Heuristic-based evaluation of energy flows in press hardening process chains
Energy and resource efficiency is a pressing issue for technological markets in the 21st century. In the field of production technology the development of energy and resource efficient processes and process chains is of particular importance. In order to meet these needs sustainable methods and standards have to be developed. This paper presents a new procedure to calculate and evaluate the energy and resource efficiency of process chains. The method consists of 4 stages that proceed from the real world to the quantitative calculation and qualitative evaluation of material and energy flows. The method is explained and validated using press hardening process chains as an example. The procedure enables the user to systematically capture and structure the press hardening process chain and subsequently develop a comprehensive model of the whole process chain. As a result, it allows to calculate the energy requirements for each stage of the process chain, and later on the process chain as a whole. The intention of the developed procedure is to provide a tool to detect the most energy efficient variant from a range of possible process chains.