CERTH – Partner Q&A

CERTH Ecofact

Article submitted by Dimitrios Kourkoumpas – Research Engineer at CERTH

1.Tell us about CERTH What is your core business and role within the project?

The Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), founded in 2000, is a leading Research Centre in Greece and the EU. It is a legal entity governed by private law with non-profit status, supervised by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology of the Greek Ministry of Development & Investments. The main fields of CERTH’s activity are advanced energy systems, sustainability by developing LCA/LCC algorithms/models, circular economy, computational intelligence and smart grids.

Within the ECOFACT project, CERTH contributes to the development of cost-oriented, IoT-based predictive maintenance optimization models, as well as, LCA/LCC models for the demo industries involved in the project. CERTH is Work Package leader for the ECOFACT demonstration in the four manufacturing industries.

2. Why did your organisation get involved in the ECOFACT project? How does this activity fit with the normal business of your organisation?

The Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), founded in 2000, is a leading Research Centre in Greece and the EU. It is a legal entity governed by private law with non-profit status, supervised by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology of the Greek Ministry of Development & Investments. The main fields of CERTH’s activity are advanced energy systems, sustainability by developing LCA/LCC algorithms/models, circular economy, computational intelligence and smart grids.

Within the ECOFACT project, CERTH contributes to the development of cost-oriented, IoT-based predictive maintenance optimization models, as well as, LCA/LCC models for the demo industries involved in the project. CERTH is WP leader for the ECOFACT demonstration in the four manufacturing industries.

3. How will the outputs of the ECOFACT project help production system energy performance?

ECOFACT project aims to support manufacturing industries in optimizing the energy performance of their production systems with regard to restrictions such as time, cost and resources.

To this purpose, CERTH will provide its expertise in the field of advanced optimization techniques so as a promising cost-oriented, IoT-based predictive maintenance approach to be developed for the demo industries, considering energy constraints. Simulation results will provide valuable information in making effective production scheduling decisions so as to improve process operational efficiency and optimize manufacturing costs and the use of energy resources in the industrial sites.

The developed LCA models will also contribute to identify the most energy-intensive operation process in order to suggest relevant improvement opportunities to make the current production processes more energy efficient.

4. What are the technical challenges your work in ECOFACT is trying to overcome?

The basic prerequisite to develop the relevant algorithms for optimizing the industrial processes – from both an economic and environmental perspective – was the collection,  exchange and reprocessing of appropriate data. One significant challenge to overcome was to develop our predictive maintenance models employing training data. The installation of the new equipment combined with sensors will provide real monitoring date to validate our models.  In addition, especially regarding the development of the LCA/LCC models, key aspects, such as the definition of systems boundaries of the production systems per demo site, posed a challenge as well. Last but not least, another significant challenge was the development of an advanced optimization algorithm that deals with multiple conflicting objectives, such as increasing flexibility, decreasing energy consumption and maintenance costs.

5. What positive impacts will the projects have when complete?

ECOFACT platform operation will enable the manufacturing industries involved in this project to improve their operation efficiency, enhance the quality of their products, decrease manufacturing costs, reduce the environmental impact by optimizing the use of materials and energy resources, while ensuring system reliability.  Furthermore, the results of the ECOFACT platform operation will contribute to the replication studies, in order to create guidelines for the potential application of ECOFACT in other industrial sectors as well.

View our other partner Q&A’s here.

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THIS PROJECT HAS RECEIVED FUNDING FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION’S HORIZON 2020 RESEARCH AND INNOVATION PROGRAMME UNDER GRANT AGREEMENT NO 958373