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Energy-Efficient Product and Process Innovations in Production Engineering


The Challenge

Vision: Self-sufficient, emissions-neutral production,
3-step model
Increasing population figures, emergent developing countries and comfort-oriented industrial nations are causing the global demand for energy to increase. This not only leads to increasing energy prices, but also to increased emissions of environmentally harmful carbon dioxide. Therefore the sustainable growth of industry must go hand in hand with climate protection. For this reason, climate protection efforts are seeing a considerable increasing in importance in Germany and Europe. How is it possible to counteract CO2 emissions and simultaneously satisfy the growing energy requirement?

Scientific Objective

A major step towards the solution of this problem lies in increased resource and energy efficiency. A current study on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research shows that in industrial production, medium-term energy savings of 25 to 30 per cent would be possible if resources were used more effectively. The vision of the eniPROD cluster of excellence is therefore to develop self-sufficient, emissions-free production with simultaneous reduction in the energy requirement and an increase in resource efficiency. Three elements form the basis for this work (3-step model):

  • Optimisation of efficiency in production, with the goal of increasing resource efficiency at the process level
  • Development of energy management systems, taking into account energy interactions and cycles
  • Supplying factories with energy from renewable sources (substitution of fossil fuels) with a view to improving the carbon footprint

In order to realise this vision, the following scientific secondary objectives are being pursued:

  • Derivation of scientifically grounded indicators and models for the description of energy-related cause-effect relationships, through the analysis and synthesis of production systems and processes
  • Development of new active principles, construction methods and technologies for the reduction of the primary energy requirement in production and for increasing energy efficiency
  • Expansion of existing development and planning tools using energy-sensitive product, process and factory models

Chemnitz as a Research Location

Research complex "Energy-efficient Production Processes" - Chemnitz
The eniPROD cluster of excellence forms the core of the strategic "Energy-efficient Production Processes" research programme at the Technische Universität Chemnitz. Combining specialist knowledge from five faculties with the expertise of the Fraunhofer IWU forms the basis for the cluster to achieve the defined scientific objectives, with a high level of quality. The eniPROD cluster of excellence integrates fundamental scientific research and knowledge transfer for the derivation of innovative products and processes. As such, it contributes to the structural development of Chemnitz as a scientific location and to the economic strengthening of regional industry.

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