TitleA conceptual model for assisting sustainable manufacturing through system dynamics
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsZhang, H, Calvo-Amodio, J, Haapala, KR
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Systems
Pagination543 - 549
KeywordsDecision making, Sustainable manufacturing, System dynamics, Systems thinking

Industry is confronted with the challenge of balancing economic and financial priorities against environmental and social responsibilities. Current methods are deficient in aiding proactive engineering management decision making and elucidating broader sustainability opportunities within manufacturing systems, often resulting in reactive decisions to circumvent fines, resource costs, or simply poor public perception. While these challenges are long recognized, research has focused on increasing efficiencies toward reducing costs and environmental burdens – individually and simultaneously – with cursory integration of social metrics. This work seeks to facilitate decision making by incorporating systems thinking into sustainable manufacturing assessment and to develop an understanding of the complex interplay of factors from the operational (micro) scale through the enterprise (macro) scale. In this research, a combined approach utilizing principles of sustainable manufacturing and systems thinking (in the form of systems dynamics) is explored, which leads to development of a conceptual model being explored in ongoing research.