Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

First Advisor

Valerie Maier-Speredelozzi

Abstract

Over the last decades, there has been an increased interest in sustainability and it has become an important issue in production and manufacturing research. Referring to the definition by Brundtland, sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Keeble 1988). This idea of sustainability might be understood easily, but determining concrete goals and measurements continues to be challenging. For manufacturing companies, sustainable manufacturing is one way to decrease the environmental impact of their products.

In the literature, there are different approaches to assess sustainability. However, no approach aims to improve sustainability and costs since sustainability and cost reduction are often seen as conflictive and cannot be achieved at the same time. An overlap between cost reduction and sustainability can push companies to expend more effort in order to achieve long term business success while decreasing the environmental impact of their products.

This study presents a framework that aims to prove this overlap based on gathered data of a case study. Besides an assessment of the current state of manufacturing processes, alternative future state models are determined, which are more sustainable and decrease the costs of production.

All data gathered within this study was manipulated by a key multiplier to ensure the integrity of the manufacturer and does not represent the real manufacturing data.

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