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Energy issues in supply chain and production planning in the steel industry: A case study at SSAB
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Production Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Production Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2014 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

How can a different planning of production and supply chain increase energy efficiency and effectiveness? This descriptive and rather exploratory case study investigates these possibilities by mapping the production system and its supporting energy system at a steel company’s production site. Several possibilities for improvement in the planning processes have been located and evaluated. Our findings resulted in identifying four different improvement areas: 1) planning slab furnaces, 2) utilizing embedded heat and shortening lead times, 3) broader frame when scheduling for decreasing waste at set-ups, and 4) demandresponse opportunities related to electricity price variations. The first improvement area: planning of the slab furnaces, shows the largest potential, both in terms of energy savings and reduced costs. The second and the third improvement areas are similar to each other in terms of potential energy savings, but if the lead-time also could be decreased in the second it would be more economically beneficial than the other. Additional possibilities are found in the fourth improvement area where electricity demand response actions by rescheduling the energy-intensive production into times of low electricity price might save electricity costs. To conclude, the company could reach both higher energy efficiency and profitability simultaneously, by utilizing the energy- and the production systems combined in a more efficient and effective way.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. 489-501 p.
Keyword [en]
Production planning, supply chain planning, energy efficiency, energy system, case study, steel industry
National Category
Engineering and Technology Economics and Business Business Administration Energy Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112287OAI: diva2:765210
18th International Working Seminar on Production Economics, Innsbruck, Austria, February 24-28, 2014

An earlier version of this paper was presented at IWSPE18 2014.

Available from: 2014-11-21 Created: 2014-11-21 Last updated: 2014-11-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Planning production and supply chain in energy intensive process industries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Planning production and supply chain in energy intensive process industries
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To make a difference among the energy intensive process industries, this dissertation addresses production planning and supply chain planning problems related to industrial energy management issues. The energy issue is turning more and more important from different angles, involving price as well as environmental problems due to climate change leading to political pressure on all energy users. The process industry sector is one of the largest users of energy, and thus important to analyse. Process industries are also capital intensive and operate on large and expensive process equipment, making it imperative to plan their production well in order to reach preferable capacity utilisation. Therefore this dissertation strives to locate the most important energy management issues for the long term profitability of process industries, and investigates the  symbiotic effects of including energy issues in production and supply chain planning.

Three different studies at three case companies are carried out, analysed, and presented in five papers. The cases represent the process industry sectors: chemicals, pulp, and steel. Both qualitative case study methodologies as well as quantitative mathematical modelling and optimisation approaches have been practiced. The research questions are analysed from both an energy system and from a production process point of view, separately as well as combined. Energy is somewhat considered to be the main workforce for process industries and this dissertation exemplifies some of its most important dimensions in this context.

Several prerequisites for putting energy management on the strategic agenda are located in a specialty chemical industry where the importance of introducing a strategic perspective on energy, the way energy is used, and the possibilities of increasing alternative revenue from utilising by- and/or co-products differently are pinpointed. Approaches for including energy issues in planning processes are also suggested in terms of a MILP model for the entire supply chain of a pulp company, including decisions on purchase and transportation of raw maerials, production allocation, energy mix, and distribution. Another example is presented based on the perspectives of economics of scale and lot sizing through economic order quantity principles in a steel company. By using real company data, energy smart approaches in planning and scheduling are developed with respect to the most important intersections between the production processes and their supporting energy system. The accumulated resource intensity and embedded energy could, and probably should, hence be more fairly  reflected in the product price. The research finally shows some possible impact with including energy issues in a production and supply chain planning model. By planning differently, production prioritisations can be done, and it is not only possible without any large investments, but also prosperous with savings on both energy and money within reach.

To conclude, planning of production and supply chain has either a direct or an indirect impact on the energy cost-effectiveness of a company. This dissertation argues that such impact also exists in its mutual form, and is very important when the energy issues are large enough, as they often are in the energy intensive process industry sector. Decision makers should thus beware of the short end of the stick that might be  devastating in the long run, but also aware of all the possibilities that can bring success and prosperity when the future begins.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 75 p.
Linköping Studies in Management and Economics. Dissertations, ISSN 0347-8920 ; 1635
Process industry, Energy-intensive production processes, Energy system, Energy management, Production planning, Supply chain planning, Case studies, Mixed Integer Linear Programming, Modelling, Specialty chemicals, Pulp, Steel
National Category
Engineering and Technology Business Administration Economics and Business Energy Systems
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112289 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-112289 (DOI)978-91-7519-173-7 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-12-18, ACAS, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2014-11-21 Created: 2014-11-21 Last updated: 2015-02-04Bibliographically approved

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