Cleanliness requirements and the associated residual dirt specifications have risen sharply in the area of industrial parts manufacturing in recent years. This is forcing companies to no longer view the cleaning process as a low-priority component of the production chain, but rather as a value-adding processing step. Here, resource efficiency potentials can be tapped, which reduce material and energy and at the same time lead to cost savings.

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Additive processes as a key technology of digitisation are considered to be faster and more cost-effective. Among other things, because less scrap is produced and less waste is generated during manufacturing. Using a specific case study, the study compares the resource consumption of an additive manufacturing process with a conventional manufacturing process.

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Electric motors and motor systems play a significant role in energy efficiency. They account for approx. 40 % of worldwide energy consumption and could contribute to a doubling of the electricity consumption by 2030 if no further saving measures are taken. Choosing a high energy efficiency class is not enough to reduce losses and consumption since the power consumption differs greatly in the usually dominating use phase in the end customer’s application (varying load profiles, speeds etc.). The associated ecological and economic effects accordingly depend on several boundary conditions.

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Stationary energy storage systems are a necessary component of a future power supply system with high shares of renewable energies. Used in decentralized industrial applications, they help to increase resource efficiency while minimizing the costs of power supply. Storage solutions for the short to medium-term storage of electrical energy are therefore seen as a contribution to the success of the energy transition being driven forward in Germany.

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The digital transformation in industrial production offers considerable potential for increasing material and energy efficiency in companies. At the same time, the digitisation technologies used also require resources themselves: materials, including critical raw material, are used in the production of ICT components. Furthermore, the digital transformation can lead to higher energy consumption. The study "Resource efficiency through industry 4.0 - Potentials for SMEs in the manufacturing sector" focuses on this conflict between opportunities and challenges.

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Cooling lubricants (coolants) are of great importance in metal cutting and forming. They increase the productivity and cost-effectiveness of the processes. In companies in the metalworking industry, water-miscible cooling lubricants are used in around 90 % of machining processes. They consist of a mostly mineral oil-based base oil and an additive package. 

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