Towards the factory of the future
Developed countries are most at fault when it comes to energy consumption and greenhouse gas production from manufacturing. Worldwide, the sector consumes 37 % of primary energy sources and is the largest producer of carbon dioxide. The EU-funded EMC2-FACTORY (Eco manufactured transportation means from clean and competitive factory) project will kick-start the development of factories that meet or even exceed Europe's 2020 climate change and energy sustainability targets. The consortium includes industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, and top research centres and universities, with a focus on automotive, rail and aerospace manufacturing. Researchers analysed the requirements for cleaner and more resource-efficient environments, as well as key performance indicators. They also selected the most sustainable extant technologies and re-engineered several machining, joining and assembly technologies. EMC2-FACTORY also investigated strategies to minimise waste, recover energy and increase resource efficiency as well as sensors to monitor and support these strategies. The team worked on simulation and optimisation software for ecological evaluations of production systems, design and management. The consortium has tested out these new technologies and processes at pilot sites in automotive, rail and aerospace manufacturing. EMC2-FACTORY results may lead to a sustainable, profitable factory framework that is both resource and energy efficient.
Factory, energy efficient, manufacturing, automotive, rail, aerospace