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Advanced Tools for SURFace Finishing Processes to Optimise ENERGY Efficiency (SURFENERGY)

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SURFENERGY supports the introduction of energy efficiency measures by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the Surface Finishing and Printed Circuit manufacturing industry sectors. The aim is to increase the awareness of manufacturing companies to the introduction of energy management systems and the potential benefits that could result. The project outputs will provide options for energy efficiency solutions, based on analysis and detailed understanding of generic production processes currently in use. SURFENERGY addresses non-technological barriers to the introduction of energy efficiency measures through the main project actions: an interactive software toolkit; process benchmarking; intelligence on emerging technologies; integration with environmental assessment. The toolkit will be rigorously evaluated in SME end-user applications testing during the second half of the project. Targeted dissemination through trade associations and other routes will increase awareness directly within industrial manufacturing SMEs. The strategic aims will support European Policy objectives on energy efficiency and increasing competitiveness.


  • The main project output will be the development of an interactive software toolkit, based on technological analysis of generic processes, to facilitate options for energy efficiency solutions. The great majority of companies in these groups are SMEs, therefore the project will essentially address the non-technological barriers to the introduction of energy efficiency to this type of organisation, within the context of the specific types of technology used in production processes.
  • An energy efficiency benchmarking component of the toolkit will be developed and applied to the collection, analysis and reporting of data for generic processes currently in industrial use. Prior benchmarking approaches will be developed and tailored to the needs of the target audience. This approach will enable industrial manufacturers to compare performance to an industry standard and will act as an important stimulus for the implementation of energy monitoring and management.
  • Intelligence gathering on new, emerging technologies and market drivers will be carried out. SMEs in the target groups do not have sufficient resources to keep up to date with new technological developments that may have a strong impact on their future operations. Therefore an important aim is to inform the target audience about the energy efficiency implications of emerging technologies and market/economic/societal drivers that may have an impact on their operations in the short to medium term.
  • In addition to achieving excellence in industrial energy efficiency, all processes must be sustainable with a low environmental impact. In order to establish the environmental issues related to materials flow, including emissions to air and water, water usage etc., a simplified/streamlined Life Cycle Analysis approach will be applied to complement the detailed energy flow assessment.
  • Targeted dissemination through trade associations and other routes will be applied to increase awareness in the targeted manufacturing sectors with high levels of ‘market penetration’. These are traditional SME intensive industries, which are closely related technologically in that they operate many very similar industrial processes with overlapping issues in respect of the need to reduce energy consumption.

Lessons learned

  • The questionnaires tried to address the issues in selected key generic manufacturing processes or unit operations. However, these were considered as too complex and much simpler top-level questionnaires should be prepared for benchmarking.
  • Many SME respondents do not have access to the information required, e.g. no separation of process energy from total consumption, no power meters on individual processes or equipment, several processes operated on single production lines.
  • The complex versions of the questionnaires are perceived by some SMEs as being useful in helping to set up energy management systems in their companies. The detailed questionnaires will therefore be included in the web advisor toolkit to assist companies in improving their measurements of energy efficiency criteria.

Partners and coordinator

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C-Tech Innovation Limited
United Kingdom
Contact point: 
Ian Dalrymple
+44 1513472908


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In brief

01/09/2008 to 31/08/2011
Contract number: 

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