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Development of an Open Architecture, Widely Applicable Smart Manufacturing Platform
Industrial Scale Demonstration of Smart Manufacturing Achieving Transformational Energy Productivity Gains
While many U.S. manufacturing operations utilize optimization for individual unit processes, smart manufacturing (SM) systems that integrate manufacturing intelligence in real time across an entire production operation are rare in large companies and virtually nonexistent in smaller organizations. One example of an area where SM systems can be applied is in the management of waste heat. A smart system that not only sought to recover waste heat, but also to generate less heat initially, would be a cost-effective tool optimizing the relationship between energy use and product output together.
The Smart Manufacturing Application and Data Platform (SM Platform) to be developed during this project is an innovative approach that integrates information technology, models, and simulations driven by real-time plant data and performance metrics. This SM Platform will allow manufacturing organizations, regardless of their industry or size, to assemble new management systems at a much lower cost, optimizing process knowledge and improving energy productivity by integrating with existing process control and automation systems. Development of an energy productivity metric—integrated with real-time process information—that provides comparisons for potential, practical, and actual performance, as well as the development of an Energy Dashboard that displays alternatives to optimize energy use within specific business contexts, will help improve energy productivity and reduce emissions in U.S. manufacturing.
Benefits for Our Industry and Our Nation
The project team anticipates that project success, coupled with broad multi-sector adoption of the developed technology, could reduce waste heat generation by an amount equivalent to 1.3% of total U.S. energy use, as well as reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 69 million tons. Other potential benefits include reducing process times, solid and liquid wastes, environmental impacts, and water use. This investment has an anticipated payback period of less than one year in energy-intensive applications. The SM Platform could also reduce the costs of deploying SM systems by 50% in manufacturing operations.
Applications in Our Nation’s Industry
Installation of an SM management system could provide energy savings and cost reductions to a wide range of manufacturing industries. The SM Platform framework would be beneficial for large, energy-consuming manufacturing sectors, such as petroleum refining, chemicals, steel, and biofuels. The energy, food, and paper processing industries would also likely realize attractive payback periods by adopting the SM Platform.