Sustainable Manufacture

Research focuses on new methods and techniques to reduce energy consumption

MARIETTA, Ga. (Oct 4, 2019) — Global trends indicate that energy consumption is an important aspect to support sustainable manufacture as people are continuously consuming large amounts of energy to live. Researchers such as David Guerra-Zubiaga have been emphasizing the significant challenge energy generation will be in the next few years to fulfill the demand that is increasing dramatically.

David Guerra-ZubiagaThat is why Guerra-Zubiaga, assistant professor of mechatronics engineering in KSU‘s Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, is exploring new methods and techniques to reduce energy consumption in manufacturing to support next generation of sustainable eco-factories.

According to Guerra-Zubiaga, modern manufacturing facilities are facing several challenges, leading to the need for developing more efficient processes and systems. The biggest challenge has been the increasing demand of products with higher flexibility created in the shortest amount of time.  Manufacturers also must consider:

  • the efficient use of energy,
  • emission reduction, and
  • compliance with increasing requirements in sustainability.

“Normally a manufacturing facility has processes, resources and knowledge,” said Guerra-Zubiaga. “Key tacit manufacturing knowledge implements resources and processes making the optimal energy consumption possible.”

Guerra-Zubiaga's work has included examining diverse strategies in machining operation, using design of experiments to analyze important parameters in obtaining up to 15% energy reduction through the utilization of different machining strategies. Design of experiments (DOE) is a systematic method to determine the relationship between factors affecting a process and the output of that process in order to optimize the output. His research results were published in the International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing in 2018. 

Today Guerra-Zubiaga is implementing experimental work in analyzing energy consumption to encourage sustainable eco-factories ranging from robotic manufacturing integrated systems to support industry 4.0 to next generation manufacturing systems.

robotic arms

Guerra-Zubiaga‘s research is currently focused on exploring  energy consumption in industrial manufacturing integrated systems such as the example shown above.