Lowering production costs via smart control

Taking account of new variables such as time uncertainties and energy costs

Developments such as increasing diversity in the range of variations available or new supply concepts from the energy sector are driving demands for the capacity to provide vast amounts of information swiftly and, in some cases, globally. Classical goal criteria used in production planning such as machine utilization or throughput times are accompanied in the age of Industry 4.0 by further information relating to factors such as time-related risks or energy consumption. New production planning and control concepts which take account of these data can make a major contribution towards lowering production costs.

The Fraunhofer IPT develops concepts of this nature, which make it possible to incorporate these goal dimensions. Only when all of the corresponding production data are available, when ERP, machine and operation data, energy controlling and MES have been networked, will companies acquire a completely new level of transparency regarding their production facilities and processes.

The Fraunhofer IPT along with its partners in the “eMES” research project is therefore extending the production planning and control area to include energy-oriented order planning which, in conjunction with smart grids, will continue to permit flexible energy and cost efficient planning even in the face of rising energy costs.   

Short reaction times and control loops are essential elements in the ability to react adequately to load peaks. To achieve this, it is vital to ensure that operating and machine data, product-related master data and machine-related energy data are available – in real time, if possible. To this end, ERP and machine-oriented energy measuring systems are connected to the central MES and appropriate interfaces are developed. Transparency can thus be achieved in relation to the current production progress status, capacities and energy consumption. The opportunities and risks associated with direct intervention in load management can be utilized via synchronized communication with the energy suppliers.