Application of systems simulation for predicting and optimizing energy requirements for a HDF moulded door skin manufacturing production plant
Luminea, Cristina Maria
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In today’s straggling economy, manufacturing companies make a great effort to maintain their competitive advantage. Daily they face challenges o f improving efficiency and reducing cost. In order to survive in this rough environment, tough decisions need to be taken. The major challenge that most manufacturing companies face consists in reducing their energy consumption, as this represents one o f their major costs. The highly automated production plants are usually equipped with the latest energy monitoring systems which capture the energy consumption throughout the entire company. These systems produce high quantities o f data that most o f the time is very difficult and costly to analyse. This is the first major challenge companies face. Looking at this data, the plants’ engineers can get a rough understanding o f where the major energy losses occur and they can come up with solutions. The next tough challenge consists in calculating the return on each project that can be implemented. This requires an in depth analysis that takes time and money to perform. Simulation is one o f the technologies that can represent a solution to these problems. Even though simulation has been used so far in manufacturing facilities for modelling supply chain management, production management and business processes, its applications in managing the energy consumption within manufacturing companies represents a new and innovative research domain. This prompted the research undertaken for the present thesis. The main focus o f this research is to analyse production management in a manufacturing facility and correlate it with the energy consumption. The research initially concentrates on different simulation methodologies and their application in the current manufacturing space. Literature relating to the correlation o f energy consumption with production management has also been reviewed. This review identified very few previous instances o f where simulation tools where used to predict the energy consumption in a manufacturing facility. This research brings a novel approach to investigating the adaptability o f industrial simulation processes and tools for modelling the energy consumption with respect to a variable production output. The end result o f this process consists in a better understanding o f the production system and the energy loses which were incorporated in the simulation model. The simulation model was validated using real world data collected from Masonite - the case study company. This was closely followed by the creation o f different scenarios that were analysed and which predicted a lowering in the energy consumption that could reach over 9%.
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