Increasing energy flexibility of manufacturing systems through flexible compressed air generation

Jan Beier*, Sebastian Thiede, Christoph Herrmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


A continuing increase in energy supply from variable renewable energy (VRE) sources requires new strategies to match energy supply and demand. Demand response (DR) strategies focus on flexibilizing energy demand. In this context, manufacturing systems can be designed and controlled to achieve a better fit between energy demand and volatile supply. To maximize energy flexibility, not only manufacturing processes but also auxiliary systems such as compressed air (CA) supply offer opportunities for DR actions. Nonetheless, dynamic behavior and dependencies between manufacturing processes, auxiliary services and resulting overall energy demand requires an integrated approach. This paper presents a method to control production systems and CA supply to increase energy flexibility while maintaining manufacturing system throughput and considering dynamic system dependencies. A production system with several processes, buffers and CA supply system is modeled and simulated in a mixed continuous-time and discrete-event environment. Energy control strategies are implemented and their effectiveness is evaluated. A case study is used to demonstrate that VRE integration can be improved through process and CA supply control without compromising throughput. A focus is set on CA supply and its influence on energy flexibility: the effect of increased CA system volume and additional compressor capacity is investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number18-23
JournalProcedia CIRP
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event4th CIRP Global Web Conference, CIRPe 2015: Understanding the Life Cycle Implications of Manufacturing - Cranfield University, Bedford, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Sep 20151 Oct 2015
Conference number: 4 (Conference)


  • Manufacturing system simulation
  • Energy flexibility
  • Demand response


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