Combining Life Cycle Assessment and Manufacturing System Simulation: Evaluating Dynamic Impacts from Renewable Energy Supply on Product-Specific Environmental Footprints

Jan-Markus Rödger*, Jan Beier, Malte Schönemann, Christine Schulze*, Sebastian Thiede*, Niki Bey, Christoph Herrmann, Michael Zwicky Hauschild

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The eco-efficiency of actual production processes is still one dominating research area in engineering. However, neglecting the environmental impacts of production equipment, technical building services and energy supply might lead to sub-optimization or burden-shifting and thus reduced effectiveness. As an established method used in sustainability management, Life Cycle Assessment aims at calculating the environmental impacts from all life cycle stages of a product or system. In order to cope with shortcomings of the static character of life cycle models and data gaps this approach combines Life Cycle Assessment with manufacturing system simulation. Therefore, the two life cycles of product and production system are merged to assess environmental sustainability on product level. Manufacturing simulation covers the production system and Life Cycle Assessment is needed to relate the results to the final product. This combined approach highlights the influences from dynamic effects in manufacturing systems on resulting life cycle impact from both product and production system. Furthermore, the importance of considering indirect peripheral equipment and its effects on the manufacturing system operation in terms of output and energy demands is underlined. The environmental flows are converted into impacts for the five recommended environmental impact categories. Thus, it can be demonstrate that Life Cycle Assessment can enhance the process simulation and help identify hot-spots along the life cycle. The combined methodology is applied for analysing a case study in fourteen scenarios for the integration of volatile energy sources into energy flexible manufacturing control.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing - Green Technology
Number of pages20
ISSN2198-0810
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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