The industrial refrigeration industry, like all others, continually strives to provide greater productivity, increase energy efficiency and adopt sustainable practices, such as changing to natural refrigerants and reducing CO2 emissions. In addition, digitalization strongly shapes how we live and work in today’s world and operators of refrigeration systems want power at their fingertips, and real-time data, to help them make critical decisions to control their production processes.
Enter the GEA Omni control panel
The aim of the GEA Omni control panel is twofold: first, to provide a modern, best-of-class, control system designed and manufactured by GEA to work perfectly with GEA refrigeration equipment, as well as that of other manufacturers, and also to offer easy access to expert support; second, to build into this digital control system all of GEA’s knowledge and experience gained during the past 160 years. This provides operators, engineers and managers with the means to control their processes in a highly efficient manner and work with the key information they require in an intuitive format.
World-class, intuitive touch screen display
GEA Omni is simple to install, either in a new installation or as a retrofit to replace existing control systems. Omni’s advanced, intuitive touch screen display provides visually stunning and high-definition drawings, graphs, images, videos and text to allow users to monitor and operate complex refrigeration systems easily and irrespective of the location of the equipment. The system also stores machine manuals, so they are instantly available during commissioning and troubleshooting.
GEA Omni is simple to use and controls compressors, chillers and heat pump systems, bringing performance to a new level by providing the ultimate in efficiency and process information. It can also control other refrigeration equipment such as evaporators, condensers and pumps.
The win-win: energy savings and environmental benefits
According to our customers, minimizing one of their largest expenses – energy costs – is a primary concern and GEA Omni has functions built in to assist with energy management for a complete, transparent overview of energy consumption. By optimizing the entire refrigeration process continuously, Omni can play a central role in minimizing energy usage and, in turn, reducing the facility’s CO2 emissions. GEA Omni’s energy management functions are designed to enable users to effectively reduce operating costs by finely controlling key aspects of their process to minimize the amount of energy required. With these functions, operators can easily make improvements using proactive scheduling that allows them to define set-point changes or limit power consumption at times of the day and days of the week.
GEA Omni ensures that we can regulate our supply temperature to the ice rink to an accuracy of 0.1°C. Thanks to the smart sequence control, we run as energy-efficiently as possible with the best possible result for the ice surface. GEA Omni already saved us 200,000kW/h in the first year.” – S. Rozendaal, Head of Technical Service, Jaap Eden IJsbaan Amsterdam
Another key driver for customers is the phasing out of refrigerants with a high Global Warming Potential (GWP) in favor of environmentally friendly natural refrigerants, such as ammonia (NH3) and carbon dioxide (CO2). But it’s not a simple switch. Changing to natural refrigerants requires a thoughtful approach and a high level of expertise. With GEA Omni’s built-in level of know-how, operators can easily make the switch without worrying about their lack of experience with natural refrigerants.
Omni’s energy-saving functions deliver where it counts most – on the bottom line – and contribute to the achievement of operators’ sustainability-related goals.
Smart technology in times of digitalization
GEA Omni enables the use of wireless technology and smart phone or tablet viewing capability. Authorized service staff and service companies can access the control system remotely. GEA Omni can also send email and text message notifications, eliminating the need for hard-wired annunciation signals that are otherwise necessary for integration of control systems.
GEA Omni apps: OmniLink and OmniHistorian
To make the GEA Omni control panel as easy and flexible to use as possible, GEA includes two standard apps that provide both remote access and data analysis: OmniLink and OmniHistorian.
OmniLink is a stand-alone Microsoft Windows® operating system that allows users to view the status of multiple Omni panels if they are connected through the same ethernet network. Displaying the status of many devices at the same time in this way provides a quick overview of the entire plant from a single panel. The app also allows the transfer of files, such as parameters and program updates, to be performed quickly and efficiently.
OmniHistorian analyzes, and displays in graphical format, historical information saved by GEA Omni panels. This information is invaluable during maintenance, greatly reducing the time taken to diagnose problems. The software also provides customized reports with essential management information.
Working together, OmniLink and OmniHistorian greatly enhance the efficiency of the refrigeration system, reduce downtime, improve productivity, enhance sustainability and reduce the CO2 footprint.
Our customers tell us that OmniLink and OmniHistorian are very helpful when troubleshooting. These robust apps save a lot of time and money by reducing travel costs and downtime.”– Jeroen Schellekens, Head of Automation Compression, GEA
Predictive maintenance with GEA VTrac
Predictive maintenance allows the detection of potential equipment failures before they become costly or unsafe. An effective way to do this is with vibration monitoring that senses the vibrations from machinery and indicates what’s normal and what’s not. Any slight variation in the vibration pattern could predict a problem and allow remedial action to be taken at a convenient time.
GEA VTrac is connected to the GEA Omni control panel to provide a continuous, accurate report of its status in graphical form. This shows whether the system is operating normally, gives a warning of any impending maintenance requirements, and will provide an alert should an immediate shutdown be required.
Predictive maintenance with GEA VTrac is an essential feature of modern plants, keeping operators safe by preventing major equipment failure and reducing maintenance costs by allowing remedial action to be taken before a minor fault causes a major problem.
Live display of continuous vibration monitoring data, with an overview of warning and shutdown thresholds, is a standard feature and detailed equipment maintenance reports are quick, accurate and simple to generate.”– George Jones, Head of Service Product Development, GEA
Retrofit GEA Omni to existing equipment
GEA Omni is easily fitted to almost any industrial screw or piston compressor produced by GEA or other manufacturers. By retrofitting with GEA Omni, users can bring older equipment up to date with the latest control technology. This not only improves efficiency and productivity within the plant but also helps users to achieve the strict environmental standards that are in force today without high-level capital investment.
GEA has made its Omni retrofit package easy to install by allowing the connection of different types of compressor sensors, motor sensors and solenoid coil voltages. This reduces the number of loose-shipped items to a minimum, making installation quick and simple, typically within two-to-three days.
Peace of mind
GEA customers operate in a competitive environment. To succeed long term, they need to embrace the most advanced and reliable technology and drive it at its optimum level to achieve lasting productivity and the product quality their customers demand.
The GEA Omni control panel provides the means to direct, manage, maximize and track the performance of their critical refrigeration and heating systems. System operating status is provided on a continual basis, providing operators with valuable peace of mind that their equipment is performing at maximum reliability and efficiency. This, along with GEA’s global support network, allows operators to rest easy knowing that their facilities are controlled by a product that was invented, manufactured and backed by the world leader in refrigeration control panel technology.