Modeling and Simulation for Sustainable Manufacturing

D. Kibira and C. McLean (USA)


Manufacturing, modeling, simulation, sustainability, metrics


With increasing frequency the news media reports that the planet is warming, pollutants are contaminating the environment, energy costs are rising, and precious natural resources are dwindling. These reports are sounding an alarm that we need to change the way we manufacture products so as to minimize the negative impact of industrial operations on the environment, the workforce, and the surrounding communities. Simulation technology has been a significant tool for improving manufacturing operations in the past; but its focus has been on lowering costs, improving productivity and quality, and reducing product time to market. In the future, it could similarly help us to achieve green, environmentally friendly, or as it is commonly called today, sustainable manufacturing. Changes will need to occur if simulation is to be applied successfully to sustainability. Manufacturers will need to focus on issues that they have not been concerned with in the past. Since there has not been a demand for simulation technology with sustainability features, software vendors and analysts have not typically addressed these issues. This paper presents a vision for modeling and simulation that supports sustainable manufacturing that is based on changes to simulation case studies, metrics, software tools, interface standards, and data sets.

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