– Increasing global consumption and climate change put pressure on our current economic model. Today around 50% of costs in the manufacturing sector are related to raw materials, energy and water used in industrial processes. Optimising the use of resources is therefore one of the main challenges the manufacturing industry is facing today. But improving resource efficiency is not only crucial from an environmental point of view; it also proves highly profitable for the economic competitiveness of manufacturing industries. This is what has been shown today in Brussels by the first findings of the EU-funded MEMAN project, presented in a workshop
before 60 European industrial representatives, research institutes and policy makers.
MEMAN project main coordinator Joseba Bilbatua, from MONDRAGON Corporation said during the workshop “The creation of a circular economic model is high on the European political agenda and rightly so. The need to reduce the use of resources in industry is now more stringent than ever. But solutions are already well underway. In MEMAN we are developing an innovative approach that will optimise the use of resources in the entire manufacturing value chain of the metal-mechanic industry. The next step will be convincing companies to introduce the changes. And for that, we are working on solid and concrete business plans that will allow companies to benefit from these innovations.”
The MEMAN project is expected to modify the consumption patterns of the whole metalworking value chain, achieving a reduction of at least 30% of energy consumption and CO2 emission, and over 10% Product Life Cycle Cost from cradle to grave of existing and future products.
Strategies to improve the economic and environmental performance of companies are usually pursued on a limited scale, rarely considering interactions across the entire value chain. To solve these shortcomings, the MEMAN project has developed an integrated methodology that, for the first time, covers both company and value chain levels to reveal hidden resource saving potentials on a global scale. The methodology includes the development of a decision-making toolbox that helps companies to assess and decide about strategies to improve their resource efficiency.
The approach introduced by MEMAN is being tested in real-life case studies in three competence clusters: Casting, Machining and Surface Finishing. The results will be available at the beginning of 2018.
Given the increasing necessity to limit greenhouse gas emissions and waste, as well as escalating costs of energy resources and raw materials, the project is of strategic importance for the European economy.
MEMAN stands for “Integral Material and Energy flow MANagement in MANufacturing metal mechanic sector’’. It involves 15 partners and will receive almost 6 million Euros of funding from the European Union under Horizon 2020 under grant agreement no.636926. It is coordinated by MONDRAGON Corporation (Spain), and is set to run until June 2018. More information at www.meman.eu
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