Inderscience Publishers

Ecological evaluation of consumptions in manufacturing within the automotive sector


Nowadays the necessity to improve the transparency of consumptions origins of electrical energy as well as auxiliary materials (e.g., lubricoolants, pressurised air, etc.) in the industrial manufacturing environment is increasing more than ever. Methodologies for measuring, predicting and estimating consumptions are being developed in order to assess the environmental impacts during the production. This paper presents a detailed analysis of all energy and material flows for the manufacturing of two different demonstrator products using a bottom-up measurement approach. In order to identify potential savings and to reduce the complexity of the data gathering, an assessment of the main origins of consumptions on the one hand as well as the most resource intensive process inputs on the other hand has been conducted. Based on the initial technology chain and its evaluation, an alternative technology chain with several changes in the processes has been investigated in order to reveal potential savings and demonstrate the feasibility of the procedure. Furthermore an outlook for future developments with respect to the global warming potential of electrical energy generation as well as the influence on the evaluation of technology chains in manufacturing is given.

Keywords: sustainable manufacturing, life cycle assessment, LCA, automotive industry, technology chains, ecological evaluation, evaluation methodology, transparency of consumptions

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