Research Project SimEnergy – Simulation-based planning and evaluation of energy efficiency for manufacturing systems in the automotive industry
Due to rising energy costs and the demand for more energy efficiency in manufacturing processes, there are currently approaches to investigate and optimize the energy consumption and energy efficiency of production facilities already during planning stage, using simulation to achieve a dynamic analysis of its processes.Apart from modeling information and material flow, discrete event simulation methods are up to now only partly enabled 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, partly funded by the Federal State of Hessen, 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 of normal vs. stand-by mode in production processes or to see the effects of switching systems on or off on energy consumption.
This holistic view will improve the forecast of energy consumption, thus resulting in more reliable data for planning of the energy equipment. 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.
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.
This project (HA-Projekt-Nr.: 369/13-08) is funded as part of Hessen ModellProjekte using funds from the Energietechnologieoffensive Hessen (Energy technology offensive Hessen) project sponsorship in the fields of energy production, energy storage, energy transport and energy efficiency.