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Vision of a future-proof factory: the sustainability and cost-efficiency benefits of closed-loop industrial production

June 8, 2020
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Teemu Klingberg is Director, Industrial Infrastructure at Nevel Oy. Teemu has many years of international experience from various managerial and specialist positions in the energy and process industries. He is passionate about business development and generating customer value.

In a closed-loop factory, industrial companies reuse what was previously seen as waste or by-products to help power new production. Not only does this help conserve natural resources and reduce waste, it also offers cost savings and increased production efficiency. Waste becomes a valuable resource and factories become more sustainable – a big win for businesses, the environment and society as a whole.

Towards a carbon-neutral future

Changes in the market environment have put increasing pressure on industrial companies to find new opportunities to strive towards sustainability and CO2 neutrality. To solve these challenges, industrial companies are turning to the opportunities offered by the platform economy. It can help ensure that resources are not consumed unnecessarily and waste is reused or minimised. A great example of this is the closed-loop factory system, which optimises utility, material and information flows.

The closed-loop vision

An increasing number of industrial companies are developing Green Factory concepts, with the goal to become carbon neutral and create a closed loop. These concepts aim to identify efficiencies and fully reuse resources, generating only products and no waste. Improving resource efficiency and minimising waste are effective ways to impact the bottom line while also complying with regulations and meeting sustainability demands. The goal is to build future-proof infrastructure that improves business performance while minimising emissions and waste. Using excess heat or industrial by-products of the production process, such as sludge, sawdust or oat husks, as an energy source not only saves energy costs, it also minimises fuel and transportation costs, further increasing both the environmental and the economic benefits.

Read more about our cooperation cases:

Fazer >>

Kinnusen mylly >>

Sandvik Coromant >>

Machine learning and human intelligence

For future-looking companies looking to take maximum advantage of all these opportunities, the closed-loop factories approach offers a route towards an optimised and resource-efficient future. But developing and taking these new operating models into use requires new ways of working and the right expertise. High levels of automation and advanced machine-learning technology are paired with specialised remote operation experts to ensure safe production and resource efficiency. Automation and machine intelligence eliminate human error and performance variations between shifts. Constant collection and analysis of equipment performance and condition data enables an innovative way to improve decision-making and optimise efficiency – turning previous challenges into an opportunity.

Nevel offers advanced industrial and municipal infrastructure solutions, which benefit customers and surrounding societies. We own and operate more than 150 energy production sites and over 40 district heating networks, generating 1.6 TWh of energy annually with the most sophisticated digital platform on the market. We operate in Finland, Sweden, and Estonia. Nevel will help you rethink your needs and take your operations to the next level.