Drive 4.0: the key to future-proof drive solutions
During the course of the project, innovative approaches to improving the energy efficiency of drives were developed.
The Drive 4.0 research project is focussing on ensuring interoperability and establishing common standards for electric drives. The market is currently dominated by proprietary drive solutions from different manufacturers. By establishing a common data space, the research project not only aims to improve the accessibility and transparency of data. It also aims to create the basis for sustainable business models. The use cases to be implemented were selected using an open-ended approach and by analysing user requirements.
The close integration with industry ensures economic and ecological added value. It also offers small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular considerable competitive advantages. The intensive selection process revealed that the two use cases “Holistic energy-efficient design of drive solutions” and “Digitalised asset management” cover the current needs of companies.
Innovative approaches to improving the energy efficiency of drives are being developed during the course of the project. This will create the conditions for comprehensive digital management and monitoring of drive components and systems.
Two use cases selected
“The consideration of the diverse perspectives in the entire value creation network was a decisive factor in the selection of the use cases”, explains Dr habil. Tassilo Schuster from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS. “At the beginning of the decision-making process, the focus was on identifying possible use cases with the greatest possible benefit for the industry. This was followed by further definition workshops and expert discussions, which also focussed on the perspective of scientific novelty. Finally, we conducted an online survey among well-known drive manufacturers, machine and plant manufacturers and plant operators, which ultimately led us to the two use cases.”
The elaborate selection process ensures a high level of practical relevance and demonstrates the added value for the industry. In other research projects, the use cases relevant to the project were already defined in the funding application before the project began. In this project, however, they were only fully aligned with the needs of industry at the start of the project and in close dialogue with the target group. The aim is not only to improve existing processes in companies, but also to generate cost savings and competitive advantages for the manufacturing industry, especially SMEs. At the same time, circular approaches to improving sustainability are possible.
Economic and ecological added value
“Holistic energy-efficient design of drive solutions” and “Digitalised asset management” are the two selected key use cases. Digitalised asset management promises to help plant manufacturers and operators maintain an overview of an increasingly complex plant structure. All important information about an asset is available at a central location and in a standardised format throughout its entire life cycle. Only authorised players in the ecosystem have access to it.
The elimination of information asymmetries helps to
improve the efficiency of a plant's drive system,
reduce downtimes and improve safety,
extend the life cycle and
enable circular strategies.
The second use case is about the possibility for system manufacturers to design drive systems for a load and movement profile specified by the operator by combining drive components from different manufacturers as energy-efficiently as possible.
Energy consumption can be forecast for the specified load and movement profile and the selected configuration of the drive system and verified during commissioning. The verified energy consumption forecasts enable continuous comparison with the current energy consumption during operation. This enables anomalies to be recognised at an early stage. At the same time, operating data can be made available to the drive manufacturer in order to optimise the development of the drive technology. In the next phase of the project, the technical specifications for the system components are derived from the user requirements of the use cases, which marks the start of the technical conceptualisation and implementation phase.