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Reduction of raw material and energy consumption

On 20 June 2018, the partners of the European Project, Meman, will be delivering their results in Brussels. This project aims to improve the overall efficiency of energy, raw materials and other resources in an integrated optimisation approach. Their work is centred on the casting, machining, surface treatment and surface finishing sectors.

The Meman project has yielded many examples of the improved efficiency of natural resources and environmental protection through the use of practical tools developed by the project partners. Some of these include 20% reduction in machining scraps, time savings of 65% for a surface treatment cycle (i.e. a decrease in the manufacturing cycle and carbon dioxide-CO2 emissions), 35% reduction in CO2 emissions and 24% energy savings for castings. These tools and their contribution to industrial cases in the fields of casting, machining, surface treatment and surface finishing will be presented by the consortium of which Cetim is a member, during a workshop held on 20 June 2018 in Brussels.

An innovative approach

By far, the biggest cost factors in a machining company are raw materials and energy, where the material consumption may represent 35 to 40% and energy costs may range up to 15% of the total expenses, compared with an average of 20% for personnel costs. Therefore, the European Project, called Meman, sought to develop tools and methods to reduce the consumption of raw materials and energy in companies. It is based on an innovative approach which is geared towards optimising the entire manufacturing value chain and encompasses energy, raw materials and other inputs. A methodology and toolbox have also been developed based on the comprehensive validation of new business models enabling the cooperation of various companies over the entire value chain. The toolbox, a software solution to support the decision makers in their decision making process, incorporates various methods for a combined technical, economical and environmental assessment. The objects of the value chain such as the plants, products and machines are preconfigured into the software which automatically applies the methods such as value stream mapping and life cycle analysis. The toolbox also helps to answer questions related to the efficient use of resources. Some examples are: Is it wise to produce smaller batches? Can an alternative raw material improve the product quality? Must renewable energy be used to reduce the environmental impact? Is the plant configuration adapted to improve the production capacity? Do production modifications change the product characteristics?

Meman stands for Integral material and energy flow Management in manufacturing metal mechanic sector. The project was launched in January 2015 for a term of three and a half years and has received EUR 6 million in funding from the European Commission. Three clusters associated with the three fields of interest were tasked with the operations in order to achieve the goals of the project. Accordingly, Cetim alongside Mecanic Vallée (entrepreneurial cluster of the Limousin and Midi-Pyrénées regions) and Technofi headed the machining and surface treatment cluster.

(05/30/2018)

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