What innovative practices can companies in your field adopt to enhance resource efficiency?

Petteri Immonen | Manager | Energy & Process Consulting

Enhancing resource efficiency involves achieving optimal results while minimizing resource usage, including time, energy, water, raw materials, and costs. This can be achieved through innovative methods such as water efficiency assessments, big data analysis, machine learning in production processes or energy system simulations, Lean thinking, design automation, and digital twins for energy systems.

In my view, the implementation of these advanced methods hinges on fundamental factors, notably having skilled and motivated personnel dedicated to a common goal. Therefore, fostering an environment conducive to employee engagement and idea generation is crucial when aiming to boost resource efficiency within a company’s continuous improvement framework. Collaborating with our customers, we at Elomatic have deployed various strategies, including workshop methodologies, facilitated brainstorming sessions, and organization-wide initiatives like the ISO 50001 energy management system.

Subsequently, audits or project development studies provide invaluable insights into asset and material utilization, guiding efforts to enhance efficiency for both usage and monitoring purposes. With this groundwork established, we progress to the implementation planning phase, encompassing production operational changes, process modifications, and investments, whether minor or major. Moreover, in the design of new industrial facilities, resource efficiency perspectives are seamlessly integrated into the continuous improvement model of design.

Juha Tanttari | Lead Consulting Engineer | Marine & Offshore Energy

For ship owners or their representatives, there are a plethora of alternatives available to enhance resource efficiency. During the design phase of a new vessel, careful optimization of the ship’s hydrodynamics and machinery holds tremendous potential. While modernizing existing vessels presents certain limitations, it remains crucial to consider resource efficiency in retrofit designs as well.

The most promising opportunities for resource conservation lie under the water surface, particularly for large ships. A well-designed hull plays a pivotal role, as a significant portion of energy consumption stems from hull form and underwater appendages, as they contribute to water resistance against the hull.

Efforts to enhance ship hydrodynamics can be finely tuned through computational fluid dynamics (CFD), ensuring high level efficiency and safety in vessel operation. For example with existing vessels, reducing operational speed would benefit bulbous bow and main propeller optimization to the new speed.

Improvements to hydrodynamics could be gained with energy saving devices like duck tail, interceptor or bow thruster tunnel grids or streamlining existing appendages like fin stabilizer recess. One notable example of energy saving devices is our Elogrid solution, which improves bow thruster tunnel hydrodynamics. It is installed in tunnel openings to enhance maneuverability and minimize ship resistance.

Marko Mäkinen | Chief Design Engineer | Machinery & Equipment

Given my background in product development, I believe companies can influence the utilization of resources needed for production and consumption by offering products designed for long-term retention. When the cost to maintain the product is right and the quality, value and the performance of the product is well preserved, the owner may think of keeping and renovating the used product as more attractive option than premature disposal. Here are some strategies to support this approach.

Utilizing digital twin technology coupled with real-time monitoring data enhances the capacity to predict the maintenance and repair requirements, thus preventing failures resulting from unforeseen operating conditions or loads. Moreover, digital twin technology aids in optimizing product performance and streamlining maintenance activities, thereby improving efficiency and reducing maintenance costs.

The resource efficiency related to the production of services and products can also be improved with digital twin technology and simulation methods based on multibody dynamics, for example.

These tools empower companies to test products with fewer physical prototypes and shorter timeframes, expediting market entry.

In addition to developing long-lasting products, companies can explore business models that incentivize prolonged product retention. Assessing the life cycles can provide valuable insights into the resource utilization and environmental impacts of various product development and business decisions.

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Resource efficiency

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