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The MAESTRI project vision

Manufacturing Industries should deliver competitively priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring quality of life, by finding progressively smarter and finer trade-offs between business and sustainability concerns.

Europe was the cradle of the manufacturing industry and it has traditionally led important industrial changes. Process industries represent the foremost part of the manufacturing base, around 20% of the total European manufacturing industry, which include more than 450,000 individual enterprises (EU27), employment of around 6.8 million citizens and generation of more than 1,600 billion € turnover. On other hand, process industries are largely dependent on resources imports from international markets that are hampering the industry’s access to globally traded raw materials, due to the increased political instability in many regions of the globe, which is perfectly visible from a sharp increase in raw material prices during recent years. Moreover, European industry has also accounted for more than a quarter of total energy consumption in 2010 in Europe1 with a significant portion of that used within the process industry.

This represents both an opportunity and responsibility of this sector contribution to the sustainability challenges of European societies, being imperative to drastically reduce the environmental footprint and increase competitiveness and production systems efficiency by “doing more with less”. However, to successfully implement sustainability in manufacturing and process industries, a holistic, multidimensional and systematic approach is required.

With this in mind, the MAESTRI project aims to advance the sustainability of European manufacturing and process industries by providing a management system in the form of a flexible and scalable platform to promote and simplify the implementation of an innovative approach, the Total Efficiency Framework. Based on a holistic approach which combines different assessment methods and tools, the overall purpose of the Framework is to generate improvement on a continuous basis and increase eco-competitiveness by fostering sustainability in routine operations.

Its conceptual approach will be based on a life cycle perspective, centered on models for dynamic simulation and optimization, of both individual and complex systems, to better understand processes and the opportunities to add value. This life cycle approach is important to avoid problems shifting from one life cycle stage to another.

We also believe that in order to develop more resource and energy efficient processes, utilize waste streams and improve recycling in a sustainable manner, modelling and assessing all the interacting value chains is essential. However, despite the environmental, economic and social improvement potentials by sharing resources (e.g. energy, water, residues and recycled materials), it is essential to understand and assess resource and energy efficiency in order to optimize production systems.

Moreover, the increased availability of ultra-modern technologies for process monitoring and optimization should be carefully adapted and integrated for a wider and facilitated adoption of state-of-the-art tools and methodology for efficiency and eco-efficiency. Such methodologies and tools should support wastes and cost reductions in to companies (large or small).

 

 

Considering this, the currently main gaps on the effective implementation energy and resource management are:
Technical/Technological Gaps
  • Lack of flexible, scalable and holistic tools to support decision making process regarding resource and energy efficiency;
  • Lack of simple and integrated tools to assess and optimize resource and energy efficiency, crossing the different environmental and economic operational aspects;
  • Deficient knowledge to identify the potential use of wastes as resources (energy, resources, man-power, etc.)

Management Gaps
  • Non-incorporation of sustainability aspects in company strategy and objectives;
  • Non-implementation of structured management systems targeting resource consumption and energy efficiency;
  • Dispersion of process efficiency relevant data and information across different departments of the company;
  • Difficulty on the definition of clear and consistent KPIs, and their follow-up
Organisational Gaps
  • Poor means for sharing resources (e.g. plants, energy, water, residues and recycled materials) through the integration of multiple production units of a single company or multiple companies on a single industrial production site;
  • Difficulty to collect and share information about all process flows (resource and energy inputs as well as waste and pollutant outputs).
Coherently with these gaps, MAESTRI intends to develop an innovative and integrated platform combining holistic efficiency assessment tools, a novel management system and an innovative approach for industrial symbioses implementation. Each one of these components intends to assist the companies in the following:
Efficiency Assessment tools
  • Assess production system efficiency and eco-efficiency performance
  • Identification of major inefficiencies
  • Optimization of the use of energy, resources, process variables, etc.
  • Prioritize options to support decisions for improvement measure (both cost-saving and efficiency improvements)
  • Underpin sustainability efforts via resource and energy efficiency improvement
  • Perform and evaluate Life Cycle Assessment
  • Perform and evaluate Life Cycle Costing Analysis
  • Cost Assessment Expected vs Real Gains and Payback analysis
  • Identification of the most relevant KPIs
  • Tracking of evaluation and reporting
Management System
  • Embed energy and resource efficiency in strategy and daily improvements routines
  • Keep track of KPIs via Eco Lean Management Board and an alert system
  • Provide a toolkit of low cost improvement methods (based on Lean Tools)
  • Assess and improve cultural behaviour
  • Support Continuous improvement both in term of economical and sustainability issues
  • Inputs to other Legal, Management and Communication Instruments
Industrial Symbiosis
  • Identification and characterisation of wastes (physical waste, by-products, energy, emissions, etc.)
  • Creation of a waste database to support the identification of the potential (re)use of those wastes as a resource either internally or externally; i.e. synergies within one site or across multiple sites through the creation of new activities and potentially new products, synergies in regional eco-parks, wider synergies taking into consideration longer-distance material flows.
Concept of Total Efficiency Framework
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