Mexico Automotive Plant
After working with the Ford Land Energy Team to integrate compressed air system monitoring data from 10 North American plants into Ford’s global data center using the Tridium Niagara AX platform, Bay Controls was the natural choice when Ford wanted to add remote scheduling, temperature control, and monitoring to 124 pieces of HVAC and lighting equipment at their assembly plant in Hermosillo, Mexico and integrate the plant’s 100-plus utility meters into Ford’s Global Data Center.
To achieve the level of control and monitoring required by Ford, the Bay Controls team installed a new Tridium DXD and integrated the Hermosillo plant’s existing building management system (BMS) with the DXD to facilitate a future connection to their global data center. In addition to integrating the plant’s BMS, Bay Controls added and integrated metering infrastructure for all of the plant’s utilities: electricity, natural gas, water, and compressed air.
In total, the project required integrating approximately 2,800 control and monitoring points.
Bay Controls has supplied air compressor controls to Ford production facilities since 1985. Prior to Bay Controls’ involvement, Ford had worked with another vendor to install a BMS to control the air handling units (AHUs), cooling towers, and lighting throughout the plant. The BMS primarily consists of Allen Bradley ControlLogix PLCs that control the individual pieces of equipment.
While the existing BMS effectively controlled and protected all of the HVAC and lighting equipment at the plant, it did not allow for any kind of remote control, monitoring, or data collection. As part of their global facilities strategy, Ford wanted to add remote control, monitoring, and data collection to the Hermosillo plant to reduce HVAC-related energy use and gain a better understanding of how the plant HVAC assets perform.
In addition to the existing BMS, the plant also had over 100 existing utility meters already in place for tracking electrical, natural gas, and water consumption. These meters were connected to Ford’s Global Department Level Monitoring (GDLM) platform, but did not have any way to connect to the Tridium system that had superseded the GDLM as Ford’s global data standard. The metering infrastructure also did not include any meters for compressed air.
Given the high cost and energy intensity of compressed air, the lack of metering for the plant system was a large gap in the plant’s energy consumption picture that the Ford team wanted to fill.
To bring the Hermosillo plant onto the Ford Tridium standard, remedy the voids in their data collection infrastructure, and improve their understanding of how the plant performed from an energy and water perspective, Bay Controls was tasked with three distinct project components:
DXD Integration and Metering Additions
While the plant had approximately 100 existing electric, water, and gas meters already in place, these meters were connected to Ford’s GDLM system, which was not compatible with the Tridium framework that Ford had standardized on for plant data collection and analysis. As such, there was not a good way for the Ford Land Energy team to capture and analyze the Hermosillo plant’s energy use. To compound matters, there were no meters in place for the compressed air system, and a number of the water meters were not fully functional.
To rectify these issues, Bay Controls installed a Tridium DXD for the plant, added or replaced 19 water meters, and installed 9 new meters for the compressed air system. Once the new meters were installed and proven to be accurate, Bay connected them to the DXD and then migrated all of the 100-plus meters from the old GDLM system to the new DXD. As a result of these efforts, all of the components of the Hermosillo plant’s energy consumption are now accurately captured in the Tridium DXD where they can be easily accessed and analyzed.
DXD Integration and Metering Additions
Given the size of the Hermosillo Complex, the plant BMS encompasses 124 distinct pieces of HVAC and lighting equipment comprised of the following:
The BMS is primarily composed of individual Allen Bradley ControlLogix PLCs that control (and protect) the BMS components listed above.
To achieve the remote control/scheduling and monitoring capability that Ford was looking for, Bay Controls migrated all of the BMS PLCs from the existing GDLM system to the plant DXD, where they are now controlled and monitored using Tridium Niagara AX software.
As a result of the Bay Controls integration of the plant BMS with the plant’s Tridium DXD, the Ford Energy Team can now remotely control most components of the BMS and monitor BMS equipment performance.
Specifically, Niagara AX allows for remote changes to the temperature set points in the plant and remote adjustment of the HVAC and lighting operation schedule to reflect changing plant production. This newfound control capability enables the Ford team to easily match HVAC and lighting operation to the plant’s production schedule and ensures that the plant does not waste energy by unnecessarily cooling or lighting spaces when they are not in use. Combined, these changes make for a far more energy efficient system. In addition to reducing energy use through better control and scheduling, the improved metering infrastructure and migration from the GDLM system to the Tridium standard has brought the Hermosillo plant up to Ford’s global data standard (Tridium) and ensured that it can be integrated with Ford’s Global Data Center in the near future. This integration will enable the Ford Energy Team to fully leverage the Niagara AX tool set for monitoring, reporting, alarming, and controlling the plant systems in ways that they were unable to before undertaking the project.
Over the next few months, Bay Controls will work with two additional vendors to bring all BMS and utility data from the local Hermosillo Tridium DXD to the Ford Master DXD. This will bridge the gap between the plant data collection and analysis platform and Ford’s global platform in Dearborn.
Once the plant DXD and Ford Master DXD are integrated, Ford personnel will be able to remotely access all plant BMS operation data and utility data in real time and access the full analytics toolset in Niagara.