Simulation and analysis for sustainable product development
Journal article, 2013
Simulation plays a critical role in the design of products, materials, and manufacturing processes. However, there are gaps in the simulation tools used by industry to provide reliable results from which effective decisions can be made about environmental impacts at different stages of product life cycle. A holistic and systems approach to predicting impacts via sustainable manufacturing planning and simulation (SMPS) is presented in an effort to incorporate sustainability aspects across a product life cycle. Methods Increasingly, simulation is replacing physical tests to ensure product reliability and quality, thereby facilitating steady reductions in design and manufacturing cycles. For SMPS, we propose to extend an earlier framework developed in the Systems Integration for Manufacturing Applications (SIMA) program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. SMPS framework has four phases, viz. design product, engineer manufacturing, engineer production system, and produce products. Each phase has its inputs, outputs, phase level activities, and sustainability-related data, metrics and tools.Results and discussion An automotive manufacturing scenario that highlights the potential of utilizing SMPS framework to facilitate decision making across different phases of product life cycle is presented. Various research opportunities are discussed for the SMPS framework and corresponding information models. The SMPS framework built on the SIMA model has potential in aiding sustainable product development.