Reduction of costs and emissions in factories: real cases

Reduction of costs and emissions in factories: real cases

Industry is one of the sectors with a highest energy demand, being the fossil fuels the main energy source used in the most of the industrial processes. The utilization of this type of fuels in the manufacture process of the industries generates a waste heat that is not usually used, hence these processes are considered as inefficient. Nevertheless, this waste heat can be recovered (and in many cases reincorporated into the same process) by using new strategies and equipment. Therefore, the optimization of the industrial processes and the implementation of renewable energies in them can contribute to reduce the harmful impacts of the energy systems to the environment, while reducing energy consumption.

In addition, it has to mention that the energy recovery contributes to the reduction of production costs of the industries and consequently these gain in competitiveness. However, energy recovering is not easy since it requires of high performance technology and best practices of operation. Furthermore, many factories have complex and autonomous processes that are unlinked to each other or integrated into their environment. On the other hand, each product and manufacture process are specific to each industry so that it is difficult to find a global solution that encompasses energy reduction, renewables integration and energy recovery through a more efficient use of resources, cleaner manufacturing technologies or the recovery of resources.

Traditionally, factors that were taken into account in manufacturing processes were economic, management, production, etc. However, this situation has changed in recent years. Energy efficiency and sustainable management are fundamental aspects that many companies have incorporated in their processes. Aware of that reality, CARTIF is accompanying the companies to incorporate in them the “Factories of Future” concept. An example of work done is the REEMAIN project.

CARTIF moves toward zero carbon manufacturing and Energy Efficiency 2.0 through the intelligent employment of renewable energy technologies and resource saving strategies that consider energy purchase, generation, conversion, distribution, utilization, control, storage, re-use in a holistic and integrated way.

From the REEMAIN project experience, we have prepared a brief brochure, in which we have highlighted 13 efficiency measures implemented and tested in three factories, one from agrofood sector, another from textile and one more from iron foundry. These measures were classified into renewable energy integration, energy recovery, recycling and ecological materials use and production, process and product optimization.

Each measure is presented in a short and visual way and is composed of title, summary, savings achieved and key factors for a success implementation. Last input is a recommendation from our side to encourage the industries to replicate the measures already applied in the manufacture process of the democases in order to achieve similar results that in REEMAIN project.

Finally, under the section “Extrapolation to other factories” the replication potential of the measures has been quantified taking into account the next four main factors:

  • Process of implementation: This item is associated to the investment required for the implementation of the efficient measures, corresponding a high score with a low investment requirement.
  • Process criticality: This item has in consideration the increase in the complexity of the manufacture process as well as a reduction of the reliability due to the installation of new equipment in the industries. An efficiency measure with high score indicates few or null operation changes, e.g., being easily by-passing in case of breakdown or during the maintenance works.
  • Expected savings: This item is related to the savings quantification based on different factors
  • Investment return: This item considers the cost savings and feasibility of the installation in economic terms.

Brochure ends with a visual summary of the total savings achieved in the three factories that were part of the project.

Brochure is online and available for download free here.

Best practices in energy efficiency in industry projects

Best practices in energy efficiency in industry projects

Traditionally, factors that were taken into account in manufacturing processes were economic, management, production, etc. However, this situation has changed in recent years. Energy efficiency and sustainable management are fundamental aspects that many companies have incorporated in their processes. Aware of that reality, CARTIF is accompanying the companies to incorporate in them the “Factories of Future” concept. An example of work done is the REEMAIN project.

REEMAIN moves toward zero carbon manufacturing and Energy Efficiency 2.0 through the intelligent use of renewable energy technologies and resource saving strategies that consider energy purchase, generation, conversion, distribution, utilization, control, storage, re-use in a holistic and integrated way.

In addition to that, REEMAIN project has provided us with the opportunity to expand our knowledge and experience in the Resource and Energy Efficient Manufacturing world. During the demonstration actions at the factories, the team has experimented energy and materials saving technologies and process and, of course, tested their effectiveness.

As the project comes to an end, we have produced a Best Practices Book as a way of sharing our experience with other professionals in the material and energy efficiency manufacturing domain.

The REEMAIN Best Practice Book summarises the key findings from our experience of over four years working on the project and are recommendations we make to the overall community involved in this kind of projects (designers, research institutions, factory owners, workers, contractors, public bodies, investors, etc.), in order to provide a help if some of them decide to get involve in an efficiency improvement project within a factory.

18 Best Practices are featured. They were based on our experience while searching and testing efficiency measures in our three demo factories: GULLON (Biscuit), BOSSA (Textile) and SCM (Iron & Steel). Three main thematic areas had been identified: Best practices on “design”, best practices on “Operation and maintenance” and “Exploitation & Dissemination”.

Each of them is presented in a short and visual way. They are composed of: title, description (being itself a recommendation), stakeholders, replicability, practical guidelines and things to avoid, impact rating, and finally the REEMAIN practical experience.

The Best Practice Book is available online for download free.

The future of Smart Cities in Latin America

The future of Smart Cities in Latin America

Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) is the developing region with the highest urbanization rate in the world. Its urban population has grown from 41% in 1950 to 80% in 2010 while the  economic activity is focused on urban centers (60% – 70% of regional GDP). However, despite their capacity to generate richness, almost 70% of people that lives in these cities are doing so in poverty conditions. Furthermore, if we also consider the environment impact of these cities at the same time of their high vulnerability to climate changes, natural disasters and financial constraints, we are forced to think about the sustainability of their urban development.

The theory about traditional development postulates that the industrialization triggers to a gap between urban and rural productivity, reflecting in addition salaries differences between the two areas, and promoting thus rural-urban migration. At the same time, this theory justifies that welfare indicators are better for urban residents than rural ones, because they have more coverage in public services and higher incomes. However, this theory is not useful to demonstrate the development pattern of LAC countries, more in fact when they have levels of urbanization substantially higher than other regions of the world. Urban population growth in LAC necessarily does not let to their inhabitants better living conditions.

Therefore the cities, even more LAC ones, are based on complex and interdependent systems that have defined a sustainability new concept. This new approach goes beyond environmental issues because include cultural, political, institutional, social and economic variables. Thus, it is necessary to develop methodologies that study cities as a holistic, complex and multisector system that will allow us a qualitative and quantitative understanding of the problems of urban development and management in the region.

Smart City concept is born from this challenge and we, in CARTIF, understand it as a new city model based on three basic concepts: life quality, sustainability and innovation. This city model use to involve information and communication technologies (ICTs), but mainly the definition of sustainable and cohesive territorial models with environmental, social, economic, territorial and administrative objectives. As a result, smart cities and resource efficient cities are achieved, diminishing costs and saving energy, improving the services provided and the quality of life, and decreasing the environmental footprint. The final objective of these smart cities is not to show off their advanced systems and innovations, instead of this they must provide to their citizens a better quality of life, and in a future, anticipate their needs solving any problem that could arise.

In this sense, CARTIF has been working for years to allow the transformation of “traditional cities” into “smart and sustainable cities” in Europe and, more recently in LAC.

Our model seeks an efficient and integral urban regeneration that achieves social, economic and environmental objectives coming from the specific priorities of each city, integrating innovative technological solutions in the different urban scenarios, with a large citizen engagement, stablishing the foundations of a business ecosystem to facilitate the deployment of pilot projects and their subsequent upscaling and replication.

We hope to see examples of this new model of city in many LAC cities in the following years. Meanwhile, CARTIF has involved the city of Medellín (Colombia) in a project funded by European Research and Innovation Program H2020, which seeks new strategies to renaturing cities through nature-based solutions. Thanks to this, Medellín will have the collaboration of experts to identify, in a first approach, the economic, social and regulatory barriers that impede this kind of integral projects in the city.