes bundled with power quality meters, a power monitoring system automatically raises a flag to mark significant events with the potential to cause damage within your facility.

Here are five more reasons you might want to think about a power monitoring system:

1. If you’ve experienced premature failure of key equipment within your facility

A power monitoring system can act as your crystal ball to clarify if your motors, pumps, transformers, control devices or any electrical-type equipment are susceptible to premature failure. If they fail earlier than predicted, you can investigate the possible causes, such as:

  • Harmonics that cause excessive heat in transformer windings.
  • Transients that cause micro-jogging and motor vibration in motor bearings.
  • Transients that cause cable insulation to heat and wear, resulting in short circuits.

If your power quality issues might shorten your published mean time between failure (MTBF) statistics, wouldn’t you want to mitigate those events to ensure your equipment lasts as long as the OEM outlined?

2. If you’ve had nuisance tripping or unexplained resetting of control devices

Do you have a programmable logic controller (PLC) or distributed control system (DCS) that automatically resets or cycles power? Do you have a circuit breaker that trips for no apparent reason? Nuisance tripping can negatively affect your facility, ruin the quality of a manufactured product, or even cause an emergency power supply system to come online during a non-emergency.

Undervoltage is one of the biggest culprits behind nuisance tripping. If you’ve had voltage fall below IEEE standards (i.e., 10 percent for a period of time), it will often cause the equipment’s power supply to reset.

The other common cause of resetting and tripping is harmonics. This is typically the case when a circuit breaker opens and there are no forensic traces behind why it tripped.

3. If reliable clean power is critical to facility operations or personnel safety

Facilities where power is critical to operation must understand the current status of any critical power components. By interfacing to the generator control system, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and normal electrical distribution equipment using a power monitoring system, you can ensure no equipment is overloaded or has alarms/faults present. You can also track UPS run hours and the number of times a particular piece of equipment has turned off and on.

Gaining visibility into reliability metrics allows you to increase equipment lifespan and decrease maintenance costs.

4. If you wish to automate emergency power supply system (EPSS) reporting for compliance purposes

Gaining visibility into reliability metrics allows you to increase equipment lifespan and decrease maintenance costs.

Most supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems provided by EPSS OEMs (e.g., Russelectric or Asco) are centered around real-time monitoring, alarming and setpoint adjustment. The ability for those systems to automate testing and reporting of transfer switches and generators is often not included.

Not only can a power monitoring solution schedule tests, evaluate results and automatically generate reports for distribution, it saves an organization numerous man hours each month.

Any event that causes automatic transfer switches (ATSs) or generators to operate can potentially satisfy your monthly NFPA 110 test requirement. However, if you don’t have an automated system always watching these assets, you’ll miss that opportunity.

5. If you want to allocate costs with a complicated electric rate schedule

In facilities with electric rate structures that require on-peak/off-peak time of use, peak demand charges, power factor penalties or even real-time pricing, most automation solutions don’t have the capability to handle complex cost allocation calculations.

A power monitoring solution can. For example, an industrial facility’s peak demand charges might be larger than the energy charge. Software that detects when the plant is at its peak demand and then maps each cost center’s contribution makes the allocation of energy costs more accurate.

Manage everything in one place

Not only does a power monitoring system, such as Schneider Electric’s Power Monitoring Expert or equivalent, automatically collect data, it also provides an extensive library of templates and reports to guide you through data analysis.

An owner using a power monitoring system has a simple way of proactively identifying facility inefficiencies and major contributors to energy use without going through a difficult customization program in SCADA or building automation.

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Ignition Industrial Application Platform

One Platform, Unlimited Possibilities

Ignition is the world’s first truly universal industrial application platform because it empowers you to connect all of the data across your entire enterprise, rapidly develop any type of industrial automation system, and scale your system in any way, without limits.

SCADA, IIoT, and MES on One Platform

Ignition’s modular architecture makes it easy to customize your system by building the exact industrial automation applications you need. Its server-centric web-deployment model is flexible enough for any architecture and scalable enough for companies of any size. Ignition’s power and flexibility make it perfect for SCADA, IIoT and MES systems that work together seamlessly on one platform.

See what else Ignition can do


Installs In Minutes

The Ignition platform is designed specifically for Industrial applications so it’s stable, secure, and streamlined. Ignition only takes 3 minutes to install. Install it once, in one place on the server, and then you can instantly launch









Runs on Anything

Ignition is totally cross-platform so it runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux. You can also install it on a server, a laptop, and a tablet — you can even run Ignition Edge on an embedded device. Ignition can go practically anywhere you need to get the data you want.



Ignition Platform Features


Ignition is the complete system integration tool, it’s totally cross-platform, and built upon trusted information technologies like Java, SQL and Python, as well as open process technologies like OPC UA and MQTT. The Ignition platform’s open API and its ability to easily connect to any database, PLC, field device and line-of-business application makes it the ideal bridge to seamlessly integrate operational and enterprise systems together.


Secure Your Mission-Critical Data

Ignition protects your data with ultra-secure SSL technology: the same encryption technology banks use. With built-in client authentication and auditing, you can restrict user access and see what they’ve been doing. With these features plus easy system restoration and redundancy, Ignition has won the trust of many Fortune 100 companies for their mission-critical systems.






Thousands of companies worldwide depend on Ignition every day

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OEE Downtime

OEE Downtime

OEE Downtime Module offers many features to help you maximize manufacturing effectiveness.

Introduction To OEE Downtime

Tracking overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and downtime just got easier. The Sepasoft™ OEE Downtime Module empowers manufacturers to reduce operating costs while increasing asset utilization and operating efficiency, resulting in improved profitability.

Some features include:

  • Real-Time Efficiency Tracking
  • Downtime Data Collection
  • At-a-Glance Executive Dashboards
  • Easy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Integration
  • Mobile MES Access
  • Production Scheduling
  • Fast, Customizable Implementation
  • Automatic Data Collection
  • And more!

Enhanced Production Scheduling

Enhanced Production Scheduling allows you to visualize the production schedule including actual versus targeted production, machine status, delayed production, and more in real-time. Scheduled production entries can be obtained from a higher level enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, manually, or by simply dragging a work order onto the schedule.

Breaks and other routine workday events are displayed on the same schedule by providing a complete intuitive view of current and upcoming production activities. Schedule entries are automatically adjusted to accommodate production progress, breaks, and other factors that affect production in real-time.

Scheduled production is dispatched to equipment operators, warehouse staff, quality technicians, and more to keep everyone working with the up-to-the-minute production schedule.

MES Scheduling

Running Changeovers 

The OEE Downtime Module accurately tracks production counts and other key data when running multiple products on a line. Our module also supports running changeovers with two or more products running on a production line simultaneously, in addition to supporting many other production scenarios.

Tracking a product’s progression through a line’s sub-equipment (cells) is effortless and can be triggered by the Equipment Operator or automatic signals sent from the equipment.

Equipment Status

The OEE Downtime Module handles Equipment Statuses in two parts–logistical and local. Consider that the local status (Equipment State) indicates if the equipment is running or down with a fault. Meanwhile, the logistical status (Equipment Mode) indicates what the equipment is purposed for at some time: changeover, production, or maintenance.

By capturing the local and logistical status of equipment, we represent valuable context for production data. Both status levels can be configured with custom values for different equipment and organized in logical groupings so each piece of equipment has the correct asset utilization categories and downtime reasons.

The analysis capabilities open up new insights into equipment statuses. Consider the case of an estop pressed on a machine. This is valuable information during production, but expected and not valuable during maintenance activity. By filtering out maintenance status, the valuable data comes to the forefront and can be utilized for continuous improvement.

Downtime Detection Methods

A variety of downtime detection algorithms accommodate different equipment layouts to provide the true cause of downtime events. Primary production equipment commonly contains multiple sub-equipment items (cells), and based on the selected downtime detection algorithm, the system will determine the root cause that the primary equipment is not in production.

Simple equipment state, initial reason, parallel cells, the key reason, and more downtime detection algorithms can be used at the production line level or cell groups that support a wide variety of scenarios. The key reason algorithm supports the key cell being located anywhere within the line and considers backups or starved conditions to determine the root cause of the downtime event.

When there are equipment layouts where the root cause is not appropriate, the OEE Downtime Module tracks cycle times that can be used to determine bottlenecks in product flow. Blocked or starved times are tracked separately to support narrowing in on actual equipment downtime events.

User Interface

Operators can visualize downtime events as they occur in real-time. With the most common configuration, the begin and end times of each event are automatically recorded, completely eliminating inaccurate timed data. Downtime events can be overridden or split to ensure that more accurate and actionable results are provided. In addition to the downtime event details, free-form text notes can be entered to increase the actionable data used for process improvement.

Interactions between sub-equipment (cells or groups of cells) on a line can be viewed with the graphical timing chart to diagnose and optimize product flow.

Data Recording

Equipment modes, states, counts, shifts, standard rates, user-defined addition factors, and more are always monitored and recorded on change events. This supports real-time production tracking but also supports adding additional data after the fact or correcting past recorded values.

Built-in store and forward through Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) fills in gaps in the recorded data in the event of network outages.

Impromptu Analysis

The OEE Downtime Module has a built-in analysis engine that reads the recorded data and calculates different values including OEE, cycle times, and production counts. Impromptu Analysis enables the user to include data points for multiple date ranges allowing them to see results on the fly. Then they can group the data to narrow down inefficiencies. For example, they might start with downtime by shift, then add an operator to diagnose if additional operator training is needed.
Use the result from impromptu analysis to create dashboards and add-on displays to make production information visible.

Impromptu Analysis allows you to keep analyses private, share with a group, or make public depending on the analysis security settings. A couple of options for analysis settings security include permission settings for user roles that determine who can modify and/or execute the analysis settings. A user who can modify helps keep unwanted modifications from happening, whereas a user who can execute allows analysis results visible to anyone contributing to efficiency improvement.

Live Analysis

For common production metrics that reflect up-to-the-minute conditions, Live Analysis is used to automatically recalculate analysis as production events occur or can recalculate at a configurable interval, whichever comes first. Each line and its sub-equipment (cells) can have multiple Live Analyses active that can be based on the day, shift, run, or custom time period. The analysis engine uses a proprietary caching algorithm to return the results in real-time.

Material Management

The Material Manager component allows you to easily define production settings and control the production line, cell groups, cells, etc. Make unique adjustments for each material and equipment combination down to the sub-equipment (cell) level. This enables your company to correctly set OEE production rates, select cells, and other settings to help your production run smoothly.

Built On ISA-95

The OEE 2.0 module is built in compliance with the ISA-95 standard, providing a consistent model and terminology for production control and tracking. The ISA-95 standard has been vetted by many manufacturers and applied to many processes and has been proven valuable over many years. ISA-95 compliant Sepasoft MES Modules include OEE Downtime, Track & Trace, and Recipe/Changeover. Sepasoft™ uses ISA-95 to provide seamless integration between lot tracking, production control, OEE, and downtime tracking solutions.

ISA-95 compliance allows you to utilize an open standard (as opposed to a vendor’s proprietary system) providing you the ability to share data with an ERP or other business systems.

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Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is used to monitor manufacturing effectiveness.
The resulting OEE percentage is generic and allows comparisons across differing industries.


Availability = Actual Runtime / Production Time

OEE Availability is the ratio between the actual runtime and planned production time. The planned production time does not include breaks, lunches, and other pre-arranged time a production line or process may be down.

If a line is run for one 8-hour shift with two 15-minute breaks and one 30-minute lunch, then the planned production time is 7 hours (determined from 8 hours – 15-minute break – 15-minute break – 30-minute lunch). If during the production run, there are 25 downtime events totaling  45 minutes of downtime, then the runtime is 6 hours, 15 minutes (derived from 7 hours of scheduled time – 45 minutes). The OEE Availability equals 89%,  calculated from actual runtime divided by the scheduled runtime, or 6 hours, 15 minutes divided by 7 hours.


Performance = Actual Number of Units Started / (Standard Rate x Actual Runtime)


OEE Performance is the ratio between the actual number of units started (not the number that have been produced) and the number of units that theoretically can be processed based on the standard rate. The standard rate is the rate the equipment is designed for. Performance is not based on the number of units produced, but, on what the line was designed to process over a given period of time.


If a work cell is designed to process 10 units per minute, we can calculate the theoretical amount of units it can process in a given amount of time. Using the 6 hours, 15 minutes of actual runtime from the above example, a total of 3750 units would be processed (or started). Calculated from taking 6 hours, 15 minutes (375 minutes) times 10 units per minute. If the actual number of units processed is 3000, then OEE Performance is 80% (calculated by 3000 / 3750).


Quality = Good Units Produced / Actual Number of Units Started

OEE Quality is the ratio between good units produced and the total units that were started.


Taking the number of units produced from above of 3000, if 200 units were rejected at the quality inspection station, then 2800 good units are produced. The OEE Quality is 93% calculated from 2800 divided by 3000.


OEE = Availability x Performance x Quality

This is the final calculation that measures Overall Equipment Effectiveness.

Using all the numbers from above, 89% x 80% x 93% = 66%.

This may seem like a low number but it is important to keep in mind that the OEE is not to be compared to 100%. The OEE result from this production run is compared to other production runs; however, using Sepasoft’s OEE Downtime and Scheduling module allows much more than just comparing OEE results between production runs. It allows you to compare OEE results between operators, shifts, products, or other factors you define (e.g. raw material vendor, humidity, etc.).

OEE is a well-established performance metric that takes into account Equipment Losses usually broken into the following categories: Availability Loss, Performance Loss, and Quality Loss; measuring Performance with respect to Planned Production Time.
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