Dutch consortium aims to make AC motors more efficient


The Institute for Sustainable Process Technology together with Nouryon, Vopak, Semiotic Labs, TPA Adviseurs and the Universiteit Utrecht’s Copernicus Institute have received a grant to develop technology that reduces energy waste from industrial AC motors. AC motors consume roughly 40% of the world’s electric energy resources. As part of the ERGO project, the consortium will develop algorithms that analyze electrical waveforms in order to provide asset owners with the insights needed to reduce energy consumption by 15% to 30%, without compromising on output.

Frans van den Akker, Program Director Industry 4.0 and Social Acceptance at ISPT: “The goal of ISPT is to promote sustainable practices in the process industry. To that end, we will work with asset owners and technology providers on developing both tools and practices that enable the reduction of energy waste. The reality of the global economy also mandates that these technologies improve sustainability without compromising output performance. We believe this project create such a tool: It provides the insights that are required for energy reduction as well as increases in system performance. A win for the environment, for the production manager and for the CFO”.

Semiotic Labs have developed the first condition monitoring solution to offer efficiency improvement insights, paving the way forward for sustainability improvements across a number of clients. SAM4 by Semiotic Labs measures current and voltage signals to detect developing faults in AC motors and rotating equipment such as pumps, conveyors and compressors up to 4 months in advance of the fault causing a failure. The motor data has now been reapplied to detect inefficiencies in industrial processes. SAM4 can now offer the insights needed to increase electrical asset efficiency by 15-30%.

Simon Jagers – Founder of Semiotic Labs – “Sustainability is a crucial part of modern industry, and our tool will enable organizations to drastically reduce electrical energy consumption. Around 40% of global electrical energy consumption comes from the use of industrial AC motors, and the insights offered by SAM4 can help our clients made a big dent in that number. Together, we can develop technology that helps to reduce the world’s energy consumption in a meaningful way.”

Working alongside partners Vopak and Nouryon, Semiotic Labs is continuously testing new ways to provide even greater efficiency improvement insights. Leo Brand, CIO at Vopak – “Sustainability is high on our list of priorities, and the reduction of electricity consumption is a crucial part of that. Integrating SAM4 into our critical processes is an important step in realising our energy efficiency targets.”

Marco Waas, Director RD&I and Technology at Nouryon, “SAM4 gives our maintenance staff the insights they need to identify which processes in our factory are not running as efficiently as possible. This means we can focus our efficiency improvements on processes where we can make the greatest impact on energy reduction.”

The scalability of the solution has also meant that a large deployment can take place in a cost-efficient way. Traditional condition monitoring requires sensor installation directly on the asset, which is an issue when the assets are located in ATEX Zones, hard to reach places or hazardous locations. SAM4 sensors are installed inside the Motor Control Cabinet, meaning that SAM4 can be installed and scaled quickly and cheaply. Together with Vopak and Nouryon and a number of other partners, Semiotic Labs are rolling out a solution that will make a significant difference to world energy consumption.


This project is co-funded by TKI-E&I with the supplementary grant 'TKI- Toeslag' for Topconsortia for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI’s) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.