Service eco-innovation - Services to optimise production processes in terms of resource efficiency - production integrated environmental protection (e.g. PIUS-Check®)
The PIUS-Check is a process-oriented material flow analysis of the efficiency agency (EFA) North Rhine-Westphalia for the determination and use of economic and ecological potential in production. The EFA has a team of 10-20 engineers who conduct the initial audit in order to identify material and resource efficiency potentials. External process experts are used to conduct the technical audits and make suggestions for potential changes. The total costs of an audit are EUR 10-15,000. Up to two-thirds of these costs can be covered by the national clean production programme Verbesserung der Materialeffizienz (VerMat) organised by Demea (Deutsche Materialeffizienz Agentur) under the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Since the PIUS-Check was initiated in year 2000, more than 500 PIUS-Checks have been conducted. 216 of the companies involved have implemented measures (which corresponds to more than 40%).
○ funding procedures are complex
○ total time spent on the PIUS-Check from the initial meetings to planning of potential measures requires at least six to nine months
○ The EFA assists SMEs in applying for funding
○ The EFA presents the potential of the programme and further information in the Internet
○ The EFA approaches companies that may benefit from the PIUS-Check
Services and technological approaches aim to optimise the different manufacturing processes (such as forming, forming, cutting, drying, degreasing, bonding, joining, surface treatment, etc.). They include the reduction of scrap, yield loss and waste, in-house recycling of raw materials, operating and auxiliary materials, the substitution of polluting or harmful substances, minimising the need for downstream environmental protection technologies that increase energy efficiency and the reduction of expenses for transport and storage (logistics). At the same time, the measure contributes to the dissemination of the material- and resource efficiency approaches and material flow analyses.
Promising topics for future services are resource cost accounting, operational LCA or zero-loss methods enlarged by new components, e.g. software solutions for the chemical industry for the prediction of processes and material properties. Services in combination with technological solutions that are tailored to specific requirements in the target countries are considered to have great export opportunities.