Established in 1984, GIGATEK INC. is a professional provider of electronics contract manufacturing (ECM) services. With factories in Taiwan, China, and the United States, the company serves customers throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Its headquarters in Taichung has two buildings; one that is a combination of offices and a factory (Building A), and another that primarily acts as a warehouse (Building B). The company had become aware that the electricity cost of these two buildings was rising continually. Efforts to determine the main contributors to power consumption were futile, largely because the monthly invoice showed only the total amount payable with no detailed information on electricity usage. Thus, despite the company’s desire to reduce electricity costs, it had no way of actually knowing which facility or factory area was consuming the most power. Furthermore, many foreign manufacturers require their suppliers to comply with certain local environmental regulations, meaning that for GIGATEK to maintain competitiveness in the international market, it had to implement an EMS to improve energy efficiency, reduce operating costs, and enter the green supply chain.
The company thought it best not to have in-house engineers invest time into program development, hardware/software integration, and system testing, because these would be lengthy processes and the company was seeking positive energy-saving results as soon as possible. Choosing a commercial off-the-shelf solution was thus considered the ideal approach. The solution had to be able to monitor high-energy equipment and provide relevant reports and information so that the company could further optimize its equipment operations and energy management strategies. GIGATEK also decided to install electric meters in different office departments in order to determine precisely how much electricity was being consumed by each unit, which improved upon the previous practice of sharing electricity expenses according to the floor area ratio.
The two buildings required many electricity meters because of their multifunctional roles in factory, warehouse, office, and commercial operations. Thus, the company required a multi-site unified management platform. The planned meter configuration for Building B was more effective than the one for Building A, which did not have meters fully covering the entire area. The new solution had to overcome this shortcoming while still being able to incorporate traditional meters into the system. In addition, a multi-display digital signage solution was required to automatically display energy-monitoring information on a large LCD screen in the first-floor lobby, thus projecting an energy-saving and environmentally friendly corporate image.