PLC-Based Energy Management Systems for the Modern Manufacturing Facility


Energy Management Systems for HVAC systems give industrial and manufacturing plant operators control over the heating and cooling of their facility and allow them to monitor and respond to alarms generated by the systems. Even though plant operators have personnel that are fully capable of developing, enhancing and operating complex programmable logic controller (PLCs) that reside on the manufacturing floor network, most industrial facilities have plant HVAC systems that use unitary controllers or digital control systems developed for commercial buildings.

These networks are generally separate from the plant floor automation network and require outside vendors to manage…that is, until now.

Micro- and nano-PLC technology has greatly improved, and pricing has significantly dropped, that they can now be integrated cost-effectively into the industrial automation network and be used for HVAC systems control and energy management. This allows industrial controls engineers and technicians to be able to maintain, program, and troubleshoot the HVAC controls system while maintaining optimal energy efficiency. Using open-source ladder logic for programming, rapid application development software for visualization, SQL databases for storing data, and high-speed ethernet backbone for communications, HVAC monitoring and control can now be brought into the Modern Manufacturing era of tomorrow.

Presented By

Eric Spink
Senior Vice President
Enpowered Solutions, LLC

With over 25 years of experience in energy efficiency, renewable energy, engineering and control systems, Eric Spink has an in-depth expertise in project development and design, and project and services management. He has over fifteen years of executive management experience as Sr Vice President of Enpowered Solutions, Vice President of a large energy services company, President of a renewable energy and control system integration company, and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for a general engineering contractor.

He is currently responsible for Enpowered Solutions’ Industrial Energy Efficiency group that specializes in Industrial Automation and has been responsible for running an enterprise energy management’s services group that consisted of a team of professional engineers, energy engineers, and energy analysts responsible for meeting or exceeding customers’ long-term sustainability and energy reduction goals and ensuring customer satisfaction. He has extensive experience in industrial energy efficiency implementation, and industrial control system design, programming, and integration. He has broad expertise in big data analytics and possesses a solid awareness and comprehension of its correlation with strategic business interests and everyday operations and efficiencies.

Eric earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California.