The changing landscape of energy management in manufacturing

The production and use of energy accounts for around 60% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, providing an intrinsic link between cause and effect. Considering that the manufacturing industry is responsible for roughly one-third of the global energy demand enforces the need to ensure that the manufacturing sector continually strives to reduce its reliance on energy and thus minimise GHG released into the atmosphere. Consequently, efficient management of energy consumption is of paramount importance for modern manufacturing businesses due to well-documented negative impact regarding energy generation from fossil fuels and rapidly rising worldwide energy costs. This has resulted in a proliferation of research in this area which has considered improvements in energy consuming activities at the enterprise, facility, cell, machine and turret levels. However, there is now a need to go beyond incremental energy efficiency improvements and take more radical approaches to reduce energy consumption. It is argued that the largest energy reduction improvements can be achieved through better design of production systems or by adopting new business strategies that reduce the reliance of manufacturing businesses on resource consumption. This chapter initially provides a review of research in energy management (EM) at various manufacturing focus levels. The inappropriateness of current methods to cater for transformative and radical energy reduction approaches is discussed. In particular, limitations are found at the business strategy level since no technique exists to consider the input of these high level decisions on energy consumption. The main part of the chapter identifies areas of further opportunity in energy management research, and describes a method to facilitate further reductions in energy use and GHG production in manufacturing at the business strategy level.