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Energy and resource management systems for improved efficiency in the process industries.

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - MAESTRI (Energy and resource management systems for improved efficiency in the process industries.)

Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2019-08-31

Europe was the cradle of the manufacturing industry and it has traditionally led important industrial changes. Process industries represent the foremost part of the manufacturing base, around 20% of the total European manufacturing industry, which include more than 450,000 individual enterprises (EU27), employment of around 6.8 million citizens and generation of more than 1,600 billion € turnover. On other hand, process industries are largely dependent on resources imports from international markets that are hampering the industry’s access to globally traded raw materials, due to the increased political instability in many regions of the globe, which is perfectly visible from a sharp increase in raw material prices during recent years. Moreover, European industry has also accounted for more than a quarter of total energy consumption in 2010 in Europe with a significant portion of that used within the process industry. This represents both an opportunity and responsibility of this sector contribution to the sustainability challenges of European societies, being imperative to drastically reduce the environmental footprint and increase competitiveness and production systems efficiency by “doing more with less”. However, to successfully implement sustainability in manufacturing and process industries, a holistic, multidimensional and systematic approach is required.
With this in mind, the MAESTRI project aims to advance the sustainability of European manufacturing and process industries. This is done by providing a management system in the form of a flexible and scalable platform, and to guide and simplify the implementation of an innovative approach, the Total Efficiency Framework. The overall aim of this framework is to encourage a culture of improvement within process industries by assisting the decision-making process, supporting the development of improvement strategies and helping define the priorities to improve the company's environmental and economic performance. Its development and validation will be achieved through application in four real industrial settings across a variety of activity sectors.
The Total Efficiency Framework will be based on four main pillars to overcome the current barriers and promote sustainable improvements: a) an effective management system targeted at process and continuous improvement; b) efficiency assessment tools to define improvement and optimization strategies and support decision-making processes; c) a toolkit for Industrial Symbiosis focusing on material and energy exchange; d) a software Platform, based on the Internet of Things (IoT), to simplify the concept implementation and ensure an integrated control of improvement process.
To achieve the previously described goals, the first half of the project has focused on the development of the tools/methodologies, the definition of the pilot areas and the characterization of the initial state of the four industrial partners.
During the first 18 months of the project the MAESTRI efficiency tools (ecoPROSYS and MSM) were refined to assure the best results and facilitate the implementation. The methodologies for approaching the industrial symbiosis and lean perspective aspects were improved and tested by running workshops with the industrial partners. The methodologies supporting the total efficiency framework were developed, with very special focus on, both, the integration of tools and the total efficiency framework, which encompasses the process, resource and eco-efficiency aspects. The initial requirements for the implementation of the IoT platform were also identified as well as its structure and architecture.
During this period the consortium developed a baseline characterisation of the 4 pilot areas. The characterization of processes by identifying, analysing and assessing their efficiency, both from environmental and economic perspectives. Starting with a characterisation of process model, all process stages were defined and described, as well as links and dependence relations and elementary flows, including both inputs (energy, materials, consumables, equipment, labour, etc.) and outputs (products, by-products, residues, emissions, etc.) of the pilot areas. Relations to other processes were also defined. During the pilot characterisation process the availability and detail of data was also analysed. This analysis intended to generate information regarding the requirements for the integrated framework and platform development, namely by identifying the pilot current applied tools and information/data sources. Following the definition of process models and data collection, a first efficiency assessment was performed, using the MAESTRI developed tools. This intended to evaluate the overall performance of the pilot areas and identify the most significant aspects that influence resource and energy efficiency. As a result, a preliminary list of KPIs was defined, from both environmental and economic perspectives.
Finally, during the first period of the MAESTRI project, the vision and general strategies for approaching the project were continuously refined to accommodate improvements and new ideas.
With the creation of the total efficiency framework, the MAESTRI project provides an integrated view of total efficiency in the industrial areas. Methodologies were created to combine original efficiency assessment tools with workshops and methodologies strongly influenced by lean management and industrial symbiosis, resulting in enhanced support for decision making and improvement measures generation.
An innovative method of assessing simultaneously efficiency and eco-efficiency (Total Efficiency Index) was developed, allowing the visualization of the impact produced by improvement measures in both efficiency aspects.
Until the end of the project it is expected that, by developing and implementing the total efficiency framework, there will be noticeable and verified improvements in terms of both, efficiency and eco-efficiency within the four pilots. The main objective, however, is that the finalized framework will be capable of supporting decision, to foster resource, process and eco-efficiency.
The expected impacts of MAESTRI project are:
• Improve resource efficiency, energy efficiency and the emission performance by 20%, and reduce energy and resources costs by over 20% for the pilot implementations.
• Maximization of “waste2resource” ratio via in-plant symbiosis and outside the plant (value-chain symbiosis).
• Underpin people engagement for energy and resource efficiency.
• Enhance cross-sectoral interaction (equipment/system provider and equipment/ system user), Highly replicable and flexible solutions, because of the software platform’ flexibility and scalability, which enables customizations/configurations according to the needs of each company, it will be highly replicable.
• Increase European process industries competitiveness - process industries will benefit respectively from a cost reduction (due to more efficient use of resource and energy) and increase of incomes (due to value added on their waste by adopting “waste2resource” strategies).
Although already identified, the expected impacts shown above, will only be validated once the framework is complete, and the platform is installed, running and ready to continuously monitor improvements and simulate the impacts of new improvement measures.
Total Efficiency Framework
MAESTRI vision