CIRP Journal of Manufacturing Science and Technology vol:4 issue:2 pages:129-135
Manufacturing processes, as used for discrete part manufacturing, are responsible for a substantial part of the environmental impact of products, but are still poorly documented in terms of their environmental footprint. The lack of thorough analysis of manufacturing processes has as consequence that optimization opportunities are often not recognized and that improved machine tool design in terms of ecological footprint has only been targeted for a few common processes. To address these shortcomings, a worldwide consortium of universities and research institutes launched the CO2PE! – Initiative (Cooperative Effort on Process Emissions in Manufacturing) . This paper starts with an overview of the current shortcomings in terms of the coverage of production steps during LCA studies with existing tools. Further on, the CO2PE! - methodology used to analyze manufacturing unit processes is summarized and some initial case studies conducted at the K.U.Leuven, which allowed to identify significant improvement potential, are presented.