IU researchers, Indiana colleges collaborate to help manufacturers reduce energy consumption

Researchers at IU are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help manufacturers statewide reduce their carbon footprint, providing students with real-life insight into energy analytics, according to IU News.

Machine learning uses models to make inferences from patterns in data.

IU News said faculty from the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering and School of Engineering and Technology at IU-Purdue University Indianapolis will initiate manufacturing data models and analytical applications. These tools will suggest ways for the company to reduce energy consumption and promote sustainability.

“Currently, more than 95% of Indiana manufacturers do not have analytics to correlate their energy usage with factory assembly lines, machines, shifts, operator usage patterns and more,” Raj Acharya, the leader of the research project, said to IU News. “This understanding, coupled with solutions to detected problems, will allow manufacturers to immediately see the improvement in their energy usage processes.”

For this project, the university will work with Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame, as well as industry and nonprofit partners like Amazon Web Services and Conexus Indiana, according to IU News.

It said AnalytiXIN and Energy INsights brought Amazon Web Services and the other partners together. AnalytiXIN is an Indianapolis-based collaborative network that supports academic data science research and development talent. Energy INsights helps Indiana manufacturers incorporate Amazon Web Services and artificial intelligence to maximize energy efficiency.

The researchers will collect and analyze data provided by Energy INsights and university testing equipment to create applications for industry and educational use. They will use the Amazon Web Services cloud to make the apps accessible to the manufacturers, the article said.

Acharya, the principal investigator, is also the associate vice president for research and AI innovation at IU. He said the research team will create a unique training and curriculum for students.

“Our university’s role in this one-of-a-kind project speaks to the world-class quality of the informatics, computing and engineering research program that we’ve built at IU,” IU Vice President for Research Fred H. Cate said to IU News. “This is a great example of how IU faculty and students are working at the forefront of emerging fields of research to help make Indiana a better place to live and work.”

IU is also planning to develop lectures, tutorials, lab environments and simulations of energy-saving solutions to provide students with more educational resources, IU News said. This project will offer internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students on campus.

The ongoing project will take two years. IU researchers are setting up testing facilities on the IU-Bloomington campus.

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