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Using Industry Focus Groups and Literature Review to Identify Challenges in Sustainable Assessment Theory and Practice

[+] Author Affiliations
Matteo M. Smullin, Karl R. Haapala

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Mahesh Mani

Dakota Consultancy Inc., Silver Spring, MDNational Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD

K. C. Morris

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD

Paper No. DETC2016-60216, pp. V004T05A048; 10 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


The bottom up demand from consumers for more sustainable products, and the top down need to comply with government regulations motivates manufacturers to adopt tools and methods to evaluate their operations for opportunities to reduce environmental impact and improve competitiveness. Manufacturers have actively improved the sustainability of their products through the use of such tools and methods. However recently, manufacturers are struggling to maintain the necessary gains in energy and material efficiency due to the assessment inaccuracies of current ad hoc methods and their inability to identify large sustainability improvement opportunities. Overcoming this barrier requires standardized methods and tools that are implementable and which contain accurate manufacturing process-level information. To aid in developing such methods and tools, this study contrasts the perspective of industry and academic research on the topics of sustainable manufacturing metrics and measurements, and process modeling to determine the deficits that exist in enacting academic theory to practice. Furthermore, this study highlights some of the industry responses to the development of related standards for sustainability assessment.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Sustainability



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