Why did we initiate the program?
Industrial productivity growth has slowed down in developed countries during the past years, which has major implications for the global economy. However, the world not only faces the challenge of stagnating industrial productivity, but also the increasing need for energy as well as rising resource consumption and emissions.
Businesses have a central role in solving this challenge. The majority of the previous industrial productivity increase can be attributed to investments in more efficient equipment, automation and enterprise resource planning systems. However, this growth potential has now been utilized and new innovations are needed.
All production processes require the moving of raw material and products. Transportation of these in any value-adding industrial activity, from assembly plants to hospitals to ports, is called a material flow. The cost of the material flows resulting from moving raw materials and products is close to 10% of companies’ turnover. In addition, material flows account for approximately 5.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and account for 40% of injuries in the manufacturing industry. Therefore, making material flows more efficient, safe, and sustainable will have a major positive impact on industrial productivity and reduction of GHG emissions.
Path to the Zero4 future
The Zero4 roadmap provides an overview of the strategic topics that are vital for zeroing down information barriers, GHG emissions, waste energy and safety incidents in industrial companies. Program research and innovation activities happen in seven research streams. Each stream contributes to one or more of the key deficiencies identified in the program.
Deep-diving into future material flow environments
Ecosystem members are invited to ideate projects and create solutions related specifically to the topics below. They are also highly encouraged to seek opportunities for cooperation in EU projects from the same field.
Some of the research topics are at the core of Konecranes’ business. However, in some topics the Zero4 ecosystem is in a ground-breaking role to solve the challenges of industrial companies. The following roadmaps provide an overview of the research topics and share of cooperation between Konecranes and ecosystem partners.