Redesign for sustainable manufacturing
Tutor / director / evaluatorVan Wunnik, Lucas Philippe
Document typeMaster thesis
Rights accessOpen Access
Sustainable manufacturing is becoming increasingly common and necessary among the different manufacturing industries around the world. It is essential to aim resources at improving the environmental, social and economic issues of manufacturing; if we, as a society, want to achieve a sustainable development. In this thesis project, two cast aluminium components are analysed throughout their product life cycle in order to know which life cycle stages should be targeted so as to improve their overall level of sustainability. These components belong to a product created by Vitsœ, a leading company in the furniture industry. The CES Edu Pack software has been used to conduct life cycle assessments and try to solve the challenge of finding the dominant life cycle phase. During the project, it has been discovered that the material life cycle phase is responsible for nearly 90% of the total energy consumption and CO2 emissions of the products life, so the next step in the project is finding ways to improve this life cycle phase’s sustainability. Relate to this issue, another big challenge in this project is finding ways to reduce the high embodied energy and CO2 emissions that come along with the aluminium industry. Consequently, in the project’s discussion and conclusion, different suggestions such as using new manufacturing systems like Wire-Arc Additive Manufacturing, redesigning the product, changing the product’s material or evaluating how recycled material affects the product life cycle, are analysed and presented; finding that these suggestions can be good strategies to follow.