Smart energy in production

© Fraunhofer IPA | Fotolia (zhu difeng)

Manufacturing companies are faced with increasingly dynamic and global competition, forcing them to constantly optimize their value chain. Due to growing cost pressure in production plants, the energy factor is becoming an important control lever when it comes to cutting manufacturing costs. This brings decisive advantages in global competition. Fraunhofer IPA develops and conducts research on solutions to improve energy efficiency and flexibility. The emphasis is on developing automated and sustainable solutions for today’s and tomorrow’s manufacturing environments.


Area of expertise and services “Energy efficiency”

For many years, Fraunhofer IPA has been working on solutions to improve efficiency in numerous fields of technology (e.g. coating, surface engineering, factory design, robotics and machine construction), as well as on planning and control methods and automation technology:

  • Energy data capture and analysis
  • Energy value stream design
  • Design guidelines to improve energy efficiency in production facilities
  • Total energy efficiency management and energy management with MES (manufacturing execution systems)
  • Energy-efficient production planning and control
  • Fluid dynamic simulations to systematically optimize coating plants
  • Applying coatings without overspray to drastically reduce conditioned air consumption
  • Systemic optimization of paint materials and process technologies to lower curing temperatures


Area of expertise and services “Energy flexibility”

A key aspect of our R&D work is developing technical and organizational solutions to improve energy flexibility in production. We examine future topics, such as micro smart grid, energy-flexible production and energy storage with a view to their industrial application:

  • Potential analyses concerning flexibility and networking in production
  • Production and energy data capture
  • Energy and digital networks in production facilities
  • Developing energy-flexible production planning and control
  • Integrating energy storage systems into production plants
  • Inclusion of locally-generated power in production sites
  • Developing and implementing interfaces with energy markets