More than ever, industries have to meet the challenge of producing more sustainable and efficient, for reasons of economic competitiveness and environmental considerations as well. In the long run, a paradigm shift is needed – toward "maximum added value from minimum resources and without any emissions".
Putting the focus on resources will improve the sustainability of tomorrow’s production and lead not only to improved products, technologies and production systems, but also to new approaches to operations in manufacturing companies. A key feature of production in the future is to make the absolute most of materials and to reprocess them within a closed-loop recycling management system.
The Ultra-efficient Factory – Producing without Losses in a Livable Environment
Producing efficiently and effectively to the highest technical standards, at the same time minimizing or avoiding environmental impact and resolving the conflicting aims – in brief, harmonizing future industrial production with urban life – is what lies behind the integrated (holistic) approach of the ultra-efficient factory. Three Fraunhofer Institutes work together in this project.
Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project "E³-Production"
Fraunhofer's lighthouse projects put the focus on strategic objectives with a view to developing practical solutions from which economies such as Germany’s can benefit. The factory of the future has to consider three important pillars: energy and resource efficiency, emission neutrality, and ergonomics (integration of people in production) – summarized as E3. The lighthouse project “E3-production” addresses these three pillars and focuses, notably, on the design and implementation of ultra-short process chains, the operation of production systems that can adapt their use of energy and resources to a volatile energy supply, the establishing of closed-loop material cycles, and the use of production itself to store energy, including the integration of materials.