Optimize Production Lines to Reduce Lifecycle Energy Use

By Stephanie Aldrete


BMW Motoren GmbH implemented Tecnomatix Plant Simulation software to reduce lifecycle energy consumption of car engines and the results were a savings of 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year; identification of additional optimization potential; reduced eco-footprint by 550 tons of CO2 equivalents per year; and scaled down lifecycle energy consumption of cars and SUVs.

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The Problem:

BMW wanted to manufacture energy-efficient car engines and that included finding a way to optimize the production line for reduced energy usages while maintaining output and improving flexibility.

The Epiphany:

BMW discovered that Siemens’ Plant Simulation software features energy analysis capabilities that extend the traditional usage range of plant simulation models for optimizing throughput, relieving bottlenecks and minimizing work in process, and realized that the software should allow them to transfer proven energy-saving strategies from the car to the factory floor.

The Execution:

In the existing model of the line created using Plant Simulation, all that it takes to get a valid energy simulation is to map the information on the power consumption of each machine in the line with the production stages in the process control system, and to add it as a list to the existing simulation model.

The Results:

The machines within the line returned energy savings amounting to 1.66 million kilowatt hours of electricity on the shop floor. Another 1.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity were saved by turning off some of the high-pressure pumps at the media supply installations. Implementing the BMW auto start-stop function in the crankcase line as an energy-saving measure led to a total energy reduction by 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year.

You can read the complete case study, “Reducing lifecycle energy consumption of car engines with Plant Simulation.”

To learn even more about Tecnomatix Plant Simulation, visit our website.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at