Title

Reconfiguring Machines to Achieve System Adaptability and Sustainability: A Practical Case Study

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2014

Publication Source

Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture

Volume

228

Issue

12

Inclusive pages

1676-1688

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1177/0954405413519788

Publisher

Sage

ISBN/ISSN

20412975

Abstract

The fierce competition in the global manufacturing environment is forcing enterprises to seek competitiveness beyond traditional aspects such as functions, quality, cost, and lead time. An emerging strategy is to develop sustainable manufacturing systems. An ideal sustainable system has the characteristics of remanufacturing, redesigning, recovering, reusing, recycling, and reducing. However, this type of sustainability mainly refers to the products rather than to the manufacturing system itself. When the design and operation of a manufacturing system are concerned, the criterion of sustainability often conflicts with other requirements such as cost and lead time. Instead of establishing a total new system paradigm, it is more realistic that the concept of sustainable manufacturing is used as a guidance to evolve existing systems to an advanced level. In this article, a case study is introduced to recycle an obsolete test machine to meet new functional requirements; it has shown a significant economic benefit. The presented case study provides a new perspective of economically evolving dedicated machines or manufacturing systems into sustainable systems.

Keywords

Reconfigurable manufacturing, reconfigurable machines, sustainability, machine tools, case studies, finite element analysis

Disciplines

Engineering

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