Ecological and economic assessment of resource use: Efficient electric motors in industrial production
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.
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.