Manufacturing: LCM in the Manufacturing Sector
Enablers and barriers to the development to life cycle management in the manufacturing sector of New Zealand
1Landcare Research, New Zealand; 2McLaren Consulting, New Zealand
Life Cycle Management (LCM) is a product management system that aims to reduce the environmental impacts of a product throughout its life cycle and across its supply chain. Within the New Zealand manufacturing sector there are significant numbers of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) that are relatively new to the concept of LCM. This paper focuses on the findings from an LCM pilot programme initiated in 2008 seeking to build capability for LCM within the manufacturing sector. The programme included workshops for SME staff training to increase understanding, use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for each participant company, and a research project supported by several business, government and research organisations. Despite a strong focus on methodological issues of LCA, literature examining adoption factors for LCM is often rare. The enablers and barriers for LCM adoption encountered by six case-study companies within the programme are discussed. Examples of barriers and enablers from business functions including - management focus, sales and marketing, product design, and supply chain management - are provided and compared with international research findings on enablers and barriers to implementing LCM in manufacturing firms. Key enablers and barriers for the future development of LCM within New Zealand SMEs are also highlighted.
A method of prospective technological assessment of nanotechnological techniques
Universität Bremen, Germany
Nanotechnology is frequently described as an enabling technology and fundamental innovation, i.e. it is expected to lead to numerous innovative developments in the most diverse fields of technology and areas of application in society and the marketplace. Nanotechnologies are regarded as a substantial element for environmental reliefs.
As a result the following questions arise: How large are the possible relief effects on the environment by nanotechnological techniques? Are these innovative leaps of a long-range nature with appropriate environmental discharges realistic or only rather incremental improvements?
This contribution tries the answer of the questions in three steps:
i) A presentation of a new method of prospective technological assessment of nanotechnological processes throughout their life cycle based on prospective scenarios and scaling-up models,
ii) It analysis the results of existing and anticipated nanotechnology-based processes (case studies), and gives
iii) A current overview for the quantification of environmental relief potentials of this developing technology lines.
The focus is placed on the potential environmental relief provided by nanotechnology based processes [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Risk aspects, particularly in dealing with nanomaterials are brought up for discussion however it is not the focus of this contribution [4, 5, 6].
 Steinfeldt, M.; Gleich, A. von; Petschow, U.; Pade, C.; Sprenger, R.-U. (2010): Entlastungseffekte für die Umwelt durch nanotechnische Verfahren und Produkte (Environmental Relief Effects through Nanotechnological Processes and Products). UBA-Texte 33/2010, Dessau.
 Steinfeldt, M. (2011): Environmental impact and energy demand of nanotechnology. In: Lambauer,J.; Fahl, U.; Voß, A.: Nanotechnology and Energy - Science, promises and its limits. Pan Stanford Publishing Singapore.
 Gleich, A. von; Steinfeldt, M.; Petschow, U. (2008): A suggested three-tiered approach to assessing the implications of nanotechnology and influencing its development. In: Journal of Cleaner Production, 16 (8), p.899-909.
 Steinfeldt, M.; Gleich, A.von; Petschow, U.; Haum, R. (2007): Nanotechnologies, Hazards and Resource Efficiency. Springer Heidelberg.
 Steinfeldt, M.; Gleich, A. von; Petschow, U.; Haum, R.; Chudoba, T.; Haubold, S. (2004): Nachhaltigkeitseffekte durch Herstellung und Anwendung nanotechnologischer Produkte (Sustainability effects through production and application of nanotechnological products). Schriftenreihe des IÖW 177/04. Berlin.
 Haum, R.; Petschow, U.; Steinfeldt, M.; Gleich, A. von (2004): Nanotechnology and Regulation within the Framework of the Precautionary Principle. Schriftenreihe des IÖW 173/04, Berlin
Sharing best practice in partnerships - Creating new markets for green products
1Aalborg University, Denmark; 2Novozymes A/S, Denmark
In this paper, it will be examined how sharing best practices with retailers in product chains is a way to promote sustainable products. This is based on an investigation of new types of interactions in the supply chain from a traditional focus on the supply of goods “just in time” towards a focus on what is creating value for the different stakeholders and with closer collaboration and communication between production companies, their suppliers, customers and retailers. As an example a manufacturer of enzymes share their knowledge of sustainable products with the retailers and other partners in the supply chain, and thereby facilitates a market pull towards low temperature detergents as such. Another arena in the same case is communication with end consumers in a campaign “I do 30”, also an initiative that promotes the use of low-energy detergents in general.
In recent years, the focus on environmental impacts of the production and consumption of shelf products has increased. This creates a possibility for a market demand, where production companies can benefit from their LCM activities. Retailers have a lot of power in the supply chains as they are in direct contact with the end consumers. Especially the retailers in the UK have had high ambitions in order to use CSR and carbon footprint as means of communicating with the customers, while they are in the warehouse. Previously, numerous investigations on retailers and especially organic food have been made, but less on non-food products.
Supply chain management can be divided into two main categories with a rather different focus: ”risk minimization” related to environmental and social impacts up-stream in the supply chain and “business development” of sustainable products and product service systems. Sharing best practice regarding sustainable products in the product chains is clearly an example of the latter, where production companies collaborates with the retailers and communicates with the end consumers, to facilitate a demand for sustainable products – in other words creation of new markets.
Life cycle assessment of an aircraft cabin element
1Fraunhofer IBP, Germany; 2Diehl Aircabin GmbH, Germany; 3University of Stuttgart, Germany
Driven by societal and political pressure, the aviation industry is widening its understanding of environmental issues. Consequently, the interest for life cycle assessment is growing in the industry. Not only airlines and aircraft manufacturers are realizing the potential of the method, but also their suppliers. In the course of a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), Fraunhofer IBP’s GaBi department collaborated with Diehl Aircabin GmbH to create an LCA of an interior wall panel as it is used to separate the aircraft cabin from the load-bearing structure.
The wall panel is a sandwich construction with elements mostly from composites. It holds two window frames including blinds. A special layer is applied to the side facing the inside of the cabin, which provides the typical surface of aircraft cabin walls as we know them. Heat insulation is applied on the opposite side.
While the entire life cycle of the panel was generally taken into account, the production phase was the focus of attention. Challenges met during the compilation of the life cycle inventory were the availability of datasets for special high performance materials, the breakdown of aggregated figures and the definition of functional units for certain sub-systems. Overall, the cradle-to-gate inventory included practically 100% of the panel’s mass.
The results were met with great interest in the company. The figures were discussed with Diehl Aircabin’s development, environmental and facility management experts. The relevance of the product’s mass for the use phase was very well known. One important outcome was the relevance of incorporated materials, especially in relation to on-site energy use. The single largest fraction of the total impact in any of the examined impact categories is related to the sandwich core, which accounts for less than 10% of the panel’s mass. Since some of the materials are temperature-sensitive, the production facility is air conditioned. Broken down to an individual panel, the energy consumption for air conditioning accounts for another significant fraction of the total impact. Further research was carried out to estimate the benefit and potential of LCA for the company.
The presentation shows the compilation of the inventory and highlights the most important results.
Energy-oriented layout planning for production facilities
Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
Due to limited resource and the rapid economic development, energy becomes the bottle neck of sustainable manufacturing. The integration of energy efficiency criteria into production system planning substantially contributes to resource productivity and thus offers an effective solution for meeting the demands of sustainable value creation. A suitable layout planning can increase the energy efficiency of production processes. The recent layout planning for production facilities overlooks energy aspect, but based on material aspect. As an indispensable element of production, energy should be concerned within factory management including layout planning. This paper describes a sustainability concerned layout planning model, which combines energy flow with material flow to optimize the productivity of resource.
Life cycle assessment of an air reservoir, component of an air compressor
1Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil; 2Ghent University, Belgium
An air compressor, whose operation mechanism is based on a piston alternative, is basically formed by three blocks of components: the unit of the air reservoir, the compression unit, and the power unit.
This study, conducted in 2010, approached the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the air reservoir unit, produced by a major company in the field of air compressors installed in southern Brazil. The entire manufacturing process of this reservoir is held in the industrial park of this company and basically includes the handling of steel sheets of low carbon, through processes of cutting, welding, molding, paintings and other finishes.
The main objective of this paper is to improve knowledge of these processes, identifying the stages in the production chain with highest impacts to the environment and, through computer simulations, propose improvements. The functional unit is the volume of 200 liters of air stored with 9,3 Bar of pressure, which is the capacity of the reservoir used in the most sold air compressor. The LCA was conducted from cradle to the factory’s gate.
For the construction of the Life Cycle Inventory, data related to the production of the air reservoir were collected directly on the production line (primary data), while those involved in obtaining of raw materials were obtained from the Ecoinvent® database (secondary data).
The Life Cycle Impact Assessment was performed with the software SimaPro®, using the impact categories recommended by CML2001, with the addition of two other categories: Total Energy Demand and Cumulative Amount of Waste (original from the EDIP2003 method).
The stage of the supply chain with the highest environmental impact (considering an average of values and interests of each stage with respect to all categories of impact) was the manufacturing of the mainly raw material, the metal sheets, with an average participation of 50% of the impacts. The next one is the process of welding components, with 11.6% in average and in third place is the circumferential welding of ends, with 5% of contribution.
Through simulations performed with the aid of the software SimaPro®, some specific changes have contributed to significant reductions on the environmental impacts of the categories analyzed. One example is the replacement of cotton oakum for a robust recycled paper to clean the tops in the finishing stage, which decreased nearly 5% of the CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.