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Digital Society and Resource Efficiency

: Reisinger, Martin

The Korean Scientists and Engineers Association in the UK -KSEAUK-:
11th Europe-Korea Conference on Science and Technology 2018. Online resource : 20th to 24th August 2018, Glasgow, UK
Glasgow, 2018
18 Folien
Europe-Korea Conference on Science and Technology (EKC) <11, 2018, Glasgow>
Fraunhofer IPA ()
EEP; Ressourceneffizienz; Industrie 4.0; Digitale Transformation

Can digitalisation be a silver bullet for resource efficiency? This presentation inspects the current state of this vision from different perspectives. Looking at the resource consumption for the production of smart devices, like smartphones or smart meters, there is still a long way to go in the direction of a resource efficient circular economy. As part of the European policy to tackle climate change, the smart meter rollout enables a high share of fluctuating renewable energy in a smart grid. However there is an environmental and social impact in the life cycle of the new high-tech devices, from raw material extraction down to its disposal. A best practice out of the procurement perspective shows how the current situation can improve.
The results of the study on resource efficiency in German SMEs through Industry 4.0, show that there are high potentials for saving resources through digitalisation. For example, intelligent management of compressed air systems can improve the energy efficiency of a manufacturing system. The newest version of the “German Standardisation Roadmap Industry 4.0” indicates the future scenarios out of manufacturing perspective. In its recommendations for actions the roadmap proposes several scenarios for tools which could support the resource efficiency in manufacturing in the future. A “product CV” with the necessary information for the reuse and recycling of products is an example.
The presentation suggests two research visions. One is services called “Hardware upgrade”. The data availability in cyber physical production systems enables the calculation of real time life cycle costing for its resource consuming components (hardware) currently installed in the factory. The service is proposing an upgrade to more resource efficient components when they must be replaced due to maintenance reasons. This enables optimal decision making for more resource efficiency.
The other is an in interdisciplinary research approach called “Green Wall Robot”. This approach is combining industrial-manufacturing digitalisation research with high-tech urban-farming research. The results of a feasibility study show a robot maintaining a modular green facade at a factory. The aim is a highly automated biomass production on currently unused facades using waste heat from production processes in cooler months. Furthermore green facades have further multiple benefits to its soundings. The extra evapotranspiration can add a cooling effect to the local micro-climate. In case of biomass production in the form of high value vegetables, food miles for the local consumer can be decreased.