Publications

  • Abstract

    One of the most prominent challenges commonly acknowledged by modern manufacturing industries is ‘how to produce more with fewer resources?’ Nowhere is this more true than in the food sector due to the recent concerns regarding the long-term availability and security of food products. The unique attributes of food products such as the need for fresh perishable ingredients, health risks associated with inappropriate production environment, stringent storage and distributions requirements together with relatively short post-production shelf-life makes their preparation, production and supply considerably different to other manufactured goods. Furthermore, the impacts of climate change on our ability to produce food, the rapidly increasing global population, as well as changes in demand and dietary behaviours both within developed and developing countries urgently demands a need to change the way we grow, manufacture and consume our food products. This paper discusses a number of key research challenges facing modern food manufacturers, including improved productivity using fewer resources, valorisation of food waste, improving the resilience of food supply chains, localisation of food production, and utilisation of new sustainable sources of nutrition for provision of customised food products.

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Guillermo García García , Jamie Stone , Patrick Webb , Aicha Jellil , Sandeep Jagtap , Pedro Gimenez-Escalante

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  • Abstract

    Manufacturing decisions are currently made based on considerations of cost, time and quality. However there is increasing pressure to also routinely incorporate environmental considerations into the decision making processes. Despite the existence of a number of tools for environmental analysis of manufacturing activities, there does not appear to be a structured approach for generating relevant environmental information that can be fed into manufacturing decision making. This research proposes an overarching structure that leads to three approaches, pertaining to different timescales that enable the generation of environmental information, suitable for consideration during decision making. The approaches are demonstrated through three industrial case studies.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Alessandro Simeone

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  • Optimising Industrial Food Waste Management 2017, Procedia Manufacturing

    Abstract

    Global levels of food waste are attracting growing concern and require immediate action to mitigate their negative ecological and socio-economic ramifications. In the developed world, of the order of 20-40% of food waste is generated at the manufacturing stage of supply chains and is often managed in non-optimised ways leading to additional environmental impacts. This research describes a novel decision-support tool to enable food manufacturers to evaluate a range of waste management options and identify the most sustainable solution. A nine-stage qualitative evaluation tool is used in conjunction with a number of quantitative parameters to assess industrial food waste, which is then used to generate performance factors that enable the evaluation of economic, environmental and social implications of a range of food-waste management alternatives. The applicability of this process in a software-based decision-support tool is discussed in the context of two industrial case studies.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Guillermo García García

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  • Abstract

    Clean-in-place (CIP) is a widely used technique applied to clean industrial equipment without disassembly. Cleaning protocols are currently defined arbitrarily from offline measurements. This can lead to excessive resource (water and chemicals) consumption and downtime, further increasing environmental impacts. An optical monitoring system has been developed to assist eco-intelligent CIP process control and improve resource efficiency. The system includes a UV optical fouling monitor designed for real-time image acquisition and processing. The output of the monitoring is such that it can support further intelligent decision support tools for automatic cleaning assessment during CIP phases. This system reduces energy and water consumption, whilst minimising non-productive time: the largest economic cost for CIP.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Alessandro Simeone

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  • Laser annealing of thin film CdTe solar cells using a 808 nm diode laser 2016, IEEE 43rd Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC), Portland, OR, 05 - 10th. Jun, pp. 2811-2816.

    Abstract

    We report on the effect of a new laser annealing treatment for thin film CdTe solar cells using a 808 nm diode laser. As-deposited, laser annealed and MgCl2 treated/laser annealed CdTe thin films have been analysed. One part of the work has been focused on understanding the efficacy of the activation treatment by laser annealing. The results show partial chlorine diffusion and associated partial re-crystallisation of the absorber. The second part of this work has been focused on the effect of the treatment on the chemical composition of the CdTe surface. It has been found that the process also contributes to the formation of a Te-rich layer on the surface of the CdTe absorber, which may provide a useful process to produce a back contact. This paper reveals the effect of the laser treatment on the micro-structural properties of the CdTe absorber material. The microstructure has been analysed using STEM/EDX, HRTEM and XRD. Further work is required to optimise the process but it has the potential to provide much greater control than current activation methods and also to provide a Te back contact suitable for CdTe solar cells.

    SMART authors: Elliot Woolley , Nick Goffin

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  • Abstract

    Polymers are ubiquitous in modern manufactured products. The potential detrimental impacts of their end-of-life disposal have stimulated significant increases in recycling rates. Recyclate purity is paramount; however this must be achieved with a positive net energy balance. Existing technologies for identification and separation of polymers are often both expensive and energy intensive. This paper investigates Infrared (IR) imaging to extract information on thermal properties of various product polymers within a recycling line. An intelligent decision making support system is enabled using neural network based pattern recognition for automatic polymer identification and classification. Potential energy savings versus current technologies are discussed.

    SMART authors: Elliot Woolley , Alessandro Simeone

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  • Innovative Manufacturing Technologies for Redistributed Manufacturing 2016, Food, Energy and Water Local Nexus Network

    Abstract

    This report aims to provide an overview of food technologies that could support the
    wider adoption and application of Re-Distributed Manufacturing (RDM) in the food
    sector, and has been developed as part of a series of feasibility studies under the
    umbrella of the ‘Food, Energy and Water Local Nexus Network’ (LNN) for RDM. The
    technologies include both traditional food processing technologies that could be
    reconfigured to be used in smaller scale and also a number of new emerging food
    technologies that currently may have limited commercial applications, but could
    provide significant potential in the context of RDM. These technologies are assessed
    against fourteen specifically defined criteria in order to identify their benefits and
    drawbacks for future applications of RDM.
     
    One of the main findings of this study has been that RDM, as an innovative
    production structure, necessitates further research, innovation and development
    (RID) in order to enable successful applications by food businesses. These RID
    activities could be categorised under three areas of process level, product level and
    system level innovations. In this context, a number of key research questions
    regarding future development of food technologies for small scale production
    systems are presented. Based on these, the report also presents a number of
    specific research challenges that need to be addressed in order to develop a viable
    and sustainable approach to the production of food products on smaller scales
    (redistributed) and closer to the source of consumption (localised), whilst preserving
    the safety and maintaining the quality of manufactured food.
     
    Finally, one of the main conclusions of this study is that increasing productivity,
    improving resilience and reducing waste are important considerations upon which
    the future of the UK food sector must be founded, and distributed manufacturing of
    our food products will play a vital role in the achievement of these goals.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Pedro Gimenez-Escalante

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  • A manufacturing approach to reducing consumer food waste 2016, Advances in Manufacturing Technology XXX: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Manufacturing Research

    Abstract

    Globally, one third of food produced is wasted. In the UK, 47% of the
    food waste is post-consumer revealing a need to encourage more efficient
    consumption. This research asserts that manufacturers and retailers can play a
    crucial role in minimising consumer food waste (CFW) through consumer
    engagement and provision of smart solutions that ensure more efficient use of food
    products. Supporting manufacturers and retailers to minimise CFW can be
    achieved via two stages: a) understanding and evaluating CFW, and b) identifying
    improvements to manufacturing and retail activities that would reduce CFW. Onsite
    waste audits have identified that the percentage of edible CFW from domestic
    environments (77%) is greater than that disposed of in public areas (14%)
    supporting the hypothesis that improving the full food provisioning process (e.g.
    packaging, storage, guidance) would be beneficial. This paper proposes a number
    of mechanisms to support manufacturing and retail in reducing CFW.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Guillermo García García , Aicha Jellil

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  • Abstract

    Increasing pressures on freshwater supplies, continuity of supply uncertainties, and costs linked to legislative compliance, such as for wastewater treatment, are driving water use reduction up the agenda of manufacturing businesses. A survey is presented of current analysis methods and tools generally available to industry to analyze environmental impact of, and to manage, water use. These include life cycle analysis, water footprinting, strategic planning, water auditing, and process integration. It is identified that the methods surveyed do not provide insight into the operational requirements from individual process steps for water, instead taking such requirements as a given. We argue that such understanding is required for a proactive approach to long-term water usage reduction, in which sustainability is taken into account at the design stage for both process and product. As a first step to achieving this, we propose a concept of water usage efficiency which can be used to evaluate current and proposed processes and products. Three measures of efficiency are defined, supported by a framework of a detailed categorization and representation of water flows within a production system. The calculation of the efficiency measures is illustrated using the example of a tomato sauce production line. Finally, the elements required to create a useable tool based on the efficiency measures are discussed

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Patrick Webb

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  • Abstract

    Clean-in-place systems are largely used in food industry for cleaning interior surfaces of equipment without disassembly. These processes currently utilise an excessive amount of resources and time, as they are based on an open loop (no feedback) control philosophy with process control dependent on conservative over estimation assumptions. This paper proposes a multi-sensor approach including a vision and acoustic system for clean-in-place monitoring, endowed with ultraviolet optical fluorescence imaging and ultrasonic acoustic sensors aimed at assessing fouling thickness within inner surfaces of vessels and pipeworks. An experimental campaign of Clean-in-place tests was carried out at laboratory scale using chocolate spread as fouling agent. During the tests digital images and ultrasonic signal specimens were acquired and processed extracting relevant features from both sensing units. These features are then inputted to an intelligent decision making support tool for the real-time assessment of fouling thickness within the clean-in-place system.

    SMART authors: Elliot Woolley , Alessandro Simeone

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  • A Methodology for Sustainable Management of Food Waste 2016, Waste and Biomass Valorization

    Abstract

    DOI 
    10.1007/s12649-016-9720-0
     
    As much as one-third of the food intentionally grown for human consumption is never consumed and is therefore wasted, with significant environmental, social and economic ramifications. An increasing number of publications in this area currently consider different aspects of this critical issue, and generally focus on proactive approaches to reduce food waste, or reactive solutions for more efficient waste management. In this context, this paper takes a holistic approach with the aim of achieving a better understanding of the different types of food waste, and using this knowledge to support informed decisions for more sustainable management of food waste. With this aim, existing food waste categorizations are reviewed and their usefulness are analysed. A systematic methodology to identify types of food waste through a nine-stage categorization is used in conjunction with a version of the waste hierarchy applied to food products. For each type of food waste characterized, a set of waste management alternatives are suggested in order to minimize environmental impacts and maximize social and economic benefits. This decision-support process is demonstrated for two case studies from the UK food manufacturing sector. As a result, types of food waste which could be managed in a more sustainable manner are identified and recommendations are given. The applicability of the categorisation process for industrial food waste management is discussed.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Guillermo García García

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  • Pickering Particles Prepared from Food Waste 2016, Materials, Special Issue Pickering Emulsion and Derived Materials

    Abstract

    In this paper, we demonstrate the functionality and functionalisation of waste particles as an emulsifier for oil-in-water (o/w) and water-in-oil (w/o) emulsions. Ground coffee waste was chosen as a candidate waste material due to its naturally high content of lignin, a chemical component imparting emulsifying ability. The waste coffee particles readily stabilised o/w emulsions and following hydrothermal treatment adapted from the bioenergy field they also stabilised w/o emulsions. The hydrothermal treatment relocated the lignin component of the cell walls within the coffee particles onto the particle surface thereby increasing the surface hydrophobicity of the particles as demonstrated by an emulsion assay. Emulsion droplet sizes were comparable to those found in processed foods in the case of hydrophilic waste coffee particles stabilizing o/w emulsions. These emulsions were stable against coalescence for at least 12 weeks, flocculated but stable against coalescence in shear and stable to pasteurisation conditions (10 min at 80 °C). Emulsion droplet size was also insensitive to pH of the aqueous phase during preparation (pH 3–pH 9). Stable against coalescence, the water droplets in w/o emulsions prepared with hydrothermally treated waste coffee particles were considerably larger and microscopic examination showed evidence of arrested coalescence indicative of particle jamming at the surface of the emulsion droplets. Refinement of the hydrothermal treatment and broadening out to other lignin-rich plant or plant based food waste material are promising routes to bring closer the development of commercially relevant lignin based food Pickering particles applicable to emulsion based processed foods ranging from fat continuous spreads and fillings to salad dressings.

    SMART authors: Guillermo García García

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  • Abstract

    CdTe-based thin film solar cells currently represent one of the fastest growing PV technologies, with a superior combination of efficiency, energy payback time and lifecycle environmental impact. However, the current post-deposition annealing treatment is still an energy intensive step of the manufacturing process. A novel method is presented for annealing of CdTe using a high-power diode laser (35 W, 808 nm) for thermal post-processing, combined with holographic optical elements (HOE’s) for laser beam heat flow control. The advantage of a laser for annealing lies in its ability to selectively heat only the surface of the CdTe solar cell; improving energy efficiency, process speed and energy resilience. Heat transfer simulations were used to predict the effects of different laser irradiance profiles on the annealing process thermal cycle influence the experimental design and predict optimal laser irradiance profiles. Variations in power and process speed on as-deposited and MgCl2-treated close-space sublimated (CSS) CdTe samples have been performed. The results were characterised using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Optical properties were analysed with a spectrophotometer and ellipsometric spectroscopy (SE). The laser annealing treatment was found to be effective in promoting Chlorine diffusion and improving the optical and morphological properties of CdTe thin film devices.

    SMART authors: Elliot Woolley , Nick Goffin

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  • Abstract

    The combustion of fossil fuels for energy generation has contributed considerably to the effects of climate change. In order to reduce fossil fuel consumption, designers are increasingly seeking to reduce the energy consumption of products over their life cycle. To achieve a significant reduction in energy consumption, it is essential that energy considerations are incorporated within the design phase of a product, since the majority a product's environmental impact is determined during this phase. This work proposes a new ‘Design for Energy Minimization’ (DfEM) approach, which is intended to provide increased transparency with respect to the energy consumed during manufacture in order to help inform design decisions. An energy simulation model based on this approach is then presented to aid designers during the design phase. The application of this novel design tool is demonstrated in two cases: That of a simple product (designed by a single Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) through a centralized approach); and a complex product (designed by a number of designers within a supply chain using a distributed approach). The subsequent benefits to energy minimization are then discussed and conclusions drawn.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Nick Goffin

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  • Optimized assembly design for resource efficient production in a multiproduct manufacturing system 2016, 10th CIRP Conference on Intelligent Computation in Manufacturing Engineering - CIRP ICME '16

    Abstract

    Resource efficiency is one of the greatest challenges for sustainable manufacturing. Material flow in manufacturing systems directly influences resource efficiency, financial cost and environmental impact. A framework for material flow assessment in manufacturing systems (MFAM) was applied to a complex multi-product manufacturing case study. This supported the identification of options to alter material flow through changes to the product assembly design, to improve overall resource efficiency through eliminating resource intensive changeovers. Alternative assembly designs were examined using a combination of intelligent computation techniques: k-means clustering, genetic algorithm and ant colony algorithm. This provided recommendations balancing improvement potential with extent of process modification impact.

    SMART authors: Elliot Woolley , James Colwill , Alessandro Simeone

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  • A Decision Support System for Waste Heat Recovery in Manufacturing 2016, CIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology

    Abstract

    One third of energy consumption is attributable to the industrial sector, with as much as half ultimately wasted as heat. Consequently, research has focused on technologies for harvesting this waste heat energy, however, the adoption of such technologies can be costly with long payback time. A decision support tool is presented which computes the compatibility of waste heat source(s) and sink(s), namely the exergy balance and temporal availability, along with economic and environmental benefits of available heat exchanger technologies to propose a streamlined and optimised heat recovery strategy. Substantial improvement in plant energy efficiency together with reduction in the payback time for heat recovery has been demonstrated in the included case study.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Alessandro Simeone

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  • Abstract

    The production and use of energy accounts for around 60% of global greenhouse gas (GHG)
     emissions, providing an intrinsic link between cause and effect. Considering that the manufacturing
     industry is responsible for roughly one-third of the global energy demand enforces the need to ensure
     that the manufacturing sector continually strives to reduce its reliance on energy and thus minimise
     GHG released into the atmosphere. Consequently, efficient management of energy consumption is of
     paramount importance for modern manufacturing businesses due to well-documented negative
     impact regarding energy generation from fossil fuels and rapidly rising worldwide energy costs. This
     has resulted in a proliferation of research in this area which has considered improvements in energy
     consuming activities at the enterprise, facility, cell, machine and turret levels. However, there is now a
     need to go beyond incremental energy efficiency improvements and take more radical approaches to
     reduce energy consumption. It is argued that the largest energy reduction improvements can be
     achieved through better design of production systems or by adopting new business strategies that
     reduce the reliance of manufacturing businesses on resource consumption. This chapter initially
     provides a review of research in energy management (EM) at various manufacturing focus levels. The
     inappropriateness of current methods to cater for transformative and radical energy reduction
     approaches is discussed. In particular, limitations are found at the business strategy level since no
     technique exists to consider the input of these high level decisions on energy consumption. The main
     part of the chapter identifies areas of further opportunity in energy management research, and
     describes a method to facilitate further reductions in energy use and GHG production in
     manufacturing at the business strategy level.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley

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  • Abstract

    Resource efficiency is recognized as one of the greatest sustainability challenges facing the manufacturing industry in the future. Materials are a resource of primary importance, making a significant contribution to the economic costs and environmental impacts of production. During the manufacturing phase the majority of resource efficiency initiatives and management methodologies have been concerned primarily with improvements measured on an economic basis. More recently, the need for even greater levels of resource efficiency has extended the scope of these initiatives to consider complete manufacturing and industrial systems at an economic and environmental level. The flow of materials at each system level relates directly to material efficiency, which in turn influences the consumption of other resources such as water and energy. Initial research by the authors in material efficiency focused on material flow, proposing a material flow assessment approach, comprising a systematic framework for the analysis of quantitative and qualitative flow in manufacturing systems. The framework was designed to provide greater understanding of material flow through identification of strengths, weaknesses, constraints and opportunities for improvement, facilitating the implementation of improvement measures for greater efficiency in both environmental and economic terms. This paper presents an extension of this work, applying the material flow assessment framework to a complex multi-product and multi-site manufacturing system scenario. It begins with a description of the Resource Efficient Scheduling (RES) tool that supports the implementation of this framework. The tool models the interactions of quantitative and qualitative material flow factors associated with production planning and the resulting impacts on resource efficiency. This provides a more detailed understanding of the economic and resource impacts of different production plans, enabling greater flexibility and the ability to make better informed decisions. Finally a case study is presented, highlighting the application of the tool and its potential benefits.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , James Colwill , Alessandro Simeone , Oliver Gould

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  • Abstract

    Accepted for publication. TBA.

    SMART authors: James Colwill , Liam Gardner

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  • Abstract

    Characterisation of Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) thin films commonly requires the use of invasive techniques for
    the identification of their structural growth and the detection of defects which occur during the deposition process.
    Structural growth and the presence of defects can affect the performance of the final device. A non-invasive
    inspection system for CdTe films has been developed to identify the structural properties of this material,
    comparing two different deposition techniques, Close Space Sublimation (CSS) and Magnetron Sputtering (MS).
    The proposed system utilises a 1 μm diode laser which passes through the CdTe layer, originating detectable
    diffraction patterns, which are characterised using image processing techniques and assessed using a neural
    network-based cognitive decision-making support system. Results are found to be consistent with the conventional
    microscopic techniques (SEM and TEM) used to analyse morphological and structural properties of thin-film CdTe
    solar cells.

    SMART authors: Elliot Woolley , Alessandro Simeone , Nick Goffin

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  • Abstract

    The ability to feed 9 billion people by 2050 will rely on processed foods being delivered through complex and dispersed international supply
    chains. Currently as much as a third of all food grown is lost as waste at various points along existing supply chains, with roughly half of food
    waste in the developed world occurring after purchase by the end consumer. For the long-term resilience of the food industry, and as holders of
    critical information, manufacturers need to play a part in reducing this waste. Using a novel method of food waste categorization, this research
    describes how the prevention of food waste for certain categories can be facilitated using a Smart Phone App that enables industrial inventory
    management for the domestic environment, providing the consumer with supporting information about food condition and appropriate
    preparation processes. Data availability issues and the benefits in terms of resource efficiency and consumer loyalty are discussed.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Guillermo García García

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  • Abstract

    Food supply chains face a number of unique vulnerabilities
    compared to other supply chains and there is concern that, as
    operating environment volatility increases, current “lean”
    supply chain management strategies may no longer be fit for
    purpose. There is a need to manage food supply chains in
    such a way that a return to the original state, or preferably an
    improved state, after being disturbed is possible. However,
    whilst the literature reveals a relatively large amount of work
    on resilience in supply chain management, there is poor
    consensus over how to define and implement a system of
    resilience, particularly one which takes into account food
    specific vulnerabilities. In response, this paper explores the
    current complexity of food supply chains, highlighting key
    dependencies, failure modes and key performance indicators.
    It then examines the interdependencies between capabilities
    and vulnerabilities in allowing balanced resilience and
    presents a framework to bring together and aid understanding
    of these factors across food supply chains.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Jamie Stone

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  • A Framework for a More Efficient Approach to Food Waste Management 2015, International Journal of Food Engineering

    Abstract

    A considerable amount of waste is generated in the food supply chains of both developing and developed countries. In an increasingly resource constrained world, it is imperative to reduce the high environmental, social and economic impacts associated with this type of waste. This necessitates the development and implementation of improved, targeted management practices. This paper discusses the various definitions and categorizations of food waste according to different international organizations, reviews the most up-to-date data on waste generated in the food supply chains as well as its environmental impact and assess the applicability of current waste management options. This analysis provides the basis for the development of a framework for increasing the effectiveness of food waste management practices through structured assessment and better informed selection of waste management methodologies for each food waste category. The usability of this novel framework is discussed.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Guillermo García García

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  • Abstract

    Modern industrial machining environments face new challenges in implementing process monitoring systems to improve energy efficiency
    whilst ensuring quality standards. A process monitoring methodology for tool state identification during milling of aluminium has been
    implemented through the utilisation of an infrared (IR) camera. A features extraction procedure, based on statistical parameters calculation, was applied to temperature data generated by the IR camera. The features were utilised to build a fuzzy c-means (FCM) based decision making support system utilising pattern recognition for tool state identification. The environmental benefits deriving from the application of the developed monitoring system, are discussed in terms of prevention of rework/rejected products and associated energy and material efficiency improvements.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Alessandro Simeone

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  • Abstract

    As resources become scarcer, efficiency improvements alone will not bridge the widening gap between supply and demand, resulting in the need for additional non-financial mechanisms to ensure the fairer allocation of resources. This paper asserts that, in the future, companies will need to demonstrate their products’ positive contribution to society as well as minimising their negative environmental/social impacts. A review and analysis of existing tools and assessment methodologies identifies current capabilities and highlights the need for 'Societal Value’ assessment that considers both quantitative and qualitative factors .This paper concludes by proposing a systematic framework for addressing the 'Societal Value’ of products as part of an integrated sustainability assessment and allows the evaluation and comparison beyond products’ shared functionality.

    SMART authors: James Colwill , Kei Lok Felix Shin

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  • Abstract

    Barwood, M., Li, J., Pringle, T., and Rahimifard, S., 2015, Utilisation of reconfigurable recycling systems for improved value recovery from e-waste, 22nd CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering, Sydney, Australia.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Jie Li , Michael Barwood , Tegan Pringle

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  • Abstract

    In the UK, 25% of final energy consumption is attributed to
    the industrial sector (DECC, 2013) which also accounts for one
    third of the electricity consumption. However it is estimated
    that between 20 to 50 percent of industrial energy consumption
    is ultimately wasted as heat (Johnson et al., 2008). Unlike
    material waste that is clearly visible, waste heat can be difficult
    to identify and evaluate both in terms of quantity and quality.
    Hence by being able to understand the availability of waste
    heat, and the ability to recover it, there is an opportunity to
    reduce energy costs and associated environmental impacts. This
    research describes the design of a novel framework that aids
    manufacturers in making decisions regarding the most suitable
    solution to recover Waste Heat Energy (WHE) from their
    activities. The framework consists of four major sections: 1)
    survey of waste heat sources in a facility; 2) assessment of
    waste heat quantity and quality; 3) selection of appropriate
    technology; 4) decision making and recommendations. In order
    to support the implementation of the framework within the
    manufacturing industry, an associated software tool is
    discussed. 
     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Alessandro Simeone , Yang Luo

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  • A Framework for Material Flow Assessment In Manufacturing Systems 2015, Journal of Industrial and Production Engineering

    Abstract

    Improving material efficiency is widely accepted as one of the key challenges facing manufacturers in the future. Increasing material consumption is having detrimental impacts on the environment as a result of their extraction, processing and disposal. It is clear that radical improvements in material efficiency are required to avoid further environmental damage and sustain the manufacturing sector. Current resource management approaches are predominantly used to improve material consumption solely in economic terms. Meanwhile, environmental assessment methodologies can determine sources of significant environmental impact related to a product; however, a methodology to effectively assess material efficiency in production systems is currently not available. This paper highlights the benefits of material flow modelling within manufacturing systems to support advances in increased material efficiency, proposing a framework for ‘material flow assessment in manufacturing’ that promotes greater understanding of material flow and flexibility to explore innovative options for improvement.

    SMART authors: James Colwill , Oliver Gould

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  • Abstract

    Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans at 30 °C and Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans at 47 °C were selected from a preliminary screening of various acidophiles for their ferric iron reduction capacities during anaerobic, autotrophic growth on sulfur. The selected cultures were used with a polymetallic sulfide ore under anoxic conditions to demonstrate enhanced solubilization of iron during leaching in shaken flasks and enhanced removal of iron from laboratory ore-leaching columns, compared to leaching with continuous aeration. Ore-associated, ferric iron-rich precipitates, which were formed under previously oxidizing conditions, were a potential influence on extraction of target metals and percolation through ore columns and were available as the source of ferric iron for anaerobic sulfur oxidation. Over twice as much iron was removed by moderate thermophiles when anoxic phases were introduced during the leaching. Enhanced removal of iron and some improvement in extraction of base metals from ore fragments were also demonstrated with a selected “Sulfolobus”-like strain during growth and leaching with alternating periods of aeration and anoxic conditions at 70 °C.

    SMART authors: Oliver Gould

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  • Incorporating Value Assessment in Sustainable Product Design Tools 2014, Gulf Research Meeting: Workshop 13: Addressing the Sustainability Agenda in the Gulf Region

    Abstract

    Sustainability encompasses three elements; economic, social and environmental. Sustainable development aims to reduce impacts of all three elements. Currently, there are a number of tools for assessing products’ sustainable impact and improving their performances. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is one of the more commonly used tools for such purpose. LCA is used for assessing environmental impacts associated with all the phases of a product's life from cradle-to-grave (raw material extraction, manufacturing, distribution, use, and end-of-life). Similar tools were developed to assess economic and social impacts, such as life cycle costing (LCC) and Social-LCA (S-LCA).

    However, these tools compare products on the basis of shared functionality (A functional Unit), for example when comparing a pen and a pencil a functional unit that prescribes ‘the drawing of a line 20km in length’, will have to ignore other non-shared functions such as permanence, fragility, etc. As the corresponding shared functionality decreases, so the validity of any comparison becomes weaker, such as the comparison between a horse and a car as a mode of transport. Furthermore, while sustainability improvements can be achieved using these tools; they are generally limited to reducing the negative impacts and optimising efficiencies at each stage of the life cycle and ignore the potential benefits of increased functionality and positive benefits.

    This paper proposes that a fairer and more accurate assessment of a product would include its positive impacts ‘value’ at an individual and societal level. Furthermore, consider the ‘value’ of a product as well as its environmental, social and economic impacts would provide a much fairer basis on which to allocate resources in a resource constrained future where difficult decisions will inevitably have to be made.

    This research has particular relevance in supporting strategic planning decisions aimed at increasing future resilience in manufacturing companies. At present, sustainable assessing tools offer little or none in value assessment, particularly during the use phase of products. The research presented in this paper indicates that the measurement and assessment of these positive benefits will be a key decision factor in a resource critical future, where decisions will be made based on the inherent value of products, providing a more socially equitable and responsible way of distributing resources. This paper reports specifically on the addition of this value consideration in product assessment within the UK toy industry, however it is clear that these findings have a broader significance across all manufacturing industries and geographic regions. 

     

    SMART authors: James Colwill , Kei Lok Felix Shin

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  • Rare Earth Elements - A Barrier to Renewable Energy Generation 2014, Gulf Research Meeting: Workshop 13: Addressing the Sustainability Agenda in the Gulf Region

    Abstract

    As global demand for petrochemical products increases and competes for finite oil resources currently exploited as an energy source, the need for the energy mix to include renewable generation is ever more acute. Naturally abundant solar, wind, geothermal and tidal energy can be used to generate electricity using renewable technologies; however, a major barrier to this is the availability of materials required to manufacture. One group of metals, commonly known as Rare Earth Elements (REE) are frequently contained as functional materials in renewable technologies including solar cells. A reliable and sustainable supply of REE is therefore critical for renewable energy generation.

    REE comprise seventeen chemical elements, the fifteen lanthanides plus scandium and yttrium. Despite their name, rare earth elements are abundant in the Earth's crust; however, REE are typically widely dispersed and found in low concentrations that are not economically exploitable. Global demand for REE is increasing exponentially due to their use in a plethora of consumables and industrial applications together with increasing demand from rapidly industrialising countries. Current uses for REE include: permanent magnets, batteries, catalysts, computer memory and lighting to name but a fraction. Global supply of REE originates from very few countries, mainly China,  who provide over 90% of the global supply and have recently implemented export restrictions including quotas and taxes. Many factors currently limit the supply of REE. Environmentally damaging extraction processes combined with competition for land-use mean that there are many restrictions on mining operations around the world. As relatively high-grade deposits become exhausted and lower-grade deposits are exploited, the energy demand for extraction increases. Sometimes REE are deposited as trace elements within other commercially extracted minerals; here the REE are a commercial by-product of the primary ore extraction. Therefore, the supply of REE extracted in this manner fluctuates depending upon extraction of the primary ore. Long lead-times to set up new mining operations mean that increased REE demand cannot be quickly met, leading to a significant time-lag between variation in demand and the reaction of supply. Global demand is growing but supplies are not guaranteed therefore prices are rising sharply and will continue do so. There is rarely a simple substitution of REE for another material. Less than 1% of REE are currently recycled. Recycling REE reduces consumption of energy, chemicals and reduces emissions in the primary processing chain. Most recycling processes have a high net-benefit concerning air emissions, groundwater protection, acidification, eutrophication and climate protection. A more efficient option than recycling is the remanufacture of components and products that contain REE. This research investigates the current and future use of REE and their application in technologies such as renewable energies. The aim is to facilitate a sustainable supply of REE for manufacturers through the use of strategies such as the reuse, refurbishment, remanufacture and recycling of components and materials.

    SMART authors: James Colwill , Liam Gardner

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  • Abstract

    In the UK, 25% of final energy consumption is attributed to the industrial sector (DECC, 2013) which also accounts for one third of the electricity consumption. However it is estimated that between 20 to 50 percent of industrial energy consumption is ultimately wasted as heat (Johnson et al., 2008). Unlike material waste that is clearly visible, waste heat can be difficult to identify and evaluate both in terms of quantity and quality. Hence by being able to understand the availability of waste heat, and the ability to recover it, there is an opportunity to reduce energy costs and associated environmental impacts. This research describes the design of a novel framework that aids manufacturers in making decisions regarding the most suitable solution to recover Waste Heat Energy (WHE) from their activities. The framework consists of four major sections: 1) survey of waste heat sources in a facility; 2) assessment of waste heat quantity and quality; 3) selection of appropriate technology; 4) decision making and recommendations. In order to support the implementation of the framework within the manufacturing industry, an associated software tool is discussed.

    SMART authors: Yang Luo

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  • Abstract

    Experimental cutting tests on C45 carbon steel turning were performed for sensor fusion based monitoring of chip form through cutting force components and radial displacement measurement. A Principal Component Analysis algorithm was implemented to extract characteristic features from acquired sensor signals. A pattern recognition decision making support system was performed by inputting the extracted features into feed-forward back-propagation neural networks aimed at single chip form classification and favourable/unfavourable chip type identification. Different neural network training algorithms were adopted and a comparison was proposed.

    SMART authors: Alessandro Simeone

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  • Evolution in Ecodesign and Sustainable Design Methodologies 2013, 20th International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE13)

    Abstract

    The majority of the environmental impact of a product is decided during the design phase, and as such there has been a rapid growth in generation of methodologies and tools that aim to improve design and include sustainability considerations in product development. Although these methodologies and tolls and have introduced measurable benefits, in most cases they have been incremental in nature as opposed to producing radical `Factor X` improvements. The highlights the need for a careful analysis of existing sustainable design methods to identify their shortcomings and to enable a greater understanding of ecodesign and its extension into sustainable design improvement. This paper provides a brief overview of the evolution of ecodesign and its extension into sustainable design. It assesses the key influencing factors of current practice and identifies a number of future research challenges, promoting the next stage in its development in which sustainability will become a ubiquitous part of the design process.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Leila Sheldrick

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  • How to Manufacture a Sustainable Future for 9 Billion People in 2050 2013, 20th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE13)

    Abstract

    There is a growing body of evidence which increasingly points to serious and irreversible ecological consequences if current unsustainable manufacturing practices ad consumption patterns continue. Recent years have seen a rising awareness leading to the generation of both national and international regulations, resulting in modest improvements in manufacturing practices. These incremental changes however are not making the necessary progress toward eliminating or even reversing the environmental impacts of global industry. Therefore, a fundamental research question is `how can future of manufacturing industry` A common approach adopted in such cases is to utilize exercises to develop a number of alternative future scenarios to aid with long-term strategic planning. This paper presents the results of one such study to create a set of `SMART Manufacturing Scenarios` for 2050.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , James Colwill , Leila Sheldrick

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  • Extending the Boundaries of Energy Management for Assessing Manufacturing Business Strategies 2013, Proceedings of the 11th Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing- Innovative Solutions

    Abstract

    Manufacturers are responsible for about one third of global energy demand, and thus have a responsibility for reducing their reliance on rapidly depleting non-renewable energy sources. Consequently, a plethora of research has arisen to develop novel ways of improving energy efficiency in factories by focusing on changes to energy intensive production processes and other energy using systems that support manufacturing activities. However, the ultimate goal of manufacturing companies is to maximise profit by refining their business strategy, highlighting the importance of assessing the impact of different business strategies on energy demand. Therefore, one of the key research challenges is to assign anticipated energy demand to various decisions within a business. This paper presents a hierarchical approach to attribute the potential energy demand of manufacturing activities to alternative business decisions, thus informing selection of the most energy efficient business strategies. 

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley , Leila Sheldrick

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  • Simulation of Energy Consumption in the Manufacture of a Product 2013, International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing

    Abstract

    Energy rationalisation, the elimination of unnecessary energy consumption, is becoming increasingly important in a resource constrained world. The use of energy is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and much research has been done to reduce energy use in manufacturing. So as to enable the rationalisation of energy consumption, it is essential that it is understood where energy is being used. This paper describes the design and implementation of a simulation model that has been generated to support the modelling of energy consumption within manufacturing systems. The simulation model allows various ‘what-if’ scenarios to be investigated thereby enabling engineers to understand the impact of various manufacturing parameters on energy consumption and thus reduce reliance on energy and the production of greenhouse gas emissions.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Elliot Woolley

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  • Impact of the use of Renewable Materials on the Eco-Efficiency of Manufacturing Processes 2013, Journal of plastics, rubber and composites: Macromolecular Engineering

    Abstract

    The use of renewable materials has attracted interest from a wide range of manufacturing industries looking to reduce their environmental and carbon footprints. As such, the development and use of biopolymers has been largely driven by their perceived environmental benefits over conventional polymers. However, often these environmental claims, when challenged, are lacking in substance. One reason for this is the lack of quality data for all life cycle stages. This applies to the manufacturing stages of packaging, otherwise known as ‘packaging conversion’, where for certain product/production types, a reduction in energy consumption of 25–30% from lower processing temperatures can be offset by an increase in pressure, cycle times and reject rates. The ambiguity of the overall environmental benefit achieved during this stage of the life cycle, when this is the main driver for their use, highlights the need for a clearer understanding of impact that such materials have on the manufacturing processes.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , James Colwill

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  • Strategic Decision Making for End-of-Life Management of Fuel Cells 2012, 19th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE12)

    Abstract

    Fuel cells offer attractive possibilities for efficiency generation across many applications. Within the context of Extended Producer Responsibility legislation and increasing concerns regarding material scarcity and waste, it is important that preparation for end-of-life management of the technology is made, prior to mass commercialization. Using a case study approach, life cycle environmental impact assessment, cost analysis and evaluation of legislative requirements are shown to support strategic development of end-of-life strategies for fuel cells. The findings highlight how the early identification of priorities for recycling of high impact, high value materials may help to avoid future detrimental impacts at end-of-life.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Bio-plastics in the Context of Competing Demands on Agricultural Land in 2050 2012, International Journal of Sustainable Engineering

    Abstract

    Recent trends in the bio-plastics industry indicate a rapid shift towards the use of bio-derived conventional plastics such as polyethylene (bio-PE). Whereas historically a significant driver for bio-plastics development has been their biodegradability, the adoption of plastics such as bio-PE is driven by the renewability of the raw materials from which they are produced. The production of these renewable resources requires the use of agricultural land, which is limited in its availability. Land is also an essential requirement for food production and is becoming increasingly important for fuel production. The research presented in this paper envisages a situation, in the year 2050, where all plastics and liquid fuels are produced from renewable resources. Through the development of different consumption and productivity scenarios, projected using current and historic data, the feasibility of meeting global demands for food, liquid fuels and plastics is investigated, based on total agricultural land availability. A range of results, comparing low-to-high consumption with low-to-high productivity, are reported. However, it is from the analysis of the mid-point scenario combinations, where consumption and productivity are both moderate, that the most significant conclusions can be drawn. It is clear that while bio-plastics offer attractive opportunities for the use of renewable materials, development activities to 2050 should continue to focus on the search for alternative feed stocks that do not compete with food production, and should prioritise the efficient use of materials through good design and effective end-of-life management.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , James Colwill

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  • A holistic Approach to Design Support for Bio-Polymer Based Packaging 2012, Journal of Polymers and the Environment

    Abstract

    The growing interest in bio-polymers as a packaging material, particularly from companies looking to reduce their environmental footprint, has resulted in wider adoption. Traditionally the selection and specicification of packaging materials was based on aesthetic, technical and financial factors, for which established metrics exist. 

    However with bio-polymers, where the primary rationale for their use is environmental, alternative metrics are required. Furthermoe, there is a significant stratgeic element to the decision process that requires a broader range of horizontal and vertical inputs, both within the business and the wider supply chain. It is therefore essential that a holistic approach is taken to the bio-polymer based packaging design process to ensure that the final packaging meets the original strategic intent and overall requirements of the business. Current ecopackaging design tools are generally limited to professional users, such as designers or packing engineers, and generally provide tactical rather than strategic support. This disconnect, between the need for inclusivity and greater strategic support in holistic design, and the exclusivity and largely tactical support of current eco-design support tools, indicates a clear need for a new decision support tool for sustainable pack design using bio-polymers. 

    This paper proposes a framework for an eco-design decision support tool for bio-polymer based packaging that has been developed using a predominantly qualitative research approach based on reviews, interviews and industrial packaging design experience and is an extension of previously published work. This research investigatesfurther how existing eco-design methods, such as the 'Balanced score card', can be applied within the tool and how the shortcomings associated with incorporating social and environmental aspects can be partly resolved, through a simplified set of metrics tailored specifically for bio-polymer packaging decisions. The results of this research is a framework for the development of a three tier eco-design tool for bio-polymer packaging that provides decision support at the three critical stages of the design process: stratgic fit, Feasbility assessment and concept/pack development. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , James Colwill

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  • Reduction of Water Consumption Within Manufacturing Applications 2012, 19th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE12)

    Abstract

    The freshwater consumption within domestic, agricultural, and industrial sectors has significantly increased over the last two decades, resulting in severe shortages particularly in many arid regions. The manufacturing industry consumes between 20-40% of annual freshwater abstracted in various developed countries. The challenges in efficient use of water are exacerbated by lack of transparency in water usage and waste management in majority of existing manufacturing applications, in particular within SMEs. This paper outlines an integrated methodology for systematic modelling of water consumption within manufacturing applications, and describes a simulation tool developed to improve water usage efficiency.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , Madhu Sachidananda

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  • Abstract

    The use of automated product recycling based upon fragmentation and separation processes is rapidly increasing due to the high economic feasibility. Air-classifiers are key low-cost technologies employed in these processes; however their efficiency can be highly variable due to inhomogeneous particle sizes as separation largely relies upon the difference in particle terminal velocity. In this paper a pulsing aircolumn classifier is introduced in which particles are constantly accelerated and decelerated to provide higher separation efficiency regardless of particle sizes. Experimentation with inhomogeneous granulated leather, foam and rubber from footwear waste products demonstrates a separation improvement of 10–25% compared to existing technologies and ability to reclaim rubber with above 90% purity.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • An Air-Based Automated Material Recycling System for Postconsumer Footwear Products 2012, Journal of Resources Conservation and Recycling

    Abstract

    The worldwide consumption of footwear is estimated to be in excess of 20 billion pairs of shoes per year. To date very little work has been done to develop material recycling solutions for mixed footwear products. In fact less than 5% of end-of-life shoes are being recycled, with most being disposed of in landfill sites around the globe. One of the primary reasons is that most modern footwear products contain a complex mixture of leather, rubber, textile, polymers and metallic materials, that makes it difficult to perform complete separation and reclamation of material streams in an economically sustainable manner. This paper discusses the development of an economically feasible automated material recycling process for mixed postconsumer footwear waste. Central to this process are bespoke air-based separation technologies that separate granulated shoe particles based upon the difference in size and weight. Experimental studies with three different types of postconsumer footwear products show that it is possible to reclaim four usable material streams; leathers, textiles, foams and rubbers. For each of the reclaimed materials there are a vareity of applications such as surfacing materials, insulation boards and underlay products. 

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Improving Product Design Based on Energy Considerations 2011, Proceedings of the 18th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE11)

    Abstract

    The industrial sector consumes a significant amount of the world’s energy supply; the rationalisation of energy consumption would provide the most effective method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions attributed to manufacturing and use of products. Energy consumed across the various stages of a product’s lifecycle varies significantly depending on the product design and its application. In non-energy using products such as furniture, food, and clothing, the material preparation and production phases represent a significant proportion of energy consumption over the product lifecycle. This paper proposes a new design methodology targeted at these products to minimise energy consumption during ‘production’ phase. 

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Eco-Design Tool to Support the use of Renewable Polymers Within Packaging Applications 2011, Proceedings of the 18th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE11)

    Abstract

    Bioplastics derived from renewable polymers such as sugars, starches and cellulose, have attracted significant interest from companies looking to reduce their environmental footprint. New production capacity and improved materials have resulted in their increasing adoption for mainstream consumer products packaging. However questions remain regarding their overall environmental benefits and how the maximum environmental gain can be achieved. These uncertainties highlight the need for a decision support tool to aid the packaging design process. This paper examines the issues surrounding bio-derived polymer use and discusses the development of an eco-design tool to assist in their rapid and efficient adoption.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , James Colwill

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  • A Framework for Modelling Energy Consumption Within Manufacturing Systems 2011, CIRP Journal of Manufacturing Science and Technology

    Abstract

    Energy is an inextricable part of life in the 21st century, thus its availability and utilisation will become increasingly important with the concerns over climate change and the escalation in worldwide population. This highlights the need for manufacturing businesses to adopt the concept of ‘lean energy’ based on the use of the most energy efficient processes and activities within their production facilities. The energy consumption in manufacturing facilities can be reduced by either using more efficient technologies and equipment, and/or through improved monitoring and control of energy used in infrastructure and technical services. The research reported in this paper adopts a novel approach to modelling energy flows within a manufacturing system based on a ‘product’ viewpoint, and utilises the energy consumption data at ‘plant’ and ‘process’ levels to provide a breakdown of energy used during production.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Development of an Economically Sustainable Recycling Process for the Footwear Sector 2010, Proceedings of the 17th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE10)

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Minimisation of Energy Consumption Within Manufacturing Systems 2010, Proceedings of the 43rd CIRP International Conference on Manufacturing Systems 2010: Sustainable Production and Logistics in Global Networks

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    Green sources of power generation and efficient management of energy demand are among the greatest challenges facing manufacturing businesses. A significant proportion of energy used in manufactuirng is currently generated through fossil fuels. Therefore in the foreseeable future, the rationalistion of nergy consumption still provides the greatest opportunity for the reduction of greenhouse gases. A novel approach to energy efficient manufacturing is proposed through modelling the detailed breakdown of energy required to produce a single product. This approach provides greater transparency on energy inefficiencies throughout a manufacturing system and enables a 20-50% reduction of energy consumption through combined improvements in production and product design. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Opportunities for Bio-Polymer Resource Conservation Through Closed Loop Recycling 2009, Proceedings of GPEC 2010 on Sustainability & Recycling: Raising the Bar in Today's Economy

    Abstract

    Oil-derived plastics have become well established as a packaging material over the past 75 years due to their many technical and commercial advantages. However, the disposal of plastic packaging waste, a large proportion of which still goes to landfill, continues to raise increasing environmental concerns. Meanwhile, the price of oil continues to rise as demand outstrips supply. In response, biodegradable polymers made from renewable resources have risen to greater prominence, with a variety of materials currently being developed from plant starch, cellulose, sugars and proteins. Whilst the polymer science continues apace, the real ecological impacts and benefits of these materials remain uncertain. Although life cycle assessment (LCA) has been used to provide comparisons with oil-derived plastics, published studies are often limited in scope, allowing the validity of their conclusions to be challenged. The literature appears to support the popular assumption that the end-of-life management of these materials requires little consideration, since their biodegradable properties provide inherent ecological benefits. Opportunities for conserving resources through the recycling of biopolymers are rarely addressed. Through a review of current academic, industrial and commercial progress in the field of biopolymers, a number of LCA case studies are proposed which will address this weakness in existing research, related to the recycling of biopolymers. These, or similar, studies are required to provide a more complete picture of the potential effects of a transition from non-renewable to renewable polymers, thus allowing material selection decisions to be made with greater confidence throughout the packaging supply chain.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard , James Colwill

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  • Abstract

    Ongoing development of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology coincides with a rapid increase in legislation aiming to control the environmental impacts of products across their life cycle. A risk-based method is used to explore the potential future impacts of this body of legislation on the technology. Legislation controlling the use of hazardous materials is one area of significance. Under the new European REACH Regulation some nickel compounds, used widely throughout general industry but also in the fabrication of anode structures, may fall under the classification of a substance of very high concern (SVHC) in future, which presents a risk of restrictions being placed on their continued use. This risk must drive the development of alternative anode materials, or requires the SOFC industry to identify a socio-economic argument justifying exemption from any future restrictions. A legislative trend establishing recycling requirements for end-of-life products is also identified as having a potential future impact on the technology. Recycling strategies for SOFC products must be considered, prior to commercialisation. It is proposed that failure to meet these future environmental requirements may be detrimental to the perception of SOFC technology, the demand for which is substantially driven by the environmental benefits offered over incumbent power generation technologies. The consideration of these issues in the design of commercial products will mitigate this risk.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    The ever-increasing amount of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has become a common problem due to the significant environmental and health impacts associated with inappropriate End-of-Life (EoL) management. The current ad hoc applications of WEEE recycling are often based on limited knowledge and cannot cope with the complex range of materials and products in such waste. A knowledge-based approach has been utilised to investigate the realisation of a recycling process planner which aims to determine the most suitable EoL options for WEEE. A number of case studies have been used to show that a 20–30% improvement on economical and environmental performance could be achieved through adoption of such a systematic approach to recycling process planning.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Barriers, Drivers, and Challenges for Sustainable Product Recovery and Recycling 2009, Special issue of International Journal of Sustainable Engineering

    Abstract

    There has been a significant growth in research and applications of product recovery and recycling over the last two decades, in particular with the view of recent product take-back legislation which has extended the responsibility of manufacturers to include the recovery and safe disposal of their products. However, at present, the global scale of product recovery applications is significantly disproportional to the total manufacturing output. Hence, to achieve the idealistic goal of ‘zero landfill’, there is a need to significantly improve and extend both the scale of product recovery activities and the range of manufacturing applications in which such activities have yet to be implemented. This paper examines a range of barriers, drivers and challenges in research and development for the next generation of product recovery initiatives. A range of existing applications and case studies undertaken for the UK market has been used to analyse issues related to: the need for improvement and expansion of current legislation on producer responsibility; product take-back and reverse logistic models for collection of used products; knowledge-based approaches for end-of-life considerations during the design phase; improved technologies and increased automation in pre- and post-fragmentation recycling processes and most importantly, the requirement for sustainable business models for establishing value recovery chains which can be based on the provision of services rather than products. The paper concludes by summarising the results of this analysis to bridge the gap between existing and future sustainable solutions for product recovery.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Analytical Methods for Waste Minimisation in the Convenience Food Industry 2009, International Journal of Integrated Waste Management

    Abstract

    Waste creation in some sectors of the food industry is substantial, and while much of the used material is non-hazardous and biodegradable, it is often poorly dealt with and simply sent to landfill mixed with other types of waste. In this context, overproduction wastes were found in a number of cases to account for 20-40% of the material wastes generated by convenience food manufacturers (such as ready-meals and sandwiches), often simply just to meet the challenging demands placed on the manufacturer due to the short order reaction time provided by the supermarkets. Identyfying specific classes of waste helps to minimise their creation, through consideration of what the materials constitute and why they were generated. This paper aims to provide means by which food industry wastes can be identified, and demonstrate these mechanisms through a practical example. The research reported in this paper investigated the various categories of waste and generated three analytical methods for the support of waste minimisation activities by food maufacturers. The waste classficiations and analyses are intended to complement exisiting waste minimisation approaches and are described through consideration of a case study convenience manufacturer that realised significant financial savings through waste measurement analysis and reduction. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Modelling of Post-Fragmentation Waste Stream Processing Within UK Shredder Facilities, 2009, International Journal of Integrated Waste Management

    Abstract

    With the introduction of producer responsibility legislation within the UK (i.e waste electrical and electronic equipment directive and end-of-life vehicles directive), specific recycling and recovery targets have been imposed to improve the sustainability of end-of-life products. With the introduction of these targets, and the increases investment in pos-fragmentation facilities, automated material separation technologies are playing an integral role within the UK's end-of-life waste management strategy. Post-fragmentation facilities utilise a range of purification technologies that target certain material attributes (e.g. density, magnetism, volume) to isolate materials from the shredded waste stream. High ferrous prices have historically meant that UK facilities have been primarily interested in recovering iron and steel, establishing processing routes that are very effective at removing these material types, but as a consequence are extremely rigid and inflexible. With the proliferation of more exotic materials within end-of-life products, combined with more stringent recycling targets, there is therefore a need to optimise the current aste reclamation processes to better realise effort-to-value returns. 

    This paper provides a background as to the current post-fragmentation processing adopted within the UK, and describes the development of a post-fragmentation modelling approach, capable of simulating the value-added processing that a piece of automated separation equipment can have on a fragmented waste stream. These include the modelling of the inefficiences of the technology, the effects of material entanglement on separation, determination of typical material sizing and an appreciation for compositional value. The implementation of this approach within a software decision-suuport system is described, before the limitations, calibration and further validation of the approach are discussed. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • KEYNOTE PAPER: Barriers, Drivers and Challenges for Sustainable Product Recovery and Recycling 2008, Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing (FAIM 2008)

    Abstract

    There has been a significant growth in research and applications of product recovery and recycling over the last two decades, in particular with the view of recent product take-back legislation which has extended the responsibility of manufacturers to include the recovery and safe disposal of their products. However, at present, the global scale of product recovery applications is significantly disproportional to the total manufacturing output. Hence, to achieve the idealistic goal of ‘zero landfill’, there is a need to significantly improve and extend both the scale of product recovery activities and the range of manufacturing applications in which such activities have yet to be implemented. This paper examines a range of barriers, drivers and challenges in research and development for the next generation of product recovery initiatives. A range of existing applications and case studies undertaken for the UK market has been used to analyse issues related to: the need for improvement and expansion of current legislation on producer responsibility; product take-back and reverse logistic models for collection of used products; knowledge-based approaches for end-of-life considerations during the design phase; improved technologies and increased automation in pre- and post-fragmentation recycling processes and most importantly, the requirement for sustainable business models for establishing value recovery chains which can be based on the provision of services rather than products. The paper concludes by summarising the results of this analysis to bridge the gap between existing and future sustainable solutions for product recovery.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    Technological innovation and shorter product life cycles of electrical and electronic equipment coupled with their rapidly growing applications have resulted in the generation of an enormous amount of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). To address the potential environmental problems that could stem from improper end‐of‐life management of WEEE, many countries have drafted national legislation to improve the reuse, remanufacture and material recycling from WEEE, and to reduce the amount of such waste going to landfills. With the introduction of such legislation comes an increased need for the recovery operators to evaluate the recycling costs and environmental benefits of reclaimed products and materials in order to select the most appropriate end‐of‐life options for individual products in WEEE. This paper presents a systematic methodology for ecological and economical assessment to provide a holistic understanding of the impacts associated with different end‐of‐life options for such waste. This assessment, in addition to providing decision‐support for the selection of the best possible end‐of‐life option for a particular product in WEEE, could also generate vital information to support the design and material selection processes during the initial product development activities. The assertion made is that the detailed considerations of the ecological and economical impacts associated with different end‐of‐life options will significantly improve the recovery and recycling of WEEE.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • An Integrated Framework for Planning of Recycling Activities in Electrical and Electronic Sector 2008, International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing

    Abstract

    In Europe 7.3 million tonnes of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) were created in 2002, and the fact that growth rate of WEEE is 3-5% per annum with a significant amount of this waste used to be dumped into landfills without any pre-treatment, has resulted in the introduction of European WEEE directive. The directive requires companies who manufacture or import electrical and electronic equipment to take financial and legal responsibility for its environmental-friendly recovery and recycling. The current recycling applications of WEEE are often developed on ad hoc basis and mainly attributable to the hidden economic value within used products. However, at present the recycling facilities are faced with the challenge to improve WEEE recycling activities to ensure that a larger proportion of components and materials are being recovered at a reasonable cost and yet at the same time legislative requirements are being met. A major assertion made in the research reported in this paper is that a systematic framework is needed to aid the decision making involved in adopting the best possible end-of-life strategies for WEEE. The paper presents one such integrated framework for the planning of the processes involved in the recycling of WEEE. Based on this framework a Computer-Aided Recycling Process Planning (CARPP) system which generates bespoke recycling process plans for WEEE has been developed which is also described and its functionality demonstrated using a typical WEEE product. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • A Cost Estimation Framework to Support Increased Value Recovery from End-of-Life Vehicles 2008, International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing

    Abstract

    The imminent introduction of the European Directive relating to the recovery and recycling of two million end-of-life vehicles per annum has resulted in significant developments and changes within the UK vehicles recovery chain. The economic ramifications of this conformance have left many end-of-life stakeholders in a uniquely different market, based on contract negotiations, investment, and very challenging targets. The archaic and reactive nature of the recovery industry has meant that the demands of being part of the extended enterprice have never been present, and as such waste reduction and value improvement have never been major industry concerns. With th introduction of this legislation comes an increased need for the recovery chain to understand the economics of its own operations, to better support any investment or processing decisions within the new market. This paper provides and overview to the stakeholders and their rlelationships within th UK recovery chain, and discusses the development of an end-of-life vehicle costing framework based on the current direct and indirect costs and revenues affecting vehicles retirement, to facilitate increased value recovery to an array of end-of-life operators. Each of the costing techniques adopted or developed within the framework are then further discussed, before the intended industrial applications of the framework is highlighted. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    Many manufacturing organizations while doing business either directly or indirectly with other industrial sectors often encounter interoperability problems among software systems. This increases the business cost and reduces the efficiency. Research communities are exploring ways to reduce this cost. Incompatibility amongst the syntaxes and the semantics of the languages of application systems is the most common cause to this problem. The process specification language (PSL), an ISO standard (18629), has the potential to overcome some of these difficulties by acting as a neutral communication language. The current paper has therefore focused on exploring this aspect of the PSL within a cross-disciplinary supply chain environment.

     The paper explores a specific cross-disciplinary supply chain scenario in order to understand the mechanisms of communications within the system. Interoperability of processes supporting those communications are analysed against PSL. A strategy is proposed for sharing process information amongst the supply chain nodes using the ‘PSL 20 questions wizard and it is concluded that, although there is a need to develop more effective methods for mapping systems to PSL, it can still be seen as a powerful tool to aid the communications between processes in the supply chain. The paper uses a supply chain scenario that cuts across the construction and manufacturing business sectors in order to provide a breadth to the types of disciplines involved in communication.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Application of Embedded Information Devices, An Advanced Approach to Support Sustainable Product Lifecycle Management 2007, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Design and Manufacture for Sustainable Development

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Recycling of Post-Consumer Shoes 2007, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Design and Manufacture for Sustainable Development

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Design Considerations for End-of-Life Vehicles 2007, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Design and Manufacture for Sustainable Development

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Issues and Economics for the UK Vehicle Recovery Sector 2007, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Design and Manufacture for Sustainable Development

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • An End-of-Life Decision Methodology to Support Recycling Practices in the Footwear Industry 2007, Proceedings of the International Society for Industrial Ecology Conference 2007

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Chitosan as a Finishing Agent for Shoe Upper Leather 2007, Proceedings of the XXIX IULTCS Congress

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • An End-of-Life Model for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recycling 2007, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Design and Manufacture for Sustainable Development

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Environmental Legislation and its Implications Across the Life-Cycle of Stationary Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Systems in Europe 2007, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of Design and Manufacture for Sustainable Development

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    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • An Investigation Into End-of-Life Management of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells 2007, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Life Cycle Management

    Abstract

     

    Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems offer an alternative technology for power generation in stationary plants. The environmental benefits of this technology in the use phase are well understood and stem from improved fuel efficiencies when compared with combustion-based systems. These benefits have driven technology development towards commercialisation. Recent trends in environmental policy have highlighted the need to manage products responsibly throughout their entire life-cycle, including the end-of life (EoL) phase. At present EoL management of SOFC stacks is not well understood and requires consideration prior to market entry. Using the waste management hierarchy as a framework for the development of an EoL strategy a methodology is proposed to move from a reactive approach to a proactive approach. This paper presents results from the initial steps of this methodology. Analysis of existing SOFC stack design has provided an initial definition of the EoL problem. By drawing parallels with EoL problems faced by other more mature product streams and existing waste management solutions, a body of knowledge is built. This knowledge will support the development of a reactive short-term solution to EoL management of SOFC stacks, and will provide input to the longer term development of a proactive approach to minimising the environmental burden of this future waste stream. 

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • End-of-life Management Considerations in the Footwear Industry 2007, Book chapter in Global Footwear Industry and Emerging Trends

    Abstract

    Currently, more than 19 billion pairs of shoes are consumed worldwide every year, and this figure continues to rise. This creates an enormous amount of post-consumer (end-of-life) shoe waste that is currently being disposed in landfill sites around the world. The research reported in this working paper is an initial investigation in realisation of a holistic approach to application of product recovery and recycling in the footwear industry. The paper provides a brief review of the trends in the footwear sector regarding the amount of end-of-life waste produced together with existing reuse and recycling activities. It also presents an integrated waste management framework by combining a mix of design and material improvements as well as reuse, recycling and energy recovery activities and concludes by examining the challenges in establishing end-of-life product recovery procedures for post-consumer shoes.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Guest Editorial: Aspects of Sustainable Design and Manufacture 2007, International Journal of Production Research

    Abstract

    Concerns for the enviroment are currently dominated by global warming and climate change, caused by the consumption of fossil fuels. A significant factor is the consumption of energy by manufactured products during their use phase. The production of these products is also a focus of attention because of the inefficient way that society in general and industry in particular manages resources. A responsible approach to design and manufacture of products should embrace efficient resource use by reducing the consumption of non-renewable resources throughout a product's life-cycle. This provides tremendous opportunities for practicing a whole raft og concepts and practices that embrace, for example: design for environment, environmentally benign/conscious manufacture, waste minimization, dematerialization and product service system, energy conservation and management, green/sustainable supply chain management, product end-of-life management and reverse logistics. 

    The cocnerns for the environment are intrinsic to the concept of sustainable development but this concept also embraces the economic and social context within which concern for the environment is exercised. Whilst the broad concept of sustainable development is commonly accepted, it is the emphasis on resource use and conservation that most strongly permeate legislation. Governments have recognized theur responsibility to the environment and exercised their authority through legislation that directly affects manufacturing businesses. Such legislation requires that businesses reduce their consumption of resources, especially energy, minimize their waste and accept their responsibility for their products when they reach the end of the their working life. It is within this context that the proposal for a special issue was generated. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Hybrid Two-Stage Planning for Food Industry Overproduction Waste Minimisation 2007, International Journal of Production Research

    Abstract

    Convenience food manufacture generates considerable waste due to the planning of production being undertaken based upon forecasted orders. This problem is particularly acute for products that have a very short shelf-life and are subject to considerable volatility in demand, such as ready-meals. Overproduction wastes (OPWs) typically result in finished products being disposed of through commercial waste channels, which is both costly for manufacturers and represents poor and unsustainable use of resources. This paper reports on a hybrid two-stage planning technique for the reduction of OPW by utilizing the advantages offered through both static and dynamic approaches to production scheduling. The application of this planning approach to a case study ready-meal manufacturer through the development of commercially available planning software is also described.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • A Decision Making Model for Waste Management in Footwear Industry 2007, International Journal of Production Research

    Abstract

    The footwear industry, over the last years, has placed significant effort in improving energy and material efficiency, but in comparison little effort has been directed at the recovery and recycling of shoes at the end of their funtional life. In reality, most worn and discarded (end-of-life) shoes are disposed of in landfills. Producer responsibility issues and forthcoming legislation as well as increasing environmental consumer demands are expected to challenge the way the global footwear industry deal with its end-of-life waste. This paper presents an investigation into the steps required to consider the end-of-life implication of shoes and promote post-consumer recycling practices in the footwear industry. The paper describes the design and specification of a decision-making model to identifiy the most appropriate reuse, recovery and recycling option for post-consumer shoes. Such a tool in addition to supporting design and material selection processes could also provide benchmark information for the selection of a best end-of-life practice for a selected range of shoe types. The paper concludes by providing a case study for shoe wast managemene to demonstrate the practicality of this decision-making model. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Computer Aided Recycling Process Planning for End-of-Life Electrical and Electronic Equipment 2007, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture

    Abstract

    The significant environmental cost associated with management of products at the end-of-life has resulted in the emergence of 'producer responsibility' legislations to encourage increase in recovery and recycling practices. In the case of electrical and electronic equipment, one such legislation, namely the 'Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive', requires manufacturers to assume financial and legal liability for recovery and recycling of their products at the end-of-life. The current recycling applications of electrical and electronic waste are often developed on ad hoc bases and mainly attributable to the hideen economic value within used products. However, owing to stricter regulations on end-of-life product recycling, it is now essential to evaluate the recycling costs and environmental benefits of reclaimed products and materials as well as the selection of appropriate recycling strategy. The present paper describes the initial investigation in the realisation of a computer-aided recycling process planner for electrical and electronic products. The assertion made is that such a systemaic approach to producin bespoke eco-efficient recycling process plans for individual products will significantly improve the value recovery from recycling activities. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    The footwear factory is manufacturing sector that utilizes a wide variety of materials and processes to produce a range of distinctly different products, from sandals to more specialized footwear. Currently, more than 19 billion pairs of shoes are produced worldwide every year. This creates a large waste stream at the end of the functional life of shoes, which are often disposed of in landfills. 

    Producer responsibility concerns, forthcoming legislation and increasingly environmentally conscious consumers are expected to challenge the way the gloabl footwear industry is dealing with its end-of-life (EoL) products. This paper highlights the potential benefits of developing a footwear product recovery methodology and an associated software tool to suport decision-making to determine the most suitable (in environmental, economic and social-technical terms) manner in which to treat post-consumer shoe waste. Such a methodology, in addition to supporting design and material selection processes, could also provide benchmark information for the selection of the best EoL practice for a selected range of different shoe types. The paper concludes by providing a computational viewpoint of an EoL shoe recovery decision support tool. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Assessing the Economics of Pre-Fragmentation Material Recovery 2007, Journal of Resources Conservation & Recycling

    Abstract

    The 2006 end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) directive target for the recycled and reused material content of an ELV has been undertaken using the current recovery infrastructure within the UK. The current expectation is that the conformance for the 2006 recycling target will be mainly achieved using existing post-fragmentation separation tecnologies rather than manually disassembling vehicles into their constituent materials. With the economic pressure of the current legislative targets weighing heavily on end-of-life stakeholders, and the further increase of recycling levels for 2015, it is important to understand 'when' and 'if' manual dismantling activities become economically viable within a dramatically changing vehicles recovery industry. This paper describes a method of costing the dismantling of specific makes and models of vehicle due for retirement in 2015, and discusses the economic implications of such practice and possible strategic directions for pre-fragmentation vehicle recovery.  

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Post-Consumer Waste Management Issues in Footwear Industry 2007, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture

    Abstract

    Currently, 17 billion pairs of shoes are produced worldwide every year, and this figure continues to rise. This creates an enormous amount of post-consumer (end-of-life) shoe waste that is currently being disposed of in landfill sites around the world. The research reported in this paper is an intial investigation into realization of a holistic approach to application of recovery and recycling in the footwear industry. The paper provides a brief review of the trends in the footwear sector regarding the amount of end-of-lfie waste produced, togther with existing reuse and recycling activities. It also presents an integrated waste management framework by combining a mix of design and material improvements, as well as reuse, recycling, and energy recovery activities, and concludes by examining the challenges in establishing end-of-life product recovery procedures for post-consuemr shoes. 

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Recycling of Footwear Products 2007, Journal of BLC Leather Technology Centre

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Design Tools to Support End-of-Life Value Recovery 2007, Final Report for EPSRC-CTA RAIS

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    With the increasing importance of computer-based communication technologies, communication
    networks are becoming crucial in supply chain management. Given the objectives of the supply chain: to have
    the right products in the right quantities, at the right place, at the right moment and at minimal cost, supply
    chain management is situated at the intersection of different professional sectors. This is particularly the case in
    construction, since building needs for its fabrication the incorporation of a number of industrial products. This
    paper provides a review of the main approaches to supply chain communications as used mainly in
    manufacturing industries. The paper analyses the extent to which these have been applied to construction. It also
    reviews the on-going developments and research activities in this domain.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    With the increasing importance of computer-based communication technologies, communication networks are becoming
    crucial in supply chain management. Given the objectives of the supply chain, supply chain management is situated at the
    intersection of different professional sectors, each of them with its own vocabulary, its own knowledge and rules. This paper
    provides a review of the main approaches to supply chain communications through the analysis of different ways of modelling
    a supply chain and the presentation of new semantic-based approaches that have been and are being developed to improve the
    quality of the information exchanges within the supply chain.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Cost Models for Increased Value Recovery from End-of-Life Vehicles 2006, Proceedings of the 13th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE2006)

    Abstract

    A sustainable approach to a products End-of-life processing needs to be a balance between the environmental impacts of a particular course of action, and it’s economic viability. The research reported in this paper has investigated a structured costing framework to be used in conjunction with improved environmental practises, to provide an economic understanding of varying End-of-Life Vehicle processing routes. The paper presents an holistic end-of-life cost model for the vehicle recovery sector and focuses on the potential applications of this model to support both high and low level decisions, in terms of a processes economic merits and its influence on the ELV Directives recycling and recovery targets. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • A Design Framework for End-of-Life Vehicle Recovery 2006, Proceedings of the 13th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE2006)

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • End-of-Life Management of Shoes and the Role of Biodegradable Materials 2006, Proceedings of the 13th CIRP International Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE2006)

    Abstract

    The paper reviews the trends in the footwear sector regarding the amount of end-of-life waste produced and ways in which it is tackled. Existing reuse and recycling activities in the footwear sector are examined, and the use of biodegradable materials is investigated. The paper presents an integrated waste management framework by combining a mix of design and material improvements as well as reuse, recycling and energy recovery activities. The paper also discusses the implications of using biodegradable materials as a means of reducing the amount of end-of-life waste in the footwear industry and how this proactive approach compared against traditional end-of-life management approaches. 

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Utilisation of Passive Embedded Information Devices to Support a Sustainable Approach to Product Lifecycle Management 2006, Invited keynote in Proceedings of 10th International Conference on Mechatronics Technology (ICMT2006)

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    Convenience food manufacture generates considerable waste through poor planning of production. This problem is particularly acute for products that have very short shelf-life and will be disposed of as waste should their shelf-life expire. Chilled ready-meals are convenience foods with relatively short shelf-lives and volatile consumer demands; their manufacture is based on forecasted volumes and when demand has been over-predicted, considerable wastes are created. This is referred to as overproduction waste( OPW), which typically sees finished products disposed of through commericial waste channels as a result of lack of demand. The research reported in this paper has investigated the generation of a reponsive demand management framework for the reduction of OPW's. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Implications of ELV Directive on Vehicle Recovery Sector 2006, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture

    Abstract

    To cope with the environmental effects of 9 million tonnes of vehicles that reach the end of their useful lives each year in Europe, the EC have created the End-of-Life Vehciles (ELVs) Directive. Two of the most radical measures included in the directive are to provide free takeback to last owners and to achieve targeted levels for the recycling and recovery of material by set dates. 

    This paper aims to provide a basis for future research by evaluating the potential direction of the recovery industry. This is achieved firstly by assessing the origins of the directive and previous research surroungs the subject. The paper then describes the current recovery infrastructure and practices in the UK, highlighting all the stakeholders involved in the recovery industry. This paper also highlights the issues related to the provision of takeback and the attainment of targets through two stages, namely the implementation and management of takeback, and the use of new technology to achieve the recovery targets. The paper concludes by identifying key aims for future research to support the objectives of the implemented legislation and the financial stability of all stakeholders. 

     

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Abstract

    This report is the concluding document summating the project results from the IMCRC project entitled, “cost-oriented approach to design and recovery of vehicles to meet the requirements for the end-of-life (ELV) Directive”, which was undertaken from Oct 2004-Oct 2006. The report contains a brief overview of the research undertaken, the systems developed and the results that were obtained. The appendix contains 4 of the papers produced, which give further insight into the research conducted. 

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Application of Knowledge Management in Mass Customisation 2005, Proceedings of the 3rd Interdisciplinary World Congress on Mass Customization and Personalization (MCPC2005)

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • End-of-life Recovery of Vehicles in the UK 2005, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Design and Manufacture for Sustainable Development (Sustain05)

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Reference Model for the Use of Embedded Information Devices to Enable Sustainability in the Product Life Cycle 2005, Proceedings of the International Conference on Mechantronics Technology (IMCT2005)

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Production Responsive Demand Management Within the Food Industry 2004, Proceedings of the International IFAC Conference on Manufacturing Modelling, Management And Control (IFAC-MIM'04)

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Parametric Cost Model to Support End-Of-Life Management of Vehicles 2004, Proceedings of the International IFAC Conference on Manufacturing Modelling, Management And Control (IFAC-MIM'04)

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • A Web-Based Information System to Support End-of-Life Product Recovery 2004, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Distributed Planning and Control to Support Mass Customisation in Shoe Manfacture 2004, International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing

    Abstract

    The European shoe industry has experienced significant challenges in the last 20 years, mainly due to the pressures of modern global markets in which the industry has to compete with competitors from low labour cost countries in Asia and the Far East. A new trend is now forecast concerning the mass customisation of shoes, where customers choose and order customised shoes from a range of predefined materials and designs. This is to be achieved through the ‘shoe shop of the future’ with combined capabilities of obtaining 3D models of customer’s feet together with the exciting developments offered through the latest advancement in e-commerce. However, such a novel approach for the customisation of shoe design and production will have a significant influence on the batch sizes and expected lead times, and will reduce the average batch size of shoe production from 500–1000 pairs to about 10–20 pairs per batch. Consequently, customised shoes will result in an enormous increase in the number of batches, leading to an increase in the complexity of planning, scheduling and tracking of orders both across the supply chain and internally within various production departments of a shoe factory. This research proposes a distributed scheduling approach to provide the required autonomy in decision making and flexibility in job sequencing at departmental level to deal with the complexity of planning a large number of small batch production orders.

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Designing Multi-Component Flexible Machining Lines, Advances in Manufacturing-XVIII 2003, Proceedings of 1st International Conference on Manufacturing Research (ICMR2003)

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Design and Implementation of Intelligent Tool Dispensing System 2003, Final report for TCD- Project No. 3446

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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  • Holonic Systems 1999, Chapter 4 in Handbook of Life Cycle Engineering: Concepts, Models and Technologies

    Abstract

    SMART authors: Shahin Rahimifard

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