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ETA-Fabrik: Energy efficiency research for the real world

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21.07.2018 11:01

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ETA-Fabrik consumes 40 percent less energy than conventional production. This is the result of the ETA-Fabrik research project run by PTW (Institute of Production Management, Technology and Machine Tools) at the Technical University Darmstadt. Scientists and production experts holistically optimized energy efficiency using the multi-stage production of a Bosch Rexroth series component as their example. Bosch Rexroth participated as an industry and research partner in the now completed project. "We are currently implementing the optimization potential in our plants," emphasizes Leo Pototzky, GoGreen Project Manager at Bosch Rexroth. "The new findings are also integrated into our energy efficiency consultancy service for industrial companies." 

As part of the research project the machines of a real process chain were optimized with the conventional steps of machining, hardening and cleaning to produce a hydraulic component. The key to the significant efficiency increase here was a holistic concept for transferring and reusing the energy of the machines among each other and with the factory building. 

Bosch Rexroth is currently applying the ETA-Fabrik research results in its plants as part of the "GoGreen" project. The findings of the research project are also integrated into the energy efficiency consultancy offer that Bosch Rexroth provides for industrial companies, as well as the Drive & Control Academy training offering, and are included in the recently released "Handbuch Energieeffizienz" (energy efficiency manual guide). 

As a technology partner Bosch Rexroth also contributed to the ETA-Fabrik's energy monitoring and controlling at control and field level. Consumption levels are recorded across energy types down to component level. Specific switching of the machines and their auxiliary consumers to energy-saving modes significantly reduces energy consumption. The machine operator can control the energy modes manually from the PLC and automatically from the production control station (MES). 

This energy management functionality is based on the existing system Rexroth 4EE – Rexroth for Energy Efficiency. Rexroth 4EE helps companies open up all kinds of savings potential across and beyond all technologies and applications. To optimally utilize the available energy Rexroth focuses on four technology levers – energy systems design, efficient components, energy rcovery, and energy on demand. 

After completion of the "ETA-Fabrik" project, which started in 2013, with SynErgie and PHI-Factory two topic-related follow-up projects focusing on energy flexibility are now up and running. In view of the increasing share of regenerative energy sources such as wind and solar and the sharply fluctuating energy availability associated with them, challenges now arise for efficient and stable power supply. The goal in both research projects is to upgrade industrial processes for energy flexibility. Bosch Rexroth also actively participated in the development of sustainable solutions with these fundamental studies.

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