The Environmental Implications of Digitalization in Manufacturing: A Case Study
Paper in proceedings, 2021

The potential of digital technologies is widely discussed and recognized, mainly focusing on process automation, efficiency improvements and quality control. The implications on environmental sustainability is mostly considered from a theoretical perspective rather than operational. This study aims to reveal the potential of digital technologies to reduce the environmental impact in industrial practice. A case study was carried out at two manufacturing sites of an international manufacturing company producing mechanical components for the global markets. Data and insights were collected through interviews and observations. This paper presents the findings in terms of real life implementations and potentials to reduce the environmental impact using digital technologies along the manufacturing value chain, which can serve as input and guideline for the manufacturing industry.


Digital technology

Case study

Environmental sustainability


Xiaoxia Chen

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Mélanie Despeisse

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Patrik Dahlman

Paul Dietl

Björn Johansson

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Sustainable Production, Life Cycle Engineering and Management

2194-0541 (ISSN) 2194-055X (eISSN)

Vol. EcoDesign and Sustainability I 249-263

EcoDesign 2019: 11th International Symposium on Environmentally Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing
Yokohama, Japan,

SUstainability, sMart Maintenance and factory design Testbed (SUMMIT)

VINNOVA, 2017-11-01 -- 2021-04-30.

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Other Mechanical Engineering

Environmental Management

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance




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