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Resource Efficiency: Visualizing Energy Consumption

to Optimize Tool Design

Günther Schuh, Till Potente, Heiner Heimes
RWTH Aachen University, Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering, Aachen, Germany

Abstract--In many areas of engineering development, benefit ratio, focusing on the costs is a main task. [1] The
resource efficiency is an important quality characteristic. current dynamics in exploitation of important mineral
Customers pay more attention to energy consumption caused by resources is no longer acceptable as well as the significant
the production of the desired products. Products that require a adverse effect on our environment caused by the dimensions
lot of energy in the production are referred as “critical” by
politics and society. Especially the field of tool and die industry –
of modern human activity on earth. This is leading to another
despite the implementation of initial measures to increase optimization criterion in production engineering: the energy
resource efficiency – has immense potential. Significant and resource efficiency. Energy efficient and resource-saving
opportunities for improvement can be achieved by visualizing production engineering is a leading-edge industry for various
the energy consumption of tools and their components. In manufacturing branches. [2] The sustainable use of material
particular, the analysis of the relationship between the energy resources and the efficient use of energy already have and
required to produce tools and the energy consumption of used will force a paradigm shift from today "maximum gain from
tools has great potential. Taking account of resource efficiency, minimum capital" to "maximum value from minimum
the overall optimum is desired. Rising electricity prices and the resources". [8]
increased sensitivity on this part of industry, society and politics
allow the economic realization of these improvements.
The timely detection of this tendency and the ability to
The “Innovation Alliance Car Body Green Technologies” find conclusive answers and attractive solutions imply
(InnoCaT) is one out of ten innovative alliances that are significant competitive advantages on the market and create
financed by the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). In new, immense potential for innovation for production
the focus of InnoCaT is the resource efficiency of tools. One engineering. The necessity for research needs for energy and
main research objective - based on the dependencies of the resource efficiency in production has been determined and
energy consumption in the individual life cycle phases - is to demonstrated in a study by the German Federal Ministry for
develop a model which optimizes the design of a tool. The aim is Education and Research. [9]
to minimize the energy consumption over all life cycle phases. In The “Innovation Alliance Green Car Body Technologies“
this paper the latest research findings of InnoCaT are presented
and needs for further research are identified.
as a German approach to support the paradigm shift to
"maximum value from minimum resources" is presented
The following figure provides an introductory overview of
The manufacturing industry is the economic and technical the technical concept and the technological content of the
backbone of many nations and takes a leading position on an initiative “Innovation Alliance Green Car Body
international scale. Technologies“.
Production engineering is closely linked to the automotive
industry, is the heart of a strong middle-class oriented II. RESOURCE EFFICIENCY IN TOOL AND DIE
supplier industry, determines developments in the tool and INDUSTRY
die industry, has due to its sphere of global competition
constant need for innovation and is itself strongest driver of The great potential of die making, to minimize resource
innovation. It is essential to maintain, to consolidate and to use in the entire process chain and moreover even in mass
develop this pillar of economy with its great importance for production and consequently to contribute to resource
material and social well-being of society in the future. [5] conservation, is currently not fully exploited.
Modern production engineering is efficiency-oriented -
the functional solution is carried out under optimal cost-

Project concept – “Innovation Alliance Green Car Body Technologies”

Sphere of action

Diemaking Stamping facility Body construction Paint coating

Figure 1: Initial situation

978-1-890843-23-6/11/$26.00 ©2011 IEEE

Figure 2: Schematic representation of the process chain die making

For the identification of resource drivers a balancing is  A process-adaptive design of tool geometry to reduce
indispensable, i.e. a detection of resource requirements over wear is limited. The load of tools with complex
the entire life cycle of the tool. For this purpose, energy and geometries can only be calculated inadequately regarding
material flows in individual life cycle phases will be recorded accuracy and efficiency.
and evaluated comprehensively. Based on this nominal  Nowadays tools can be functionalized load adjusted only
ratings, resource requirement will be manageable. to a limited extent, i.e. a selective adjustment of wear
Already in construction and engineering the foundation resistance of specific surface areas does not occur. This
stone for a higher resource efficiency is set. During tool can generate partially short lifetimes, while in other areas
design redesign tools are mainly dimensioned with regard to resources are wasted by oversized material.
their stiffness. Therefore structural design often leads to a
high tool weight which has a negative impact on the energy III. INNOCAT – A GERMAN RESEARCH APPROACH
consumption during production and within mass production
on the energy consumption of presses. Analysis with regard to the environment and to the energy
A manageable methodology will be required that allows use, comparisons and representations of the automobile relate
the tool design engineer to make a tool customized to almost exclusively to the fuel consumption at use and the
requirements of a process design and its optimization. [6] related emissions of gases affecting the environment,
This requires precise knowledge of these requirements particularly CO2. [3]
that can only be obtained by a comprehensive look at the There are no similar statements and data concerning the
processes tool design, manufacturing and forming. The goal production of the automobile. Even balancing and nominal
will be to enable a holistic process approach by coupling and ratings that enable a comparison between different production
integration of simulation methods. technologies are almost completely missing today. [7] The
There are the following problem areas that have a direct few known answers reach from 20 to 60% of the energy
impact on the resource efficiency of car body tools: consumption of the future use for the production of the
 The potential of an integrated planning based on a ratio automobile itself.
system to conserve resources in production and use of Both from a political and an economic and environmental
tools is not exhausted nowadays. point of view, it is considered to be essential in future to
 Structural assemblies in diemaking are not yet optimized provide an evaluation concerning energy-efficiency for
in terms of tool mass but in terms of stiffness. production and manufacturing processes, to develop
 Tool production is still identified by extensive mechanical appropriate methods, rating and planning systems at the same
hand work in try-out that causes a wide dispersion of time as well as necessary new technical innovations.
results and delays the commencement of production. In Small and medium-sized enterprises have to handle this
this phase, resource-intensive means of production are not job increasingly often; especially because its customers, the
used productively. OEMs, expect energy-related data with the actual product, to
 In the productive episodes of tool production provide additional information and a rating scale. Experience
manufacturing facilities do not achieve optimal load and systematic solutions, however, do not exist yet.
factors due to uncontrolled process influences that finally On the one hand, division of labor and cooperation in
waste resources. production technology are essential to sustain economic
success. On the other hand, the clearly required division of Economically, the production of car bodies is in total,
functional and commercial responsibilities within the value with the necessary production equipment, a significant value-
chains has led to the situation that interfaces have untapped added component of the automobile production.
potential of upstream and downstream production steps. All in all, the body production has the advantage of a
As technology network, the “Innovation Alliance Green recurring technological and equipment cycle change. The
Car Body Technologies“ tracks the goal of a targeted, typical automotive model change about every five years
market- and application-oriented cooperation to achieve forces a reusable market for actual application of production
significant innovations in energy and resource conservation technology innovations and establishes a market for
in key areas of production technology for automobile suppliers.
manufacturing. The innovation alliance combines the die making with the
As sphere of action with regards to the content, the stamping facility and the body construction, up to the paint
technical production process chain of manufacturing car coating of the body shell. The “Innovation Alliance Green
bodies was selected in a holistic approach. Car Body Technologies“ can be divided in five topical areas:
In this sphere of action new research results in technology  Topical area 1 - Planning for the low energy production
will be connected with its application in specific industry  Topical area 2 - Performance stamping facility
areas and to generate economic success. Knowledge of  Topical area 3 - Resource efficiency in tool and die
methods will be developed and new technologies, procedures, industry
components and tools will be qualified and tested with claim  Topical area 4 - Energy and resource efficient body
of an energy-efficient and resource-saving production construction in the life cycle
technology. All this will allow a wider use of developed and  Topical area 5 - Energy efficient paint coating
qualified innovations in industry.
According to this objective a consortium was made up of The main objective of topical area 3 »Resource efficiency
a number of key companies associated with the German in tool and die industry« will be to identify the resource
supply and equipment industry and its system partners, drivers of the technological process chain car body
OEMs in the automotive industry and technological research manufacturing and to develop ways to reduce them (see Fig.
institutes of the German “Fraunhofer Gesellschaft” for 3). The components energy and material will be in the focus
applied research - a powerful alliance of proven, extremely of finding a solution. Knowledge of methods will be
successful actors. developed and new technologies, procedures, components
The production of car bodies was chosen for this even and tools will be qualified and tested with the claim of an
closer interlocking between scientific and industrial activities energy-efficient and resource-saving production technology.
because of its multiplicatory technological potential. All this will allow a wider use of the demonstrator »vehicle
Essential core areas of body manufacturing define as body manufacturing«.
specialized topical areas structure and work scheduling of the

InnoCaT: Resource efficiency in tool and die industry

1 2 3
Energy-balance Tool design for Resource efficient
tool-life-cycle resource efficient use manufacturing of tools

Figure 3: Topical area 3

As a part of the initiative, the results of a central in topical area 3, as shown in figure 4. Methods will be
demonstrator will be validated and individual developments developed to assess the energetic efforts. This topical area
demonstrated. The specific improvements will be shown in defines specific characteristics and boundary conditions that
use of a tool belonging to the application spectrum of a must be considered in the energy balance of tools as a
participating automotive manufacturer. This demonstrator subclass of manufacturing resources in a cross-balancing tool
must be integrated into the conditions of everyday life. [4]. Similarly, baseline data will be collected and the
To identify resource drivers an accounting of resource interfaces in die making will be specified.
requirements over the entire tool life cycle will be performed


Design Manufacturing Application Recycling




Figure 4: The tool at the technological interface

The innovation alliance is an open platform which approach of modeling will be accomplished in several steps
particular aims at the involvement of other small-and and is shown in the figure below (see Fig. 5).
medium-sized enterprises.
The presented research project within the scope of the Analysis of processes in tool manufacturing
„Innovation Alliance Green Car Body Technologies“ has a 1
clearly defined production orientation. Accordingly, the Analysis of tools in tool use phase
objectives are oriented to preferably new technical 2
approaches, bearing in mind to reduce energy and resource Analysis of recycling processes
needs of technical production processes and systems 3
significantly. Combination of all resource-specific data
For participating companies an internationally useful 4
competitive advantage is supposed to be achieved by this Analytical description of energy and resource
innovative edge. 5 consumption
The innovation alliance also has at least two other unique Identification of control levers to improve the energy
selling propositions in terms of its objective: 6 efficiency of tools
1) Identifying the capacity and potential of an alliance of
OEMs, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, service Figure 5: Approach of modeling
providers and research organizations in solving complex,
high current and sophisticated production-technical 1. Analysis of processes in tool manufacturing
objectives. The goal will be to understand and to describe tool
It is expected that the total score and the total profit manufacturing with regards to the resources needed, so that
dealing with profit of technical know-how and dealing all materials and energy spent will be registered generally and
with involvement of small-and medium-sized enterprises individual cases can be determined and evaluated. First, there
in the alliance will have more effect than a collection of will be captured the basic kinds of manufacturing
singular possible individual results. technologies and which manufacturing strategies are
2) The defined sphere of action of an integrated process commonly used for the selection of individual procedures.
sequence will be subjected to both technical issues and
production-planning issues. As a consequence, according 2. Analysis of tools in tool use phase
to the objective there will be the matching option for a With an analysis of tool use, the critical conditions will be
holistic, new potential of future use of interactions which determined. Next there will be the energy-and resource-
is currently closed by traditional interfaces. technical assessment and analysis of wear and usage behavior
of one-piece and modular tooling concepts. Thus energy
IV. RESOURCE-ORIENTED MODELING OF TOOL- consumption will be measured and analyzed according to the
LIFE-CYCLE conditions.
To ensure the efficient use of resources a resource-
oriented modeling of the tool's life cycle is required. The
Complexity (light-weight Tool dimension Model weight

Glue Amount Amount

of of
Cycle time polystyrene polystyrene
foam foam
(out) (in)

Main time trimming

Compressed air

Gas (facilities) Cutting data

Electric power Electric power

(facilities) Suction
(milling machine)

Controllable factors
Uncontrollable factors
Mass and energy flows

Figure 6: Factors influencing the consumption of resources

Measurements and evaluations of tool life and expenditure 6. Identification of control levers to improve the energy
to increase tool life will take place. This step will be efficiency of tools
completed by a presentation of resource consumption as well In step 6 opportunities to increase energy efficiency in
as dependency on factors influencing the consumption of diemaking will be identified and described in concrete terms.
resources in tool use phase (see Fig. 6). Firstly, data will be evaluated which will be determined with
respect to resource requirements in the tool life cycle in steps
3. Analysis of recycling processes 1 to 3. Secondly, models of the second phase of tool life cycle
To image energy and resource consumption throughout or rather the model of the entire cycle itself will be examined
the product life cycle of a product forming tool a detailed for approaches to increase efficiency. Identified approaches
analysis and assessment of species including the will be developed and summarized to key levers. Relying on
measurement of energy expenditure and resources used will this basis, recommendations can be made which levers will
be done. [8] be used best to realize maximum resource savings at a
Finally, energy and resource consumption and minimal cost.
dependency on factors influencing consumption of resources
in the recycling phase of tools will be presented. V. CONCLUSION

4. Combination of all resource-specific data This paper introduces the “Innovation Alliance Carbody
In this step, it will be necessary to discuss how the results Green Technologies" (InnoCaT). The focus of InnoCaT deals
of steps 1 to 3 can be summarized and a comprehensive with the resource efficiency of the tool. One main research
assessment of resource requirements in the life cycle of a tool objective - based on dependencies of the energy consumption
can be enabled. We have to make sure that resource in the individual life cycle phases - is to develop a model
requirements in total life cycle will be detected uniform. which optimizes the design of a tool. The aim is to minimize
Interfaces between the phases of tool production, tool use and energy consumption over all life cycle phases.
recycling have to be defined, enabling an accurate mapping For the identification of resource drivers a balancing is
of the interfaces between the life cycle phases. indispensable, i.e. a detection of resource requirements over
the entire life cycle of the tool. For this purpose, energy and
5. Analytical description of energy and resource consumption material flows in individual life cycle phases will be recorded
On the basis of steps 1 to 4 an analytical model will be and evaluated comprehensively. Based on nominal ratings,
invented. It is supposed to describe energy and material resource requirement will be manageable.
consumption as a function of the various parameters
identified. It will include the creation of partial models of the REFERENCES
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