Combined Energy and Process Simulation to Foster Efficiency in Non-automated Material Handling System Design

Patrick Fekete, Sirirat Lim, Steve Martin, Katja Kuhn, Nick Wright


Energy and resource efficiency are becoming more and more important objectives in industrial companies, so that it has also become relevant to material handling as part of the lean strategy in supply chain management. The design of sustainable, energy efficient material handling systems and processes depends on methods and tools that analyse and evaluate the composition of the technologies and processes of the system. Therefore analysis on detailed data on energy consumption, energy supply and process organisation is required to improve overall system efficiency. This study proposes a novel approach to energy data generation based on Standardised Energy Consuming Activities (SECA). Simulating process energy consumption and consumption behaviour based on process function investigations increases knowledge about the sequence and characteristics of energy consumption and its process allocation. Executing the research project Usable Battery Energy of the material handling equipment was identified to be gradable by 25% to 43% in order to increase equipment availability and thus system efficiency. In the performed case study a system range extension of 19% to 33% was reached by the implementation of a fast engaging charging system using process related idle times.

Generally applicable data is required for the design of a scalable simulation to enable the identification of requirements to the design of non-automated material handling system components. The proposed framework forms the basis necessary for the derivation and evaluation of technical and organisational improvement of system efficiency with respect to energy, ecological and economic objectives.

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Studies in Engineering and Technology   ISSN 2330-2038 (Print)   ISSN 2330-2046 (Online)

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