Project progress

Article April 2021

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We are working hard to realize all aspects of the INDU-ZERO blueprint. Some parts more detailed than others. But one thing is for sure, the INDU-ZERO Blueprint will become a game changer in the renovation world! We are going to cover 5 main topics which you can already read about in our newsletters.

The topics are:

  •        Business case
  •        Prepare
  •        Produce
  •        Deliver
  •        Life cycle

All these topics, the subtopics and the results will be presented in an online magazine. The advantage of an online magazine is that we can use an interactive way to present the results. Also we can include films and simulations.

The online magazine will be launched during our end-event on the 7th of October (link naar: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/indu-zero-end-event-registration-143085991051). If you haven’t saved the date yet, please do so!

What can you expect in the online magazine? As someone who is generally interested you will be able to receive a good overview of the project results.

As a professional who wants to use the project results in order to understand the technical details and realise an INDU-ZERO factory yourself, you can access the more technical part of the online magazine. 

With this set-up we can reach a broad audience to disseminate the results of the project and inspire others to realise the INDU-ZERO factories for real!

Contribution: Ulla-Britt Krämer, project manager INDU-ZERO, Provincie Overijssel, the Netherlands


Article January 2021

The last year of the project has started! When we started in 2018 we thought we could take an existing product and industrialize that product. By doing so we would achieve a 50% cost reduction with 15.000 packages a year. In reality we faced a lot of different challenges, both technical and non-technical.

Technical challenges
First we needed to identify which type of products we wanted to produce. We settled on the sandwich panel based on EPS. However current panels are not designed to be produced in a tact time of 2 minutes! We therefore needed to look at the products in more detail as well. Step by step we developed the production process and found that we faced new challenges there as well within the area of robots and programming, because each panel is unique in size. Also the on-site mounting process needed to be looked at thoroughly, as about 50% of the costs arise in this process.

Currently we are tackling all of these challenges. The project group is also supported by external companies which are willing to share their expertise with us. I am confident that together we will find suitable solutions for those challenges. You will read more about some of them in this newsletter.

Non-technical challenges
These cannot be tackled easily. They involve all kinds of legislation (for example building or biodiversity), administrative challenges of (big) housing owners and cooperations and the manpower of construction companies. Which raises the question: are all of the different institutions involved ready to deal with the big volume of renovations which is necessary to meet the climate targets in 2050?  

We only have a chance to succeed if we feel the same urgency to change! We don’t have time to think and debate, holding on to current procedures and habits or keeping improvements to ourselves. We need to act together and embrace the changes and challenges ahead of us. The INDU-ZERO team has embraced these challenges. Are you willing to do the same? 

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Source: Energetische sanierung - hamburg.de

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Source: ibstockbrick.co.uk

Contribution: Ulla-Britt Krämer, project manager INDU-ZERO, Provincie Overijssel, the Netherlands

December 2020: end of the year message

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2020 has been a year that nobody could have imagined beforehand. If somebody had told me that my new office would be my home and that the only way to meet the members of the project team or people from external companies or institutions would be online, I would have laughed and thought that this person was a doom thinker and crazy. To have a worldwide pandemic on this scale was so unbelievable, that we never thought about it in our risk assessment.

Well, the worst-case scenario did happen and nobody was ready for it. Some of us lost people close to us or have been sick themselves. My deepest condolences if you have lost somebody dear to you.

What makes me proud is the flexibility of the human race. We create problems but we also try to solve them. Even though nobody likes to be in this situation, we all try to make the best out of it. We continue to work if we can and try to achieve the results as good as possible under the given circumstances. This is definitely the case for the INDU-ZERO project team. I am very proud of this group! Everybody takes their time to meet virtually, sometimes even in sessions lasting a whole day. All to achieve the goal of our project. I am looking forward to present the Blue Print during our end event on the 7th October 2021 where we will show our results, including what the INDU-ZERO Smart factory will look like.

I would like to thank the project members of INDU-ZERO for their great participation this year.

I wish everybody a happy and healthy 2021! 

Contribution: Ulla-Britt Krämer, project manager, Provincie Overijssel, the Netherlands

Article September 2020

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Still the Covid-19 virus is impacting our project to some extent. This is why the presentation for the European Weeks of Regions and Cities on the 15th of October will be online instead of live in Brussels. The same applies to the presentation at the Beyond2020 World event.

Fortunately there are many means to work together and present our results. We are using teams for day to day meetings, internal Webinars for an update to all project partners. Our annual half year meeting was also online. But for me online meetings are still a second best option for the half year meetings. I miss the live interaction with the team where we can have a meal and drink together after a long working day!  

We have made major progress on the development of the products, production, factory and on-site mounting. Our planning is to have a product freeze by the end of November in order to give the other topics time to develop the production lines, the factory design and the VR presentation. Our goal is to have the blueprint be ready by the end of June 2021! If you are interested to know how we are making the decisions, please have a look at the webinar from the 27th of August 2020.

The blueprint will be presented with the help of an online magazine which will be accessible through our project website. Soon we will update you on the progress on this topic.

We also started with business model canvas sessions in order to fill our business case. The output of these sessions will be part of the blueprint as well.

On the showcase part we still experience delays and drawbacks, not only due to the Corona virus but also due to national rules and obstacles. At the moment this leaves us with one real showcase in Enschede in the Netherlands. Housing corperation Domijn invests in a renovation of 3 terraced houses (2 with tenants and one empty). The first design of the houses is ready and will be discussed with the municipality. The province of Overijssel rented the empty house for 3 years. It will be a real location to visit. In the next newsletter we will tell you more about it.

Contribution: Ulla-Britt Krämer, project manager, Provincie Overijssel, the Netherlands

Article April 2020

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Covid-19 impact

Even though the Covid-19 virus has impacted our project to some extent the project managed to stay on track concerning the development of the blueprint of the products and the factory. Being an international project we were already used to share information through a shared platform and with video conferences. We were therefore to some extend ready when the virus infected the world.

However, it is questionable if the development of the business case of building the first factory in the province of Overijssel in the Netherlands, will still be on track. The Covid-19 has already impacted some industries in the province which resulted in a shift of priorities. 

Also some parts of the project have not been spared by the virus. A presentation at an EU event in Brussels, which was scheduled in March as well as the Beyond2020 World event in Gothenburg in June were cancelled, and some other smaller national presentations.

Decision making processes on showcase locations with housing associations in the Netherlands and Germany were also affected by delays.

Contribution: Ulla-Britt Krämer, project manager, Provincie Overijssel, the Netherlands


Article February 2020

INDU-ZERO project group

First draft of the blueprint

Halfway through the project we want to share that we have achieved a major milestone in the project. During the INDU-ZERO meeting in Enschede (NL) in the beginning of January 2020, the project partners presented the first draft of our product-, factory- and logistics blueprint. We still have 1 ½ year left to fine-tune these blueprints and fill them accordingly.

Looking at the goal of our project we are working on the reduction of CO2, which is also one of the goals of the European Commission’s ‘Green Deal’. Renovating the current housing stock will help reduce these emissions. However when setting up a factory on this scale we also need to think of the CO2 impact of the incoming materials, the logistics, the building of the INDU-ZERO factory itself, the production processes and the products that will be produced. Optimizing all these processes, not only the end-products, will have a huge positive impact on our environment, but also the surrounding topics.

A big challenge for this year is also the realization of the showcases in the 6 different EU countries. By realizing the showcases we want to make the project more tangible for the outside world. The showcases will also provide us with information on how the new developed products are performing.

During our international project meetings it is always great to see that boundaries vanish when working on a common goal. The collaboration between the countries, the results we’ve achieved so far and the importance which the subject provides gives us energy and motivation to work on INDU-ZERO in 2020.

Contribution: Ulla-Britt Krämer and Anneloes Krone, project management, Provincie Overijssel, the Netherland

 

Article 2 September 2019

Project group INDU-ZERO

Accomplishments
When I was thinking about writing this newsletter I came to realise how much we have accomplished so far in so little time.It makes me proud to work with so many enthusiastic people from all over Europe sharing the same goal: the sustainability of houses in the European North Sea Region.

Now that we are halfway through the project it is time to reflect and share what we have accomplished so far.

  • The communications flow has started tremendously. We began as an unknown project in February and grew in a short time to a party that is asked to present the project nationally and internationally.
  • We have generated 2 reports and published them on our website to substantiate the choices we made in the process so far.
  • The renovation packages the factory is going to produce are redesigned at the moment to fit the automation, costs and circularity requirements. The key changes will be shown at the webinar on the 14th of November. If you are interested you can sign in on our website.
  • The 1st concept blueprint of the factory is in development at the moment and will be presented at the next project meeting in January 2020.
  • There is interest to build the first INDU-ZERO factory in the Netherlands. To establish the demand side, several meetings are held with enthusiastic Dutch housing associations.

These results make me feel confident that we will continue to meet the set goals and finish this project successfully! 

Contribution: Ulla-Britt Krämer, project manager INDU-ZERO, Provincie Overijssel, the Netherlands 

 Article 1 September 2019


Smart factory INDU-ZERO

Smart Factory Blue Print research investigation

The blue print of a smart factory for renovation package manufacturing within the INDU-ZERO project is being investigated at the Advanced Forming Research Centre and Space Mechatronics Systems Technology Laboratory at the University of Strathclyde. Preliminary progress has been made and results produced. These include work on the modelling of a manufacturing process for an existing renovation product - a sandwich panel. And an initial manufacturing process has been studied.

Based on the analysis of a typical manufacturing process for such products, a manufacturing process model has been constructed as shown in Figure 1.
Click here for figure 1

This model shows the individual manufacturing stations and associated processes in such a production line. Each process is further defined using a number of attributes to quantify the performance of that process.

In order to understand the renovation panel manufacturing process as well identifying any potential improvement through optimisation, the project team have been simulating the workflow of an existing factory using a process simulation system, which is a tool for planning, design, optimization and reengineering of manufacturing process. 

The simulation allowed the team to identify the bottle neck processes in the whole production line. As an example, in the current manufacturing, the gluing process has been identified as the main bottle neck. By studying these manufacturing processes, the team has gained a good in-depth understanding of the demands and requirements of different manufacturing durations and these provide a good insight for further improvement study.

Contribution: Xiu T Yan, Strathclyde University, United Kingdom


Article June 2019

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Dwelling stock that is suitable for INDU-ZERO solution
In May INDU-ZERO published its first report about the type of houses that are suitable for the INDU-ZERO solution. The report was written by project partners Christian Struck, Gerard Salemink and Bram Bruins. It presents an overview of the dwelling stock in the countries participating in the project.

Two research questions are being answered:
1. Which dwelling type(s) and building period(s) is/are most common in the six countries?
2. Which building type from which building period(s) is / are the most important to renovate until 2050?

To identify the potential of industrialization and to define minimum product specifications for industrially produced renovation packages the present dwelling stock is reviewed and differentiated per country by dwelling type and building period.

The data analysis indicates that terraced and semi-detached as well as apartments are most suitable for industrial renovation. As detached buildings are in most cases owner-occupied dwellings, they cannot be renovated on large scale.
And it is suggested to target the building period from 1965-74 to define archetypical buildings for the definition of renovation packages.

Read the full report

Contribution: Christian Struck, Gerard Salemink, Bram Bruins ((Saxion University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands)

Article March 2019

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Ready for take-off
Forming teams within an international project is always a challenge. It took a while to get to know each other and each other’s fields of expertise, but now we’re ready for take-off. The project activities started in three lines: technology, customers and international cooperation. Work has been done to map the similarities of housing stock, building styles and building technologies in the participating countries. 

What’s been done so far
All the activities have been focused on the social rental housing built in the period 1950-1985. In addition, the different types of renovation panels have been inventoried and analysed. The costs of a few energy zero concepts have been analysed and the first contacts were made in countries for show cases.

The next couple of months
Three common and promising housing typologies in different countries will be selected. Also one or two panel technologies will be selected, e.g. timber frame construction and/or sandwich panels. The selection will be based on the potential for cost reduction, industrialization, (building physics) quality, circularity and usability in the different countries. As a follow-up to the choices, the first design concept will be outlined for a highly-automated production process. In addition, activities will be intensified on identifying showcases as well as matching between customer demands and the end product from the factory, so the adoption.

Contribution: Gerard Salemink, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands