Colgate-Palmolive pursues net zero carbon target with Emerson’s smart sensor technology for compressed air monitoring


Global software, technology and engineering leader Emerson (St. Louis, Missouri) is collaborating with S&P 100 consumer products manufacturer Colgate-Palmolive to reduce wasted energy in Colgate’s product packaging facilities and contribute to its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions in operations by 2040. Armed with data from Emerson’s advanced sensor technologies and analytics, Colgate has already seen a 15% reduction in energy usage on several toothpaste and toothbrush packaging lines and expects even greater energy savings as the technology is rolled out more widely.

The project is part of Colgate’s digital transformation programme and uses specialized AVENTICS pneumatic sensors and IIoT-enabled software architecture to precisely monitor compressed air flow in real time to identify leaks, optimise pneumatic processes and improve air flow efficiency. Given the heavy reliance on pneumatics in large-scale consumer goods production, reducing the amount of energy associated with compressed air contributes not only to sustainability efforts, but also to overall equipment health and reliability.

“Colgate is a caring, innovative growth company that’s reimagining a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet. This collaboration is an excellent example of how the power of digitalisation is helping us achieve our purpose by meeting our global sustainability and performance ambitions,” said Warren Pruitt, VP global engineering services, Colgate-Palmolive. “Saving energy through air flow monitoring is just the tip of the iceberg. With a test-and-learn mindset, we’re able to scale successful lessons across our global footprint and help achieve our sustainability objectives.”

In Colgate’s implementation, Emerson’s AVENTICS AF2 Smart Flow Sensor calculates air usage data with integrated software that displays trends and anomalies on analytics dashboards, allowing operators to easily regulate supply pressures and detect leaks. The system’s built-in connectivity makes it easy to deploy and provides immediate insights at the machine level, with network capability paving the way for monitoring compressed air usage enterprise wide.

“We’re honoured to work shoulder-to-shoulder with Colgate-Palmolive, whose brand Colgate is in more homes than any other,” said Mark Bulanda, executive president of Emerson’s Automation Solutions business. “Projects like this demonstrate the technology available today to detect wasteful and costly energy leaks, optimise manufacturing processes and make a measurable difference in meeting sustainability goals.”

Caption: Consumer products leader Colgate-Palmolive pursues a net zero carbon target with Emerson’s smart sensor technology for compressed air monitoring (image: Colgate/Emerson)

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