Environmental and climate protection, resource shortage, and demographic change have a growing impact in the form of an increase in stipulations, costs, and structural changes. The industry, thus, has to face the basic question today how and with which resources it will be able to continue production in the future.
The answer will cause many companies to rethink - away from seeking mere
financial profit toward creating sustainable values. In that context, E3 production will play a central role, the triad of energy and resourceefficient production, an emission-neutral factory, and better integration of humans into the production process.
For an energy and resource efficient production, many manufacturing processes will need to be optimized or even replaced. Because shorter, networked process chains do not only preserve resources, they also leverage byproducts such as waste heat. Just considering the costs, energy consumption needs to become a much stronger indicator for production control than it is today. Fraunhofer demonstrates new methods and technologies for reducing the consumption of resources and energy in production. The emissionneutral factory counts on renewable energy sources for producing electricity and heat. However, it is as important to adapt the architecture and supply systems to the production processes and to set up energy and recovered substance cycles. Zero-emission factories in the cities shorten the employees' commute - this as well contributes to reducing the consumption of resources in production.
To better integrate humans into the production process, knowledge, training, and work need to be linked to the individual needs of each employee. Not least do aging staff and new working methods require increased ergonomics and new types of cooperation between humans and machines.