It’s always good to get recognition from the industry for the products/services we bring to the market – it’s even better getting it for one of our Research & Development projects that is yet to be officially released. That’s what happened this month at the Rushlight Awards when our work on, THERM, was commended in the Energy Efficiency category (the 2nd most entered category of the night).
THERM (THrough-life Energy and Resource Modelling) is a software tool for sustainable manufacturing, which integrates modelling of factory processes within their environment, assesses the materials, energy and waste of the processes and uses data analysis tools to understand the opportunities that exist for reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, integrated with the factory building.
THERM is one of several IES Research projects currently coming to successful completion. Funded by the UK Technology Strategy Board, the THERM team consisted of IES, Toyota, Airbus, Cranfield and DeMontfort University. With UK manufacturing accounting for 23% of UK producer carbon dioxide emissions (Defra, 2008), the THERM project was created to solve the demand for manufacturing to become low-carbon and resource efficient.
THERM addresses this issue through the examination of sustainable manufacturing practices and the ability to model and understand what is possible. Currently, no ‘tools’ in regular use assess environmental performance, identify improvement areas and help suggest concrete actions. The final prototype tool has been tested at Airbus and Toyota pilot sites to significant success – figures confidential sorry guys!
Research is now very much at the heart of what we do at IES. We are successfully involved in 10 publicly funded research projects: 4 from the Technology Strategy Board in the UK; 2 from SMART Scotland; 1 CIP-PSP and 3 FP7-PPP projects from Europe. We have also just won 6 new European FP7 grant submissions to add to our ongoing Research and Development work.
With ¼ of our turnover being invested in R&D, watch this space for more envelope pushing tools like THERM coming from IES – and hopefully more recognition from award ceremonies like Rushlight too.