Purpose – This paper aims to set the framework for measuring the energy performance of a manufacturing process. The availability and affordability of energy is becoming a critical parameter nowadays, affecting the whole lifecycle of the product, and hence the production phase as well. The energy efficiency of the grinding process, as a widely used manufacturing process in the industry, is assessed with regard to the selected process strategies. Design/methodology/approach – To assess the grinding machine tool energy performance, a measuring framework is designed, implemented and validated. The process strategy effect on the energy consumption is experimentally assessed through energy audits of the grinding machine tool. Such energy audits provide better insights into the way subsystems composing a machine tool affect the energy consumption. Findings – It is revealed that the proper selection of process strategy can significantly reduce the energy consumption. The amount of energy consumed for the actual process is less than the energy required for maintaining the processing environment (e.g. for the coolant pump delivering coolant fluid in the processing area). The key finding is that the measuring framework can be used for the understanding and analysis of the energy consumption of the various machine tool components. Additionally, for the grinding process itself, the energy audits indicate that reducing the processing duration can significantly reduce the overall energy. Originality/value – The main novel contribution of the present paper is the development of a measurement framework for assessing the energy consumption of subsystems running simultaneously when processing a workpiece. Grinding process energy demand is analysed in detail, allowing for the first time to consider energy consumption as a manufacturing decision criterion.
International Journal of Energy Sector Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 7, 2015
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