Manufacturers are responsible for 28% of the total energy demand in the European Union. Given that the industrial sector is a huge energy consumer, the DEMI project aims at providing a generic methodology and IT tools through data analysing and eco-designing in order to turn the design of the production processes more energy efficient. At the end of the project, a demonstrator for three industrial business cases is expected in three different production environments: mould cooling systems, heat treatment of steel castings and air compressor solutions.
The first business case deals with an energy-efficient design of mould systems regarding heat evacuation. This business case is focusing on injection moulds used to shape plastic components. The mould designer has a key role: he is responsible for the design of each component in the mould. Even in prototypes, a simplified heat extraction system has to be designed in many cases. Depending upon the complexity of the mould, approx. 5-22% of the engineering time spent is used for designing this system. The main goal of this business case is to improve the design methods in order to achieve a faster heat transfer for reducing the cycle time with using less energy.
The second business case deals with energy-efficient thermal treatment of steel castings. Fundiciones Estanda, from Spain, produces steel castings goods, including the whole manufacturing process: melting, machining, grinding, cutting and cleaning and, finally, heat treatment. A large proportion of the energy required for the whole process is used in the furnaces, which are powered by gas energy to achieve the thermal treatment. The most usual treatments are quenching (90%), normalising & tempering (10%) with a typical temperature around 1100ºC in high temperature continuous and batch furnaces. The main goal of this business case is to reduce the energy consumption during the Heat Treatment process (defined by a temperature-time curve) while at least keeping the productivity and mechanical requirements, and without increasing the maintenance cost.
The third business case deals with energy efficiency for air compressor solutions. MB Air Systems Limited has been providing complex engineering services to industry, mainly dealing with air compressor solutions since 1973. Typically, over 10% of electricity supplied to an industry is used to compress air. Among the costs of such an equipment, energy is by far the highest, and accounts for approximately 73% of the total cost of a compressed air system over a 10 year life cycle. The objective of this business case is to improve efficiency of such a solution, especially by focusing on the energy efficiency design of compressed air systems as well as providing energy efficiency services to customers. It aims to integrate the project’s software tool and methodology with the current system solution to obtain optimal energy use and impact.
DEMI. DEMI website