1.1 R&D Objectives
- To expand to the international level the clustering efforts of four European regions to develop common approaches in order to support the development of high resource-efficient production systems.
- To develop strategies for a better establishing of TCO aspects in investment decisions of the machinery customer on the one but also for a better support of the R&D and manufacturing processes of the machine manufacturer in order to reach a consistent and marketable relationship between investments and savings concerning the consumption of energy and materials
- To expand a EU-centred SWOT analysis to one that considers all participating regions in the identification of weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities that affect all sides of the production process: the manufacture of the machine, its users, and the consumers as well.
- To use suitable dissemination activities in order to stimulate the interest for efficiency aspects in relevant steps of the production of goods
1.2 Overview of the Initiative
The manufacturing sector is one of the most important resource consumers of the modern society. On the one hand it is responsible for the energy and material efficiency of production tools, on the other hand it uses such tools by its own. Facing the first role, the manufacturing sector has to face continuously challenges like shrinking margins, an increasing cost pressure and extensive customization demands. To be competitive the manufacturer of industrial engineering products has to develop individual solutions with respect to flexibility, cost-efficiency, reliability, safety and security.
Against this resource-efficiency is given often only a low priority concerning the investment decisions of the procurement of new machinery. In the Refitting sector of old machinery also an only low readiness to invest in resource efficiency can be observed, although in nearly every production system many potential sources for repayments could be identified. The reasons for this inadequate low priority are manifold. One the one hand, the purchaser of the machinery is not willing to take account of its total cost of ownership (TCO). In other words: purchasers often show favoritism to a short-term saving of investment over long term savings resulting from energy consumptions. But also the production management is not able or willing to make changes within a “running system”. So the manufacturer of the machinery takes often a high risk regarding the investment in R&D for more resource efficient solutions that are mostly also more expensive for the customer. This dissatisfying situation demands for new strategies in order to overcome the numerous reserves on the way to high resource-efficient production systems with respect to technical reasons and non-technical reasons as well.
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