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Steps towards sustainable manufacturing through modelling material, energy and waste flows

  • Smith, Leigh
  • Ball, Peter
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    A sustainable society cannot be realised without more efficient approaches and technologies, which must in part be provided by manufacturing. Available literature covers the principles for making manufacturing more sustainable, but there is little, if any, practical guidance to show how to apply these principles. Lower level guidelines are required to provide guidance on systematically analysing manufacturing facilities and to assist with the identification and selection of improvement opportunities. This paper reports on work to develop guidelines for Material, Energy and Waste (MEW) process flow modelling to support the pursuit of sustainable manufacturing. Using qualitative MEW process flow maps of a case facility, data was collected to build a spreadsheet model aligned to each of the MEW process flows. The quantitative analysis provided detailed insight into the MEW process flows within the system and assisted with the identification and selection of environmental efficiency improvements. The key learning points from conducting the analysis generated a set of guidelines to aid the analysis of manufacturing systems, using MEW process flow modelling. This paper documents the approach developed and the environmental performance improvement opportunities identified in the case facility.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925527312000515
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Production Economics.

    Volume (Year): 140 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 227-238

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:140:y:2012:i:1:p:227-238
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ijpe

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    1. Yang, Chen-Lung & Lin, Shu-Ping & Chan, Ya-hui & Sheu, Chwen, 2010. "Mediated effect of environmental management on manufacturing competitiveness: An empirical study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 210-220, January.
    2. Daly, Herman E., 1990. "Toward some operational principles of sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-6, April.
    3. de Ron, Ad J., 1998. "Sustainable production: The ultimate result of a continuous improvement," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 99-110, September.
    4. Yang, Ma Ga (Mark) & Hong, Paul & Modi, Sachin B., 2011. "Impact of lean manufacturing and environmental management on business performance: An empirical study of manufacturing firms," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(2), pages 251-261, February.
    5. O'Brien, Christopher, 1999. "Sustainable production - a new paradigm for a new millennium," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 1-7, April.
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