Insight Networks: Insight and MTU collaboration to improve energy use in manufacturing

Submitted on Friday, 10/02/2023

Models and algorithms for energy-efficient scheduling is a collaboration between Munster Technological University’s Dr Cemalettin Ozturk, Insight’s Prof Barry O’Sullivan and Dr Ahmed Missaoui.

The manufacturing industry accounted for 25 percent of the energy consumed within the EU. The union’s energy dependency rate is around 60 percent. In addition to that Ireland is within the five EU countries paying the most expensive electricity price. While these figures present a challenge, research shows that in a mass manufacturing environment, more than 85 percent of the energy is used for non-productive reasons, for example, the energy consumed during machine idling time and setup times. The implication therefore is that optimizing machine usage by taking energy consumption into account, together with other productivity measures such as throughput rate, lateness etc., has great potential to improve energy use as well as making machining processes more efficient.

Rather than focusing on updating individual machines or processes to be more energy efficient, attention should be directed at system-level changes that could realize significant energy benefits. Therefore, in this project we investigate cutting edge mathematical and artificial intelligence methods and develop novel ones for optimally scheduling manufacturing resources so that energy measures are balanced with productivity measures.

The project team shared their initial findings with Irish Manufacturing community at the IMC 38 conference in UCD, August 2022. The project team is now in the process of submitting a systematic literature journal paper that classifies the current literature on energy efficient scheduling from different angles such as domain, method, objective function consideration and points to their insights for future research directions. In parallel, the project team is working on developing novel solution methods for energy efficient scheduling of hybrid flow-shop manufacturing systems where the primary Irish manufacturing industries such as pharmaceutical factories are operated. The project team intends to share its work with industry and plans to use the current developments as a seedling opportunity for future collaborations and broader projects.

Pictured L-R: Dr Cemalettin Ozturk, PhD, Lecturer in Logistics & Supply Chain at Munster Technological University, Professor Barry O’Sullivan, EurAI, FIAE, FICS, MRIA, Director, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, School of Computer Science & IT, University College Cork, Dr Ahmed Missaoui, PhD, Post-Doc at Insight Centre for Data Analytics, University College Cork