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HIPCON — Result In Brief

Project ID: 505467
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Sweden

Sustainable manufacturing, increased competitiveness

EU-funded researchers developed process control software that has the potential to transform European manufacturing. Proven optimisation of production for economic, environmental and process efficiency could provide a major boost to European competitiveness.
Sustainable manufacturing, increased competitiveness
The future of competitive manufacturing lies not only in faster and more cost-effective procedures and higher performance products but also in sustainability, factors that are no longer mutually exclusive. In fact, more and more consumers are supporting companies with environmental policies in place.

European manufacturing thus requires a transformation to sustainable production processes that are at the same time highly competitive. Such evolution must integrate factors related to product quality, cost-effective processing and environmental impact drawing on research of a highly technical and sophisticated nature.

Scientists based in Europe initiated the ‘Holistic integrated process control’ (Hipcon) project to build on scientific excellence in a multidisciplinary fashion to facilitate such a transition. Fields whose expertise benefited the programme included modelling of environmental, economic and process parameters as well as optimisation and control theory.

The Hipcon consortium developed production management software combining simulation, real-time process monitoring and control and multi-objective optimisation for industrial use.

In order to prove the versatility and usefulness of the software package, full-scale case studies were carried out at two Swedish companies, one involved in steel manufacturing and one waste water treatment plant. Both demonstrated significant financial, environmental and process improvements through application of the software.

The main Hipcom deliverable, the holistic integrated process control software, should foster the adoption of sustainable manufacturing processes that simultaneously lead to a major boost in competitiveness and eco-efficiency for Europe.

Although the Hipcon project has been completed, the consortium is in the process of establishing a legal entity to ensure continued transformation of research into commercially relevant software updates and support.

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