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Optimisation of compressed air system’s energy usage through discrete event simulation: Compressor performance

Optimisation of compressed air system’s energy usage through discrete event simulation: Compressor performance

Mulvany, Robbie, Belaidi, Hafid, Arokiam, Alan, Ladbrook, John and Higgins, Michael (2017) Optimisation of compressed air system’s energy usage through discrete event simulation: Compressor performance. In: The 2017 European Simulation and Modelling Conference. Eurosis, Portugal, pp. 328-335. ISBN 978-492859-00-6

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Abstract

Compressed air systems (CAS) utilised in manufacturing processes require significant energy input for operation. The estimated cost of producing compressed air is considered high with little transparency available when assessing its value in manufacturing. There is currently poor awareness of the performance of CAS in relation to its equipment utilisation and energy optimisation.

This paper presents a modified approach to the Energy Blocks methodology for representation and simplification of compressed airflow profiles in discrete event simulations (DES). The presented AirBlocks methodology significantly reduces the aggregate data required to represent the dynamic and interdependent nature of CAS. Combining the AirBlocks approach with manufacturing throughout productivity simulations allows a productivity oriented compressed air demand profile to be developed. This offers the capacity to estimate periods of sustained peak, average and minimum air demand, incidents of production stoppages due to air demand, incidents of production due to air starvation and, identify waste and saving potential in the system.

This paper includes an industrial case study where the AirBlocks approach was used in evaluating the performance of an existing CAS. Through simulation - poor compressor utilisation and regular incidents of air starvation were identified as symptoms of insufficient CAS volumetric capacity and an oversized compressor system in an automotive engine manufacturing plant.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: The 2017 European Simulation and Modelling Conference
Uncontrolled Keywords: Compressed air, discrete event simulation, energy optimisation
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Department of Engineering Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Materials Handling & Transport Research Group
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2019 14:14
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: GREAT b
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 6
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/19459

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