More energy efficiency in production
Federal state government sponsors simulation-based planning and evaluation of energy efficiency for manufacturing systems
In Juli 2013, Hessian environment minister Lucia Puttrich presented a grant of 305.000 euros to SimPlan AG in Maintal to be used for the research project “SimEnergy” which is about simulation-based planning and evaluation of energy efficiency for manufacturing systems in the automotive industry. “Hessen is full of technical innovations to achieve a turnaround towards an environmentally friendly energy policy” the minister said when presenting the grant.
Apart from modeling information and material flow, discrete event simulation methods are up to now only partly able to model energy flows and their interdependencies, which is necessary to evaluate the energy efficiency of a process. Instead, energetic aspects of production processes are generally only determined by static process analysis and key indicators.
The SimEnergy research project aims to support an energetic evaluation of production and logistics processes using existing and established simulation tools by modeling material flow in one dedicated simulation tool and energy flow in another dedicated tool and by linking these simulations together. Among other potentials, this for example allows to investigate the consequences on energy consumption of normal vs. stand-by mode in production processes or to see the effects of switching systems on or off.
This holistic view will improve the forecast of energy consumption, thus resulting in more reliable data for forecasting the energy demand. Depending on the system, energy saving potentials may reach up to 20 to 30 percent. The industrial project partner Volkswagen AG will provide application scenarios that are characteristic for the automotive industry. These scenarios also will be used to derive a generalized set of requirements for combined manufacturing and energy simulations.
“Without the funding by the Hessian federal government, we would not be able to realize such an innovative research project with industrial and academic partners,” said Dr. Sven Spieckermann, managing director of SimPlan AG.
Further project partners, apart from SimPlan AG and Volkswagen AG, are energy efficiency service provider Limón GmbH and the department of Organization of Production and Factory Planning at Kassel University. Together the project partners will contribute about 316.000 euros of third-party funding to the project.
Pictured: Hessian environment minister Lucia Puttrich (on the right) presents the grant to three of the project partners: (from right to left) SimPlan managing director Dr. Sven Spieckermann, Professor Sigrid Wenzel (University Kassel), Carsten Pöge (Volkswagen AG). Photo: Renate Hoyer