The Norampac cardboard box factory, of pulp and paper giant Cascades Inc., wanted to reduce heating costs and improve employee comfort. The factory has 25 steam coil air heaters spread over 427,000 square feet—all on one floor. Each heater is controlled by a local mechanical thermostat, resulting in excessive energy costs, uncomfortable working conditions, and lack of centralized monitoring and control.
Increase worker comfort, reduce energy spend and minimize installation costs
The factory’s management had clear objectives to reduce energy costs associated with heating while increasing worker comfort by centrally managing temperature setpoints according to schedules. They also had to keep tight control of the project’s costs. In order to minimize direct and indirect costs, the installation had to be performed without affecting facility operations. Production downtime was not an option.
25% savings on heating costs
Working around built-in challenges
The sheer size of the factory presented the biggest challenge to the project. A traditional “wired” control option would require the installation of conduits for the wires, resulting in high material and labor costs, and significant disruption to factory operations.
The project plan needed to:
- Limit wiring installation to a minimum while making no compromise on control
- Use wireless mesh networking to ensure communication even if large, dense equipment or objects are moved within the facility
- Integrate the new hardware to the existing BACnet IP system, which was being used to manage the small “office” section of the factory
A seamless, integrated solution
- Schneider Electric controllers were added to the
Because the Schneider Electric controllers are based on open protocols, they can easily communicate with third-party BACnet IP systems. By simply connecting one or more Schneider Electric nodes to the LAN, all the other controllers are joined to the network.
- Both wired and wireless communication for
All Schneider Electric units network with their peers wirelessly (ZigBee mesh network) for networking without wires.
- 16 Schneider Electric units control heaters wirelessly with EnOcean relays.
- 9 Schneider Electric units are hard-wired to nearby heaters.
- EnOcean wireless relays complete the picture
The EnOcean devices turn heaters on/off in response to commands by Schneider Electric controllers.
Go further into the Norampac story by accessing the full case study here