The changing landscape of energy management in manufacturing

Research Area:
Resource Efficiency


InTech (book chapter)

SMART Authors:
Shahin Rahimifard

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The production and use of energy accounts for around 60% of global greenhouse gas (GHG)
 emissions, providing an intrinsic link between cause and effect. Considering that the manufacturing
 industry is responsible for roughly one-third of the global energy demand enforces the need to ensure
 that the manufacturing sector continually strives to reduce its reliance on energy and thus minimise
 GHG released into the atmosphere. Consequently, efficient management of energy consumption is of
 paramount importance for modern manufacturing businesses due to well-documented negative
 impact regarding energy generation from fossil fuels and rapidly rising worldwide energy costs. This
 has resulted in a proliferation of research in this area which has considered improvements in energy
 consuming activities at the enterprise, facility, cell, machine and turret levels. However, there is now a
 need to go beyond incremental energy efficiency improvements and take more radical approaches to
 reduce energy consumption. It is argued that the largest energy reduction improvements can be
 achieved through better design of production systems or by adopting new business strategies that
 reduce the reliance of manufacturing businesses on resource consumption. This chapter initially
 provides a review of research in energy management (EM) at various manufacturing focus levels. The
 inappropriateness of current methods to cater for transformative and radical energy reduction
 approaches is discussed. In particular, limitations are found at the business strategy level since no
 technique exists to consider the input of these high level decisions on energy consumption. The main
 part of the chapter identifies areas of further opportunity in energy management research, and
 describes a method to facilitate further reductions in energy use and GHG production in
 manufacturing at the business strategy level.

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