Energy efficiency in production and logistics
Rising energy prices along with government incentives and constraints call for new ways of thinking in the industry: More and more manufacturing companies are taking active measures to reduce their energy consumption.
In both business and science, methods are increasingly being researched with which nearly all industry sectors will be able to save energy. As part of the sub-project "Internal Production and Logistics" of the research project "Energy Efficiency in Production and Logistics (E²Log)", the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML is currently focusing on the design field of production planning and control, which up till now has hardly been studied with regard to energy efficiency. The analysis and evaluation of different planning and control alternatives is a central research focus.
Previous approaches to the assessment of organizational measures in production logistics primarily considered the flow of materials and these descriptive logistics objectives. The intention to incorporate energy efficiency into future decision processes assumes that the changes caused by the alternative structures and processes changes in the resource consumption of energy sources will be considered.
The goal of the research project, therefore, is primarily to develop an approach for the integrated evaluation of logistics and energy targets, thus providing the opportunity to evaluate alternative logistics concepts and structures in terms of the extended target system.
The approach is also tested for practicality in the context of application case studies, whereby additional fundamental organizational design recommendations for improving energy efficiency in the context of production logistics can be derived.
The results of the project will allow both small and medium-sized enterprises as well as large corporations to analyze and evaluate the current state of their logistics designs and structures via scenarios, considering aspects of cost, performance and energy. In addition to methodological knowledge, the result of the project includes the design of a module library in the simulation software Plant Simulation and application case studies derived from the generalized recommendations.