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Int. J. Sustainable Manufacturing, Vol. 2, Nos. 2/3, 2011

A measurement infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing Shaw C. Feng* and Che B. Joung
Engineering Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 100 Bureau Drive, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8263, USA E-mail: E-mail: *Corresponding author
Abstract: Global resource degradation, climate change, and environmental pollution are worsening due to increasing globalised industrialisation. Manufacturing industries have thus been put under pressure to cope with these problems while maintaining competitiveness. Sustainable manufacturing has been proposed to meet these challenges. The measurement of sustainability in manufacturing enables the quantitative measure of sustainability performance in specific manufacturing processes that will support decision-making for more sustainable processes and products. This paper describes a proposed sustainable manufacturing measurement infrastructure. The centre piece of this infrastructure is a sustainability performance management component that will effectively manage a sustainable indicator repository, measurement process guidelines, and sustainability performance analysis, evaluation, and reporting. The sustainability measurement infrastructure provides a foundation for decision-making tools development and enables users to create a tight integration into business strategy development processes. Examples in this paper are on carbon emissions and energy consumption. Keywords: sustainable manufacturing; sustainability performance analysis; sustainability measurement. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Feng, S.C. and Joung, C.B. (2011) A measurement infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing, Int. J. Sustainable Manufacturing, Vol. 2, Nos. 2/3, pp.204221. Biographical notes: Shaw C. Feng is a Mechanical Engineer. He has publications on systems integration, sustainability measurement, and product lifecycle assessment. He leads the research project on sustainability indicators and metrics within the sustainable manufacturing programme at NIST. Che B. Joung is a Guest Researcher and has publications on design, analysis, and sustainability measurement. His research is on sustainability metrics and measurement infrastructure development. He is responsible for a research project on sustainability indicators and metrics within the sustainable manufacturing programme at NIST.

Copyright 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

A measurement infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing



Manufacturing industries are confronted with a new major challenge in operating sustainably due to the degradation of energy and natural resources, deterioration of the global environment, and demand for a higher quality of life. While manufacturing is the basis of civilisation and provides high quality human living standards, manufacturing is the main source of consuming natural resources and producing toxic by-products and wastes. This has forced a number of manufacturing stakeholders to become more interested in impacts beyond just the financial cost of manufacturing. Consumers are increasingly interested in the environmental impact of the products they buy. Investors want to judge how much sound governance that the manufacturing company has for environmental compliance. Governments and communities are gradually emphasising corporate social responsibility. With these circumstances, there is a critical need for the development of sustainable manufacturing processes and products. In this context, the global research community has to develop new methods and metrics for sustainable manufacturing (Bansal, 2005). The United Nations already defines that sustainable development should meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs (Harris et al., 2001). In another view, sustainable development is an organisations ability to advance its economic state without compromising the natural environment and the social equity that provide the quality of life for all community residents, present, or future. Therefore, sustainability is a competitive issue in all manufacturing sectors. According to the definition from the US Department of Commerce, sustainable manufacturing is the creation of a manufactured product with processes that have minimal negative impact on the environment, conserve energy and natural resources, are safe for employees and communities, and are economically sound (DOC, 2008). This definition has only manufacturing processes in consideration. Following this definition, the National Council for Advanced Manufacturing points out that design for manufacturing should have considerations on the entire lifecycle of a manufactured product, including the manufacturers economic benefits and the full impact of a product on the environment and the society (NACFAM, 2011). A revised definition is, hence, proposed as follows: sustainable manufacturing is the creation of a product that throughout its entire lifecycle, the product has minimal negative impact on the environment, conserves energy and natural resources, is safe for human beings, and is economically sound for both producer and consumer. The Organization for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD), one of the leading organisations promoting sustainable manufacturing, recently asserted several forward-looking activities (OECD, 2009). One of them is to develop sustainability indicators, performance metrics, and analysis software toolsets to help businesses benchmark performance and improve their production processes and products. Additionally, the American small manufacturers coalition (ASMC) identified a critical thread to US manufacturing that sustainability measurement systems are inadequately deployed in its June 11, 2009 news letter. Thus, a measurement infrastructure is a critical need to enable sustainable manufacturing.


S.C. Feng and C.B. Joung

To realise sustainable manufacturing, companies must have a sustainability measurement methodology. In this paper, an effort to develop a measurement infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing is introduced. The rest of the paper is organised as follows. Section 2 presents a study of the status on sustainable indicators and metrics development. Section 3 provides an overview of the proposed infrastructure for measuring sustainability performance. Section 4 describes an example to measure performance using two indicators. Examples are on CO2 emissions and energy consumption. Other sustainability issues, such as eco-toxic substance emissions and raw material consumptions, are as important as CO2 emission and energy sustainability. Section 5 summarises the current development work and future directions.

Current state in sustainability indicators development

The analysis of sustainability of an organisation is often a combination of three major dimensions: environment, society, and economy (Antonio et al., 2007). Other major dimensions exist, such as performance management. Sustainability measurement for decision-making has been difficult to ascertain due to the many indicators available that represent a dimension or a combination of dimensions. Furthermore, in simplifying these indicators and in providing a holistic view of sustainability, a single multi-dimensional sustainability measure is often the goal of measurement. A single multi-dimensional sustainability measure is, in general, difficult to achieve because the dimensions are interrelated in a complex way (Kibira et al., 2009). Each major dimension consists of many sub-dimensions. Measurement units amongst these sub-dimensions are different and make aggregation into a single sustainability measure with a common unit difficult. Moreover, indicator set developers often normalise and associate weights on some of the sub-dimensions to aggregate. Weighing a sub-dimension is subjective and prone to inconsistency. Even with these difficulties, there have been many within-company or international attempts to measure and analyse sustainability performance with composite indices or individual indicator sets. The functions of these indices and sets have included reporting numbers to stakeholders and assessing sustainability performance in products and manufacturing processes for company management, while others have been developed for sector-specific sustainability performance assessments. Table 1 shows a matrix of source names, numbers of indicators, types, and purposes of some available indices and indicator sets. Two major indicator types, shown in the third column, are individual and composite. An overview of each is given below: Global reporting initiative (GRI) indicator set (GRI, 2006): the GRI is a voluntary initiative. The GRI reporting mechanism has an organisation of defined indicators. They are in two major categories: core and additional. The indicators are functionally grouped in three dimensions: economy, environment, and society. A reporting organisation, such as a manufacturing company, reports actual numbers in individual indicators. Using the report, that organisations sustainability performance according to GRI can be analysed and tracked. The purpose of the analysis and tracking is for decision-making at multiple levels of the organisation, such as management, operation, and internal or external stakeholders (Staniskis and Arbaciauskas, 2009). Dow Jones sustainability indexes (DJSI) indicator set (SAM Indexes, 2007): the DJSI is used to assess the financial and sustainability performance of the top 10%

A measurement infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing


of the companies in the Dow Jones global total stock market index. The assessment is performed by means of questionnaire, as well as media and stakeholder analyses. The results from the assessment evaluate the performance of a company in 12 criteria, covering the economic, environmental, and social dimensions. Companies must meet all 12 criteria to be included in DJSI. Environmental sustainability index (ESI, 2005) and environmental performance index (EPI, 2010) indicator sets: both the ESI and EPI focus on evaluating environmental stewardship. The 2005 ESI and 2010 EPI were developed by the Yale Centre for Environmental Law and Policy. The ESI provides a way to estimate overall sustainability performance of countries. The ESI and EPI are one-value indices. The ESI has six policy categories and 21 core factors, which are aggregated from a set of 68 basic indicators. An ESI value for one economy is simply the average value from the values of 21 factors. A calculated value is then normalised on a scale from 0 (low sustainability) to 100 (high sustainability). The EPI has 19 indices and complements the ESI by assessing the policy performance of countries in reducing environmental stresses on human health, enhancing ecosystem vitality and sustainable natural resource management. Indicators of sustainable development (ISD) indicator set (UNCSD, 2007): the ISD was developed by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNUSD) and is used to assess the degree of sustainable development of a country or region. The latest version of ISD was finalised in 2006 and contains 96 indicators, of which 50 are considered core indicators. The indicators are categorised by 14 themes that account for the economic, social, and environmental health of developing countries. OECD core environmental indicators (OECD CEIs, 2003): the CEIs were designed for monitoring environmental conditions and trends of member countries. The CEI includes 46 indicators, which address a range of environmental, social, and economic issues. The framework developed by OECD in assessing the environmental progress of countries implements a Pressure-State-Response model that identifies the pressure indicators, which stress the environment. The resulting environmental impacts from these pressures produce a current state of the environment defined by state indicators. Reaction to reduce such impacts can then be seen through response indictors. Ford product sustainability index (PSI) (Schmidt and Taylor, 2006): Fords PSI considers sustainable indicators within the environmental, economic, and societal dimensions that are specifically relevant to automobile manufacturing and services. Because of the specialisation, Fords PSI only considers eight indicators: mobility capability, life cycle ownership costs, the life cycle impact on global warming, the life cycle impact on air quality, sustainable materials, restricted substances management, safety, and drive-by-noise. Scoring of the sustainable performance for an automobile is done by comparing the best in industry vehicle score for each indicator. General Motors metrics for sustainable manufacturing (Dreher et al., 2009): these metrics were developed by a project of General Motors (GM) that reviewed the state of the art of metrics for sustainable manufacturing. The goal of the project was to


S.C. Feng and C.B. Joung determine which metrics for sustainable manufacturing should be recommended for implementation. Based on the project work, GM recommended over 30 metrics under six major categories: environmental impact, energy consumption, personal health, occupational safety, waste management, and manufacturing costs. For sustainable manufacturing improvement, GM compares current metric performance with that of industry leaders and adjusts their organisation accordingly.

International standard ISO14031 indicator set (ISO, 1999): the ISO 14031 is an international standard, which contains specifications for companies to develop their own indicators for Environmental Performance Evaluation (EPE). Environmental performance indicators are in three categories: 1 operational performance, which forms the basis of evaluation of environmental aspects 2 management performance, which indicates the environmental protection efforts and report results achieved in regards to influencing its environmental management performance 3 environmental condition, which indicates the quality of the surrounding environment. ISO14031 has 155 informative indicators under these three categories. Wal-mart sustainable product index (Wal-mart SPI, 2009): the Wal-mart sustainable product index is still being developed. The intent of the index is to provide Wal-mart suppliers and Wal-mart with a worldwide sustainable product index. Current development of the index has focused on a 15-question survey to suppliers that emphasises the environmental issues with production. The company expects to help customers to make purchase decisions and to encourage suppliers to meet sustainability requirements. Unlike others, no technical detail has yet become available. Environmental pressure indicators for European Union (EU-EPI) (European Union, 1999): the EU-EPI is the result of the environmental pressure indices project, which aims to provide the EU with a comprehensive description of the most important human activities that have a negative impact on the environment. The EU-EPI contains 60 indicators that overview the pressure of human activities on the environment in ten policy fields including air pollution, climate change, loss of bio-diversity, marine environment and coastal zones, ozone layer depletion, resource depletion, dispersion of toxic substances, urban environmental problems, waste, and water pollution and water resources. All 60 indicators were chosen based on the preference of a scientific advisory group, which has consisted of over 2,300 scientists and engineers for the 15 countries then within the European Union. Eco-indicator 99 indicator set (Pre Consultants, 2004): the Eco-Indicator 99 is a damage-oriented methodology, which is a life cycle assessment (LCA) weighting method specially developed for product design. A single valued damage indicator is derived based on the algorithmic approach of the Eco-Indicator 99 system and accounts for three main damages: mineral and fossil resources, ecosystem quality, and human health. The Eco-Indicator 99 has been a tool used by engineers in environmentally sustainable product design.

A measurement infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing

Table 1 Various sustainability indicators and metrics Number of indicators 70 Indicators 12 criteria-based index 68 Indicators Type Individual indicators Composite indicators Composite indices Composite indices Individual indicators Individual indicators Purpose Sustainability report guidelines


Indicator set Global report initiative (GRI) Dow Jones sustainability indexes (DJSI) Environmental sustainability index Environment performance index UNCSD indicators of sustainable development OECD core environmental indicators

Corporate sustainability index for investment firms Gauge of national environmental stewardship Index of national environmental protection results Indicators of national sustainable development Indicators of national environmental policy performance toward sustainable development LCA-based product sustainability index Metrics of sustainable manufacturing in GM Guidance on the design and use of environmental performance evaluation within an organisation Sustainable product index for suppliers Indicators of comprehensive environmental pressure by human activities Lifecycle impact assessment of a product

19 Indices

96 Indicators 46 Indicators

Ford product sustainability index GM metrics for sustainable manufacturing ISO 14031 environmental performance evaluation

8 Indicators 30 Metrics 155 Example indicators

Composite indices Individual indicators Individual indicators

Wal-mart sustainable product index European Union environmental pressure indicators Eco-Indicators 99

15 Questions 60 Indicators

Individual indicators Individual indicators

3 Main factor-based single indicator

Composite indices

The OECD has developed a categorisation method based on a survey of how companies organise different data and measurements in order to understand the sustainability performance in their manufacturing processes, products, and services (OECD, 2010). Most indicator sets, such as ISO14031, UN CSD and OECD CEI, belong to individual indicator sets. An individual indicator set is a simple group of indicators that collectively measure sustainability. An example of an individual indicator set is a group of basic indicators such as CO2 emissions, CH4 emission, N2O emission, and green house gas concentration. Each indicator in the set is independent and benchmarked respectively. A composite indicator/index is the synthesis of groups of individual indicators, expressing the whole phenomenon of sustainability or a single dimension of sustainability as one through a limited number of indices. Some indicator sets, such as 2005 ESI and


S.C. Feng and C.B. Joung

2010 EPI, are sets of composite indices for the environmental dimension of sustainability. These composite indices are especially effective when companies want to provide a large amount of information into a simple readable format for management or external stakeholders. Of all the indicator sets and indices discussed, the main issue is their focus on the external reporting for stakeholders, rather than on internal information needed for decision-making or for innovation. In this context, manufacturers need a sustainability measurement infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing, with which they could evaluate and track the sustainability performance in their products and processes.

Sustainability performance measurement infrastructure

The sustainability measurement infrastructure we propose includes four major components: the sustainability performance management (SPM) component, the sustainable indicator repository (SIR) component, the sustainability measurement process guidelines (SMPG) component, and the sustainability performance analysis, evaluation, and reporting (SPAER) component. Figure 1 shows these four components and their inter-relationships. The component in the centre is the SPM component. It manages a multi-dimensional indicator set stored in the SIR by providing several functions, such as requirements for updating the indicator set, versioning control, and ensuring consistency with measurement process guidelines and the reporting function. The SPM also provides requirements for managing the SMPG component. Further, the SPM sets preconditions for the generation of internal and external reports, based on the functions within the SPAER component.
Figure 1 Key components of sustainability measurement infrastructure (see online version for colours)

A measurement infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing


3.1 Sustainable indicator repository

The sustainability indicator repository contains all the necessary sector-specific multi-dimensional indicators. The indicators in the repository specify how to measure sustainability in manufacturing and form the basis of metrics for sustainability performance benchmarking within eco-innovative product development and manufacturing process planning strategies. Sustainability indicators in the repository have been and will be continuously adapted from other developed sets (see Table 1). Other indicators will be developed in a standardised manner, such as those specified in ISO 14301. Adapted or developed indicators will generally have the following characteristics [partially from Sustainable Measures (2009) and Moss and Grunkemeyer (2007)]: Measurable: an indicator must be capable of being measured quantitatively or qualitatively in multi-dimensional perspectives, e.g., economic, social, environmental, technical, and performance management. Relevant: an indicator must show useful meaning on the manufacturing processes under evaluation. It must fit the purpose of measuring performance. Understandable: an indicator should be easy to understand by the community, especially, for those who are not experts. Reliable/usable: information provided by an indicator should be trusted and useful. Reliable measurement is necessary. Data accessible: an indicator must be based on accessible data. The information needs to be available or easily gathered when necessary. Timely manner: measurement for an indicator must take place with the frequency to enable timely, informative decision-making. Long term-oriented: An indicator must be compatible with an open standard to support long-term archival needs for future generations.

Based on these characteristics, indicators will be managed within the repository. Every indicator will have the following attributes: indicator name is a name given to the adopted or developed indicator identification (ID) is a unique logical name or number to identify an indicator measurement type indicates whether the indicator is quantitative or qualitative unit of measure is the unit of the value for the indicator references of each adopted or developed indicator to identify from which existing indicator set(s) or specific indicator(s) that the indicator is adopted or developed application level defines the organisational level(s) that the indicator is applied. With this information, policymakers or decision makers in the organisation can set up their own sustainability metrics based on their business strategies.


S.C. Feng and C.B. Joung

3.2 Sustainability measurement process guidelines

SMPG in the SMPG component are defined as a sequence of operations in which the necessary instruments and tools are used to determine the value of an indicator for a specific purpose. The main purpose is for internal decision-making and external accountability reporting; therefore, the sustainability measurement process must contain the information concerning measurement operations and associated instruments, target value(s), related object and indicator(s) according to the application level of the indicator and business strategies. As mentioned in Section 2, an organisation can track sustainability performance using the following two distinct approaches: the individual indicator(s) approach and the composite index approach. The former approach provides an easy way to track and improve the sustainability performance according to specific needs. The latter approach provides a holistic way to track and improve the performance based on their sustainability goals. The composite index approach needs aggregating methods, normalising methods, and weighting algorithms to combine different unit-based indicators into a single index (Singh et al., 2009). Hence, a sustainability measurement operator must have a full understanding of the measurement process guidelines to interpret the value and assign a reasonable uncertainty to that value of an index. Fiksel et al. (1999) emphasised four sustainability measurement principles, which can help enterprises address the challenges associated with measuring and reporting sustainability: 1 2 3 4 resource and value triple bottom line product life cycle consideration leading and lagging indicators.

They pointed out that the sustainability performance measurement process usually involves three phases structure, i.e., plan, implement, and review. One of the main requisites of sustainability measurement is that every indicator is obtained by standardbased measurement methods, procedures, instrument certifications, and reference materials in a tightly integrated manner with business operations throughout the product life cycle. In this context, several guidelines should be set up for the measuring process within this infrastructure including: measurement operation sequence has to be logical and traceable so that it can be repeatable and comparable in time dependent product life cycle measurement instruments (data collectors) must be certified and calibrated in standard manner for the robustness sources and the magnitudes of measurement errors must be explicitly expressed expression of measurement uncertainty needs to conform to open standards.

A measurement infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing


3.3 Sustainability performance analysis, evaluation, and reporting

In measuring sustainability performance, metrics are usually applied. Sustainability metrics are a set of measurements, corresponding to indicators that are used to evaluate the sustainability performance of an organisation. Based on timely measured results, manufacturing companies can analyse and evaluate their sustainability performance, observe the trend of sustainability, and perform sustainability accounting. Figure 2 shows an example of time tracking of some metrics with respect to a targeted benchmark value. Time-dependent evaluations of indicators enable engineers and managers to see the trend of specific metrics and the gap to the target at a given time. This information guides them to analyse sustainability and make appropriate decisions for eco-innovation in product development. In analysis, effective indicators allow engineers and designers to focus on specific areas of interest during the design process. Other metrics, namely lumped metrics, provide a holistic view of the sustainability of an organisation and may serve as a key benchmark for reporting, but can fail to capture the competing drivers in the system, thus limiting the ability of engineers and designers to accurately analyse the process. Finally, the quality and impact of engineering design must also be understood within this component as they are closely related to design of the metrics used in the analysis and will affect the evaluation of the measurement process (Reich-Weiser et al., 2008).
Figure 2 Tracking performance (see online version for colours)

Using the results from measurement processes, engineers can not only report but also make necessary decisions for their business operations, such as redesign. The performance evaluation might be done in multiple passes with adequate analysis tools. A typical example of internal communication purposed evaluation is for the indicators to have a relation with their confidential business information, like manufacturing cost. In this case, existing practices, like enterprise resource planning or design for six-sigma (Bras, 2008), can be good tools for internal performance analysis and reporting. On the other hand, some indicators like enterprise-based green house gas emissions or CO2-emissions are for typical external communication indicators. In this case, the GRI


S.C. Feng and C.B. Joung

can be a good tool for external communications. One challenge to make meaningful communication with internal and external stakeholders is how to serve various audiences with different information needs. Business strategy and sustainability communication and reporting should, therefore, be linked with sustainability performance evaluation and management. To make this happen, sustainability information and communication should be treated in the same manner as strategic planning and accounting (Schaltegger and Wagner, 2006). Consequently, all the developed and adapted indicators must have associations with standard measurement methodologies and instruments throughout the product life cycle. Engineers or designers can hence track the sustainability performance with indicators via standard-based repeatable measurement methods with the expression of measurement uncertainty (ISO, 1993). Furthermore, they will be able to access measured metrics via various design analysis tools, and use the results in their decision-making processes for product innovation and communications with a diverse group of stakeholders.

Case study: CO2 emission

To make eco-friendly products, it is necessary to reduce the CO2 emission in manufacturing individual components in an assembly. Product developers, including manufacturing process engineers, need effective indicators to evaluate the CO2 emission and energy use in production. Using a CO2-emission indicator with a set of given measurement process guidelines, engineers can calculate the quantity represented by the indicator. With the results from the calculations, they can make a decision on the sustainability of the design and planned process with respect to the CO2 emission and energy efficiency. This section gives an example of an assembly of machined parts (Ameta et al., 2009) in Figure 3. This assembly consists of three parts: A, B, and C. A and B are machined parts, and C is a purchased part from a supplier. In this case study, CO2 emission in the machining parts is assumed to be directly related to the energy used in the machining operations. Figure 4 schematically shows the machining operations that are applied to A and B within the organisation of the company.
Figure 3 A machined subassembly (see online version for colours)

Source: Ameta et al. (2009)

A measurement infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing

Figure 4 Manufacturing process of the selected subassembly example (see online version for colours)


4.1 Carbon emission and energy metrics

In this case study, two indicators from the repository are used to analyse the CO2 emission and energy use in machining operations (Ameta et al., 2009). The names of the indicators are carbon weight of machining operation and energy use by machining operation. The IDs are CW_MO and EU_MO respectively. The measurement type of these two indicators is quantitative. In the EU_MO indicator, energy used by a machining operation, E [J], is calculated by two different ways: direct measurement of cutting parameters and estimation by using appropriate mathematical cutting models. The measured EU_MO is calculated by the following equation:
E E =


(( F (t ) F ( t ) ) ( v (t ) v (t ) ) ) dt



F is the cutting force [N], F is the estimated force deviation, v is the cutting speed [m/s], v is the estimated cutting speed deviation, E is the estimated cutting energy deviation, t [s] is the time of machining, t0 is the starting time, and t1 is the end time. For simplification in calculating EU_MO, only the energy used in the machining operations is considered. Energy used by auxiliary operations such as warming up, pumping, and cooling are ignored. All the machining operation parameters such as cutting force and cutting speed can easily be gathered from the machine tool controller. To estimate the machining energy in the part design stage, engineers generally use the specific energy per unit time (Kalpakjian, 1995). The specific energy is the energy used per unit time required to remove a unit of volume of a given material. By obtaining the total removal volume, machining energy is estimated using the following equation:


S.C. Feng and C.B. Joung

E = Vr ut


Vr is the volume to be removed, and ut is specific energy per unit time. Based on the above calculation, the carbon weight (CW) of the machining operations can be computed by the following equation1:
CW CW = f ( E E )


CW is the estimated carbon weight deviation, parameter f is a conversion factor for transformation energy to carbon weight, which can be found in a report from the energy information administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy (DOE) (EIA, 2002). According to the EIA report, the value of f is 1.72 104 g/J in the state of Maryland.

4.2 Energy measurement process

In the above-mentioned EU_MO calculation procedure, the volume to be machined can be calculated using a three-dimensional solid model in a computer-aided design (CAD) system. On the other hand, in the real-time data collection, EU_MO should be calculated using machining parameters like machining force, machining speed, and machining time. In general, the data of these parameters can be collected from an advanced machine controller or measured by appropriate instruments in real time. Data collection can be prone to error, so measurement uncertainty has to be managed and estimated in association with the measured value. Based on the measured value and the expression of measurement uncertainty, equation (1) can be approximated by the following equation with a sample time of t:
E E =

( F (t ) F (t ) ) ( v(t ) v(t ) ) t
i i i i i =1


In this case study, all parameters are assumed to come from an automated monitoring system, which is connected to the machine controller and able to publish the real-time machining parameters of the machine centre to the workshop floor engineers via network. With this automated system, repeatability of the measurement can be easily obtained, provided the system is monitored, maintained, and calibrated as scheduled.

4.3 Analysis, evaluation, and reporting in an organisation

The analysis of sustainability performance is the first part of reporting. Analysis methods, such as using equations (1) or (4) above, have to be documented in the sustainability report to provide traceability. Analysis results, as shown in Table 2, must also be a part of the report. Furthermore, the EU_MO indicator can be used in various evaluations. On the machining side, the CW_MO indicator can provide guidance on the CO2 emission of a machining centre, such that engineers can decide which machine centre is the best choice in terms of minimum CO2 emission and energy consumption. Engineers can also establish the history of performance of a machine tool and rank all the machine tools that they have. It can give historic information to the process planners and maintenance personnel. On product design, the EU_MO indicator can be used as an input in redesign. A company needs to establish their own analysis and evaluation practices in using indicators to measure performance.

Table 2

Parameters Given Volume to be removed Vr (mm3) Force F (N) E (J) 679,922.64 53,194.32 72,248.40 29,432.52 612,410.40 226,816.92 26,958.96 66,159.36 41,205.60 4,581.72 1,042.92 1,852.56 1,471.68 4,121.28 5,131.44 2,246.76 1,788.12 1,471.68
E (J)

Indicators Measured Energy used Operation time t(s) 294.64 61.21 268.48 402.08 268.48 250.32 236.98 268.48 402.08 Carbon weight CW (Kg) 1.17098 0.09161 0.12443 0.05069 1.05471 0.39063 0.04643 0.11394 0.07097
CW (Kg)


Operation 291,546.28 26,116.47 17,002.84 22,114.4 265,660.96 106,804.03 51,346.46 17,002.84 23,722.72 1.83 1 56 2 3.33 1 74 2 3.16 2 36 3 4.1 2 221 5 3.07 2 743 5 1.83 1 40 2 3.45 1 78 2 4.26 2 204 4 3.11 2 742 5

Surface speed v (m/s)


0.007891 0.001796 0.003191 0.002535 0.007098 0.008838 0.003869 0.003080 0.002535




Analysis of indicators at component process level





A measurement infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing




S.C. Feng and C.B. Joung

Reporting the value of an indicator can come from various levels in an organisation. At an assembly level, the CO2 emission and the energy consumption are aggregations from values at the component level. In this case, the value of an individual EU_MO indicator at the assembly level is a result of the energy consumption in all the machining operations. For a given process plan of Part A and Part B, the calculated results can be found in Table 2, where the data are calculated using the equation (4) with a number of datasets from a specific machine centre, and total product-level carbon weight is a summation of carbon weights of all the parts. In general, engineers can evaluate sustainability performance at any level of an organisation, from the machine tool level to the factory level.

Summary and future work

There are many sustainability indicator sets available. Most of them are designed to address sustainability issues at a global, regional, or company level. Very few of them directly address environmental, economic, and social sustainability performance at the manufacturing process level. This paper introduces the development of an information infrastructure for sustainability performance measurement and management for manufacturing processes and manufactured products. The infrastructure consists of four main components: 1 2 3 4 sustainability indicator repository SMPG SPAER SPM.

The SPM is the central piece of the proposed infrastructure. It manages the development and expansion of the indicator repository, updates the measurement process guidelines, and relates data collected from measurement processes to functions of analysis and evaluation to generate relevant sustainability reports. An assembly of machined parts is used for the case study in the context of CO2 emission reduction in a manufacturing company. In this case study, the process of how a given indicator can be defined and used to guide the evaluation of the sustainability performance in a machining process is shown along with the aggregation of indicator values throughout different levels in an organisation. The future work includes developing a testbed and measurement process guidelines on more cases. The testbed is to provide a facility for examining the sustainability measurement methodologies including the proposed sustainability measurement infrastructure. The implementation of guidelines will provide precision and traceability for measuring the sustainability in products and manufacturing processes.

A measurement infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing


No approval or endorsement of any commercial products by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is intended or implied. Certain company names are identified in this paper to facilitate understanding. Such identification does not imply that their products are necessarily the best available for the purpose of sustainability.

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S.C. Feng and C.B. Joung

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A measurement infrastructure for sustainable manufacturing


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1 We did not take account of carbon emission signature (CES). If CES were added, equation (2) would be replaced by CW = E CES (see Jeswiet and Kara, 2008).