Projects - Eco-Intelligent Manufacturing Factories

Research Area:
Eco-Intelligent Manufacturing

2013 - 2016

Funding Source:
EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Industrial Sustainability

4 years

Unilever, GM, Carbon Trust, ESKTN

SMART Members:
Shahin Rahimifard , Alessandro Simeone


Summary:  The research is aimed to embed the environmental considerations within various manufacturing decisions, and to support a framework for eco-intelligent approach to short, medium and long-term planning, control and management activities.

Project Description: Current manufacturing management systems and related decision making are optimised for cost effectiveness, time efficiency (output) and quality control. These complex networks of data and information systems enable manufacturers to remain competitive by making informed short-term decisions and by forecasting over longer time scales. However environmental considerations are not comprehensively included in this planning, and it is becoming clear that their inclusion would be beneficial due to increasing demands and pressures from both governments and customers, and for the preservation of resources, and potential cost avoidance.

To address this need, this project is developing industry-relevant methods and tools to enable the inclusion of environmental considerations within manufacturing planning, control and management. It will generate both smart technologies and data infrastructures that collect and process relevant information about key environmental impacts associated with a range of manufacturing decisions to reduce the overall environmental impact of manufacturing activities. Furthermore, environmental impact management support tools, which utilise this generated information will be developed to ensure that evolving business strategies are implemented whilst considering and minimising these impacts.

Project Highlights:

  1. Identification of metrics to support environmentally focused manufacturing decisions across a range of management and planning activities.
  2. Development of technologies aimed at generating real-time information to support eco-aware decision making.
  3. Implementation of an intelligent sustainable business management system for long-term strategic decision making.

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