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Simulation and Analysis for Sustainability in Manufacturing Processes

[+] Author Affiliations
Alexander Muroyama

University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD

Mahesh Mani, Kevin Lyons

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD

Bjorn Johansson

Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden

Paper No. DETC2011-47327, pp. 935-941; 7 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2011-47327
From:
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 31st Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5479-2
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME

abstract

“Sustainability” has become a ubiquitous term in almost every field, especially in engineering design and manufacturing. Recently, an increased awareness of environmental problems and resource depletion has led to an emphasis on environmentally friendly practices. This is especially true in the manufacturing industry where energy consumption and the amount of waste generated can be high. This requires proactive tools to be developed to carefully analyze the cause-effect of current manufacturing practices and to investigate alternative practices. One such approach to sustainable manufacturing is the combined use of Discrete Event Simulation (DES) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to analyze the utilization and processing of manufacturing resources in a factory setting. On an economic aspect such method can significantly reduce the financial and environmental costs by evaluating the system performance before its construction or use. This project considers what-if scenarios in a simplified golf ball factory, using as close to real-world data as possible, to demonstrate DES and LCA’s ability to facilitate decision-making and optimize the manufacturing process. Plastic injection molding, an energy-intensive step in the golf ball manufacturing process, is the focus of the DES model. AutoMod, a 3-D modeling software, was used to build the DES model and AutoStat was used to run the trials and analyze the data. By varying the input parameters such as type and number of injection molding machines and material used, the simulation model can output data indicating the most productive and energy efficient methods. On a more detailed level, the simulations can provide valuable information on bottlenecks or imbalances in the system. Correcting these can allow the factory to be both “greener” and more cost-effective.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME

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