Objectives and Summary

The MEMAN project supported European companies in the metal mechanical sector in their efforts to maximise their resource saving potential and increase competitiveness. The project was based on an innovative approach that addresses optimisation of whole manufacturing value chain instead of isolated single company or process optimisation, and includes energy, raw materials, and other supplies.


Project partners worked on optimising resource efficiency across the complete metal mechanical value chain, from casting and machining to surface finishing. This was done through:

  • Validating new business models that allow for collaboration of different companies along the whole value chain; 
  • Providing tools for practical decision-making support by combining Material and Energy Flow Analysis (MEFA) and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA);
  • Defining requirements for energy certifications at enterprise and whole value chain levels
  • Providing a set of 3 full business cases that demonstrate the effectiveness of the tools and business models

This three-and-a-half year initiative is the single project awarded under the Factories of the Future topic, ‘Global energy and other resources efficiency in manufacturing enterprises (FoF-03– 2014)’. The project ended in June 2018. 

Project Information

Expected Results

Since 2014, MEMAN applied and tested its methodology, developing a wide range of recommendations on energy and material optimisation for three different competence clusters: Casting, Machining and Surface finishing.


In this way, MEMAN provided an approach to achieve major cost reductions, reduce emissions and improve environmental performance, as well as improve regulatory compliance. At the same time the project methodology supports the incorporation of smart manufacturing innovations as solutions for integrated value chain optimisation.


All the results of the project are presented in the MEMAN final publication "Unclocking the resource saving potential of the metal-mechanic sector" 

Work Plan & Structure

To achieve MEMAN’s overarching goals, the project’s work plan is divided into 11 work packages:

Clustering and detailed definition of the case products

WP1 will perform a detailed description of the 3 different value chains and clusters (casting, machining and mechanical engineering), highlighting the qualitative and quantitative benefits of the holistic approach, the several functional units (processes, equipment and systems) that interact along the production chains and how they affect the whole materials and energy flows. This WP will detail how the different actors from MEMAN consortium (both beneficiaries and third parties) interact together to cover as much as possible of the described value chains, finding mutual benefits and higher added value from the interaction and exchange of experience. The analysis of the 3 clusters will be made qualitative and quantitatively, providing a current image of how is energy and raw material consumption and the environmental impact for each cluster and use case selected in the project. This deliverable will provide also hints on the possible improvements and new business opportunities that could derive from the implementation of the new technologies and services.


Technological analysis of the value chain processes and interfaces leading to the definition of functional process units
Leader CETIM

The WP 2’s objectives are three-fold: 

  • To prepare the modelling activities to be performed in WP4 by proposing a description of the processes based on a sequence of "Functional Units"
  • To collect data on the whole value chain, down to the machine working parameters
  • To prepare the simulation of alternative scenarios in WP4 by identifying functional alternatives to the existing solutions, including alternatives to existing recycling practices and eco-design.
Tool development for value chain analysis
Leader TUBS

WP3 aims at the development of a multi-stakeholder decision-making toolbox, dealing with environmental and economic impacts throughout the entire value chain(s) of the consortium. The tool is based on energy and material flow models of the production processes and related infrastructure coupled with LCA databases and allowing for a multi-criteria optimization of the entire value chain, e.g. regarding production costs, energy and material consumption, times and quality. The tool will be used to evaluate the current situation as well as various alternative scenarios, assisting the user in choosing beneficial cross-company improvement measures.

Value chain simulation and modelling with integrated MFA/LCA

The general objective of this work package is to: carry out the modelling for all three chosen value chains using the developed MEFA software developed in WP3; Perform an integrated life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC); Assess the current state of the three value chains regarding the allocation of costs, resources consumption and ecological impacts of involved processes and products with the combination of the MEFA software and the LCA/LCC methods; Simulate the ecological and economic impacts of alternative scenarios; Provide technical, environmental and economic data to WP5 to enable the comparison of the different scenarios.

Interdisciplinary assessment of value chain optimisation and re-engineering scenarios and development of detailed business cases
Leader EIFFO

The goal of WP5 is to assess with an interdisciplinary approach the scenarios for value chain optimisation and re-engineering developed in WP4 in terms of their technical feasibility as well as ecological, economic and social impacts, and develop 3 coherent detailed business cases for each of the implemented solutions for value chain optimisation.

Development of information/control routines and adapted MES
Leader MSI Grupo (third party of MONDRAGON)

WP 6 will be focused on defining and setting up an information architecture allowing process data acquisition in the different production facilities, storing these process data in a cloud based value chain data container so that all partners involved in Value Chain Analysis can obtain the needed information from one central source and in a standard format. Special attention will be paid to solve the particularity of heterogeneous data sources (SCADA, MES, ERP,…) in every production facility, and secure data storage in the cloud. The same architecture will be able to handle the feedback from the Decision Tool, based on the results of value chain LCA analysis, by forwarding it automatically to the production facilities.

Development of new business models for value chains and competence clusters
Leader IK4-Ikerlan (third party of MONDRAGON)

The objective of WP7 is the design of the new business models affordable by the different value chains and clusters of the project under the collaboration criteria established for reducing energy and resource consumption along the entire value chain. The design of the new business models will take into account aspects of value proposition, interface with customer, infrastructures, and profit equation, taken into account the point of view derived from the energy characterization along the entire value chain, both globally and company isolated. The WP will also address the economic evaluation of new defined business models, the sensitivity analysis under different scenarios and a comparison with the current situation. 

Implementation and validation
Leader CETIM

The main objectives of WP8 are to:
• Validate the value chain simulation and modelling in industrial conditions by implementing the optimised value chain of the three example products with their new organisational structures, IT solutions and business model in an industrial environment within each cluster.
• Test tools (developed in the previous WPs) on the 3 example product value chains. This work will validate their features according to practical situations.

Energy characterisation of individual companies and across the value chain
Leader EIFFO

This WP aims to:
• To identify the conditions and criteria for a meaningful energy characterization scheme of individual enterprises in the casting, machining, and surface finishing industries;
• To analyse and compare different approaches for energy characterisation of individual enterprises in terms of their feasibility and impact vis a vis the identified criteria;
• To draft a potential approach for energy characterisation of individual enterprises in the casting, machining, and surface finishing industries;
• To discuss and propose strategies for energy characterisation of enterprises taking into account overall value chain optimisation constraints.

Exploitation of knowledge created in MEMAN, communication and dissemination
Leader G!E

The WP has two parallel objectives: prepare the exploitation of project knowledge, and inform about the project and its achievements. To this end, G!E will develop exploitation strategies for the exploitable project results, design and execute high quality communication material and activities, as well as disseminate project results to relevant stakeholders. 

Project management

WP11 manages the overall project in respect of finances, contracts and administration. WP11 implements the strategic management of the project through validated tools and procedures, including decision making, monitoring, quality review etc.