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Assessment of product-service systems for increasing the energy efficiency of compressed air systems

: Weißfloch, Ute; Geldermann, Jutta


European journal of industrial engineering : EJIE 10 (2016), Nr.3, S.341-366
ISSN: 1751-5254
ISSN: 1751-5262
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie BMWi
Fraunhofer ISI ()
product-service system; PSS; compressed air system; energy efficiency; multicriteria decision making; MCDM; conflicting objectives; cleaner production; group decision making; PROMETHEE; leakage management; stakeholder

Energy-optimised system operations should be a cornerstone for cleaner production in industry. However, the high energy consumption of compressed air systems (CASs) is often ignored. Product-service systems (PSSs) represent a method to improve energy efficiency, but can only be successful if they offer a win-win situation for both parties, namely the supplier and the customer. When selecting the most appropriate PSS, different quantitative or qualitative criteria have to be taken into account. Asymmetric information and differing objectives between the supplier and the user of a technology, characterise this decision problem. Like the two sides of a coin, investment in an energy-efficient production technology is judged differently by the manufacturer than by the customer. This paper presents a new approach offering multi-criteria group decision support based on the PROMETHEE method, which clearly depicts conflicting targets of decision-makers, and thus supports articulating criteria, preferences and weights of various stakeholders. This method was applied in a case study evaluating different concepts of leakage management, which were compared to the traditional business concept - acquisition and use of the compressed air system by the end-user. Within the context of the decision problem of choosing a best CAS, some further methodological developments are proposed.