A framework for energy reduction in manufacturing process chains (E-MPC) and a case study from the Turkish household appliance industry

Uluer, Muhtar Ural
Gok, Gozde
Energy is a major input in the manufacturing sector. Its security and efficiency are of supreme importance to a nation's industrial activities. Energy consumption also has serious environmental impacts in terms of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. In order to use energy more efficiently, simply designing parts and planning manufacturing processes with an energy-aware mindset is insufficient; it is also necessary to model and assess the energy efficiency of a process chain from a holistic point of view. In this work, we propose an integrated energy reduction framework and the internal methods to implement it. Our framework builds on three pillars. Creating an energy profile of a process chain is the first step in characterizing a manufacturing system in terms of energy demand. Energy-aware part designs and process plans are based on ISO/STEP 10303 AP224 standards in order to estimate the embodied energy of a mechanical part. Finally, using discrete event simulation methods, the energy consumption of a process chain is assessed and reduction scenarios are generated based on design or operational alternatives. A data collection and analytics system visualizing measures and key performance indicators (KPIs) also must be implemented in order to measure real consumption values and track improvement results over time. The energy reduction in manufacturing process chains (E-MPC) framework is unique in that it provides a structured method which enables the embodied energy of a part to be estimated during early design stages and further enables the evaluation of design impacts on process chains, thereby recognizing the dynamic nature of systems. A pilot case study of the framework was implemented at the largest household appliance manufacturer in Turkey, Arcelik A.S. In order to evaluate its usefulness and validity, we performed a detailed implementation on a fully automated crankshaft manufacturing line in Arcelilc's refrigerator compressor plant. The results reveal that design improvements estimated gains would reach 2%, whereas operational improvements yield up to 10% energy savings per produced part.