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A Method to Assess the Environmental Profile of In-House Machining Processes

[+] Author Affiliations
Michele Germani, Marco Mandolini, Marco Marconi, Marco Mengarelli

Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy

Paper No. DETC2016-59497, pp. V004T05A039; 11 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 21st Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference; 10th International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5014-5
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


A growing interest toward sustainability actions at every level is characterizing the industrial sector. Following the environmental trend, further developments and improvements regarding the sustainability assessment of manufacturing processes is needed. With a particular focus on machining processes, the optimization of working parameters can represent a valid step forward in sustainable manufacturing.

This paper aims to provide companies with the needed tool to independently asses the environmental performance of their customized machining operations. The purpose of the presented work is then to demonstrate that energy consumption calculated with empirical mathematical models available in literature, gives the greatest contribution to the environmental impact for a selection of machining processes by means of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Such objective lead to a clear need of specific models for the calculation of environmental impact of machining processes instead of available LCA datasets. Available mathematical models are adopted to provide a realistic energy consumption profile by using processing time variables. Such values are calculated through 3D models whose are used to recognize the needed manufacturing operations together with relative processing times.

In order to validate the previous assumption, a couple of machining processes have been selected as reference and analyzed by setting up a detailed Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) model. Results shown that among the different inputs and outputs, the energy consumption carries the highest impact. Over 90% of the total impact for the chosen impact categories (Global Warming Potential and Eco-Costs) is attributable to the energy consumption meaning that, for the sake of simplification, the environmental profile of such operations is overlapped by its energy consumption.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Machining



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