Instead of giving each factory the same efficiency overhaul, Panasonic has developed simulation technology to help facilities come up with tailored power-saving and emission-cutting solutions.
The technology, created as part of Panasonic’s plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 300,000 tons in 2010, lets users evaluate factory processes to determine the most efficient operating conditions for high pressure air, drying and baking furnaces, clean rooms, and air conditioners. The simulator evaluates the best conditions for a drying furnace, for example, by predicting drying conditions based on estimated internal temperatures, humidity, and air currents. Panasonic’s system can also model a piping system for an entire factory to minimize pressure loss and hence reduce CO2 and energy consumption.
It all sounds a little, well, boring, but Panasonic has already proven that the technology can work wonders. The simulation technology was used at a lithium-ion battery factory in Japan to cut carbon emissions per basic unit by 46%. Panasonic is planning on rolling out the technology at other factories as well, including a battery plant currently under construction in Osaka. As of right now, the company is only using its simulator internally, but Panasonic could stand to make some serious cash if it sells the technology to other companies looking to cut emissions.