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Exploring the role of energy efficiency and material efficiency towards carbon neutral vehicle production – A case study at Audi AG at Neckarsulm location

© Norbert Aepli, Switzerland, Wikimedia Commons, – slightly modified

Ruprecht Cord

Master Thesis – Environmental Engineering – 2018

The background of this master thesis is the exploring of the role of material efficiency at a German car manufacturer, Audi AG, and the improvement potential. Inspired by the direct cooperation with Audi and the challenges in regard of more sustainable car production, the aim of the study was to elaborate different measurement indicators for monitor the embodied energy consumption within the car production and to work out improvement scenario.

For that purpose, the production and the linked mass and energy flows were collected and built up into a mass and energy/emission material flow chart. This chart was built up to understand the different material and energy flows within the production steps and to give a better overview of it to the reader, as the direct access to detailed data is often limited. These data were then analyzed in different key performance indicators for mass and energy level and used as a foundation for an improvement scenario.

The main findings highlighted the big differences in energy consumption and yield loss in the production steps and the improvement scenario shows the potential for a more sustainable production by adopting proper handling of scrap. Further this thesis indicates a clear need for addressing also other production steps in detail to get an even better understanding of the KPI’s and their validity to investigate in further production improvements and efficiency increase.

Collaboration partners 
Audi AG, Germany