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The Model Factory for Energy Productivity – extraordinary and pioneering

Energy has become a strategic factor in keeping the German economy competitive – above all in industrial production. In times of crisis, it is even more important for companies to get their costs under control. Protecting the climate and reducing CO2 emissions are additional factors that make saving energy a key issue.

So far, however, German companies are still not using all the opportunities available to reduce their energy costs, although the potential savings are as much as 30 percent of their total production costs. By 2020, German industry could save around ten billion euros. Many company managers want to do something about their energy costs. But they often lack concrete knowledge and methods to lower their energy consumption significantly and permanently.

Where should a factory manager start to optimize energy usage? How can a company quickly begin saving on energy and lower its costs? What methods and technologies exist to use energy more efficiently?

Practical answers to all these questions and more are available from the  Model Factory for Energy Productivity (LEP), which was set up as a cooperative effort between the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and the Institute of Production Management, Technology and Machine Tools at the University of Darmstadt.

The Model Factory Learning Concept – innovative and practical

The Model Factory for Energy Productivity offers a real learning environment. In an area of about 200 square meters, it contains all of the production equipment required to make different types of gear-shaft assemblies for power transmission.

All of the typically energy-intensive process steps found in a factory production environment are available here: machining, assembly, heat treatment, and robots for handling and transport as well as a complete compressed air and steam network. Participants in an LEP training analyze the individual production steps to identify different types of energy waste. Next, they develop an optimized process that requires much less energy to product the gear-shaft assembly.

he optimized setup is then installed in the Model Factory. A sophisticated system for measuring and recording energy consumption produces a corresponding data read-out for each phase of the training. The causes of waste and the potential energy savings can be exactly measured and reproduced. The training is rounded out with short theoretical instruction modules between the practical experiments.

The Model Factory Training Program – individual and tailored

The instruction provided at the Model Factory for Energy Productivity is designed not only for university students but also for engineers and managers in industry. The one- to three-day courses for board members, production managers, and other executives have a modular design. The modules allow for the design of individual, target-group-specific training programs. For students enrolled at the university, a multiple-day learning event is held each semester.

The training is based on various exercises in detecting and preventing energy waste. They sharpen the participants' awareness of the relevance of the topic of energy productivity. Focus topics in the theoretical and practical modules include key methods and levers for increasing energy productivity, for visualizing energy consumptions, and for developing the key performance indicators to measure the energy required.

Energy Productivity Training – Examples/Core Content

Training for Managers (1 - 3 days)

Introduction to Energy Productivity 
How a Company Can Sustainably Anchor Energy Efficiency in Operations 
Integrating Energy Topics in Performance Management 
A Holistic Perspective on Energy Productivity Improvement in Production 
Key Methods and Levers 
Practical Exercises

Training for Factory and Production Planners (1 day)

Introduction to Energy Productivity 
Types of Energy Waste
Methods for Identifying and Preventing Energy Waste 
Practical Exercises

Training for Energy Managers - with Modular Focus Points (0.5 – 2.0 days each)

Specifics on Types of Energy Waste 
Change Process for Awareness and Action ((Mindsets and Behaviors)) 
Designing the Supporting Organizational Structures 
Key Performance Indicators for Energy Consumption