PLAN-E - Integrating electric energy demand of machine tool processes as resource for production planning software

Energy as an Important Production Factor. Consideration of energy demand and energy costs in the planning phase of production enables optimized resource and cost management.

Short Description

Growing product variety and shortened product lifecycles require a new dimension of flexibility and adaptability in modern production facilities, while the cost pressure continuously increases. To face these challenges successfully, unutilized optimization potential has to be identified and transformed to competitive advantages.

Resources like personnel, material, and machine availability or adherence to delivery dates are considered as restrictive factors in the production planning process for quite a long time now, whereas the resource “Energy” is mostly neglected. Several studies estimate the energy cost reduction potential in the producing industry to 20-30%.

Hence, the research project PLAN-E focused on the integration of energy demand and energy costs into the production planning and control process. In the course of the project, a number of concepts were developed to implement energy management functionalities into the Manufacturing Execution System (MES) cronetwork of the project partner Industrie Informatik GmbH.

Amongst other concepts a newly developed energy demand function enables the MES platform to include energy demand and energy costs of machines and production lines as planning parameters in the detailed planning process. Furthermore, the acquisition of actual energy consumption data can be automatically performed by Machine Data Collection (MDC). Another innovation is the possibility to define energy pools similar to other resource pools in cronetwork.

Thus, energy generated at a production site (e.g. wind or photovoltaic based energy generation) can be considered separately from the externally supplied energy. It is also possible to arrange machines or machine groups in energy consumption pools. The established key performance indicators (KPIs) allow quantitative analysis of energy consumption and energy costs.

The automatic actual energy data acquisition via MDC, the visualization of energy pools in a so-called planning table and the evaluation of energy related KPIs are already available in cronetwork, the implementation of further functions is planned. The integrated energy management in cronetwork enables production facilities to take control of their production energy consumption and costs.

A new dimension “energy” is added to the optimization intentions in the planning process and raises the planning quality to the next level. At the end of the day, energy consumption and energy cost savings not only benefit the production company but also help to protect the environment.