Page 48 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2016 publication
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48  Spring 2016 European Energy Innovation


Factories of the Future: Energy
Efficiency in Re-Industrialization

By Patrick Kennedy

Europe has a strong and vibrant             can be attributable to manufacturing.    The research and innovation priorities
            manufacturing sector. Despite   Achieving reductions in the              of our ‘Factories of the Future 2020’
            numerous challenges from        consumption of energy and increasing     strategy include those that focus
            competition and economic        energy efficiency is no easy task.       directly on energy efficiency and
 crises, this industry continues to                                                  related issues. These include energy-
 grow. In Europe manufacturing is           In order to support advances in          monitoring and management,
 responsible for the employment of          manufacturing, including greater         product-service simulation for
 around 30 million people and for           energy efficiency, the European Union    greater sustainability, on-demand
 more than 80% of exports. Clearly          launched the ‘Factories of the Future’   manufacturing and new approaches
 manufacturing matters for Europe.          research and innovation partnership.     to the design and management of
                                            Supported through the EU’s Horizon       manufacturing strategies.
 Every high‑value product or service        2020 research and innovation
 has a manufacturing process behind         programme, ‘Factories of the Future’ is  Our strategy makes it clear that
 it. This includes, but is not limited to,  a €1.15 billion seven year partnership   products of the future will become
 the products/services that rely on         supporting pre-competitive               increasingly complex. Therefore our
 photonics, nanotechnology, advanced        collaborative research.                  manufacturing process must evolve
 materials, micro/nano‑electronics                                                   whilst reducing energy consumption
 and biotechnology, along with              The ‘Factories of the Future’            through intelligent, adaptive and
 advanced manufacturing systems.            programme identifies the European        scalable systems.. For us the future
 Manufacturing processes themselves         Union’s ‘Europe 2020’ strategic aim of   means that, in an agile market,
 require increasing amounts of energy.      a 20% increase in energy efficiency,     Europe’s manufacturing systems and
 However manufacturing companies            as one which it can help to realise.     processes will need to adapt to the
 continue to push for greater energy        The programme supports research          differing demands of both the market
 efficiency. Reducing the consumption       and innovation to produce goods          and the factory by making use of
 of energy, while increasing the usage      which will realise greater energy and    intelligent robots and machines which
 of renewable energy, is crucial as nearly  resource efficiency through efficient    cooperate with each other and with
 one third of global energy demand          factories.                               people, in an autonomous manner
                                                                                     while maximising their efficiency in
                                                                                     energy consumption.

                                                                                     The factories of the future will not only
                                                                                     be continuously more energy efficient
                                                                                     but will also be the places in which
                                                                                     new energy-efficient technologies
                                                                                     will be manufactured. Therefore the
                                                                                     partnership is aiming to achieve
                                                                                     greater efficiencies as well as to
                                                                                     increase our ability to manufacture
                                                                                     those technologies which will enable
                                                                                     greater energy-efficiency in other

© EFFRA / FMMI                                                                       ‘Factories of the Future’ energy-
                                                                                     efficiency is not an issue which can be
                                                                                     considered in isolation. From planning
                                                                                     to real-time management, multiple
                                                                                     issues need to be considered as each
                                                                                     one has an effect on the other. In the
                                                                                     ‘Factories of the Future’ partnership

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