Integrating electric energy demand of machine tool processes as resource for production planning software (PLAN-E)


Especially with the growing share of weather dependant electric energy sources (photovoltaic, wind), the increasingly volatile energy supply and the demand has to be managed in the sense of Smart Grid approaches. Electrical energy consumption of machine tools and production facilities for the production of goods is hardly included in the production planning process at present. Besides the possibility of saving energy, for example by efficient electric drives, the possibility of planning energy demands in the production also offers savings and optimization potential. On the one hand, the proportion of the cost of electrical energy in manufacturing companies is up to 15% of overall production costs and thereby significant, on the other hand it is also possible to negotiate price reductions with the electric power supplier, if the power demand or load profile for a given planning horizon can be defined.
Apart from the business aspect, there is also the aspect energy economics. There is an optimization potential given in being able to buffer the volatility of the constantly growing share of the renewable energies photovoltaic and wind power, i.e. to better coordinate the supply side and the demand side by appropriate planning means. The industrial sector was responsible for nearly half of the total consumption of electrical energy in Austria in 2009; about twice as much as the consumption in private households. Thus, the industrial sector has got a higher leverage in comparison to the smart grid approaches for households that cause high transaction costs for building the technical infrastructure. Additionally, production planning is already done professionally using appropriate IT systems. Of course, the demand for electrical power may not always be the priority factor in the production planning, yet it makes sense to involve or to use it for optimization.

Project Goal

PLAN-E aims at integrating those energy data in the production planning process in order to balance energy demand with supply and manage efficiently all the resources. The results of the proposed PLAN-E project lead to better planning horizons of electrical power demand in order to leverage savings potentials and to fit the upcoming standards and regulations in terms of energy management. The main objective of the research project is to make energy demand together with other resources such as personnel or machine capacity available as planning factor in software systems for production planning. The energy demand for the production of a work piece can be exactly determined by appropriate sensors on the machine. From this, specific energy requirements and ratios as a function of work and production methods can be derived. It is important that this can be taken into account in the data models and in corresponding planning and optimization algorithms of detail planning systems or manufacturing execution system, Furthermore, it is necessary to define the corresponding interfaces between the involved IT-systems at the various levels. This will be developed in the PLAN-E project and transferred into prototype software, for example by applying reporting and 'what-if' analysis tools. Furthermore, energy consumption representing key performance indicator (kpi) functions are developed  to support the check requirements of ISO 50001.

Another goal of the project is a detailed systematic analysis and determination of possible potentials in terms of profitability, planning horizons of electrical power production forecasts, specific savings depending on the particular production technology of specific sectors, and integration e.g. to intelligent building management systems in order to be able to plan holistically.

Project Partners

Industrie Informatik GmbH Linz, opens an external URL in a new window
The Institute for Production Engineering (IFT) of the TU Wien, opens an external URL in a new window


The project is funded within the programme ICT of the future, opens an external URL in a new window by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT), opens an external URL in a new window

Industrie Informatik GmbH Linz

Logo Industrie Informatik GmbH Linz

The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)

Logo The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)

Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT)

Logo Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT)

The Institute for Production Engineering (IFT) at the TU Wien

Logo The Institute for Production Engineering (IFT) at TU Wien