ICT enabled energy efficiency in manufacturing
Today, manufacturing is faced with a sustainability paradox in maintaining economic growth while consuming fewer resources. Information Communication Technology (ICT) has proven central to the performance driven development of modern manufacturing in supporting production systems on all levels. Given this pervasiveness ICTs have an unparalleled opportunity to address this sustainability paradox by enabling energy efficient viable manufacturing. The paper introduces the newly developed REViSITE methodology and taxonomy used and posited as a common means of categorising, comparing and qualitatively assessing ICT impact on energy efficiency. The approach was utilised in identifying that which is homogenous, heterogeneous and synergetic in terms of ICTs and best practices across multiple sectors within the project. This paper outlines ICTs that can support energy efficiency throughout the main lifecycle phases of a production system, identifying current gaps and describing a vision as to where future Research Technology Development (RTD) efforts should focus. Optimizing the energy usage of a production system often has implications that extend beyond its boundaries and as such this paper also highlights potential synergies with the energy grid sector, the built environment and support infrastructure like lighting. Finally, the paper reiterates some of the more important ICT elements to consider throughout the Manufacturing lifecycle and reemphasises the opportunity ICTs have for integrating manufacturing into a wider sustainable eco-system.