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Material efficiency measurement: Swedish case studies
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3390-938X
Swerea IV, Mölndal, Sweden.
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7935-8811
Swerea IV, Mölndal, Sweden.
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 181, p. 17-32Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A major factor in the continued deterioration of the global environment is unsustainable management of resources that includes the type and quantity of resources consumed and manufactured as well as the subsequent generation and treatment of wasted materials. Improved material efficiency (ME) in manufacturing is key to reducing resource consumption levels and improving waste management initiatives. However, ME must be measured, and related goals must be broken down into performance indicators for manufacturing companies. This paper aims to improve ME in manufacturing using a structured model for ME performance measurements. We present a set of ME key performance indicators (ME-KPIs) at the individual company and lower operational levels based on empirical studies and a structured literature review. Our empirical findings are based on data collected on the performance indicators and material and waste flows of nine manufacturing companies located in Sweden. The proposed model categorizes ME-KPIs into the following categories: productive input materials, auxiliary input materials, output products, and residual output materials. These categories must be measured equally to facilitate the measurement, assessment, improvement and reporting of material consumption and waste generation in a manufacturing context. Required qualities for ME-KPI suggested in literature are also discussed, and missing indicators are identified. Most of the identified ME-KPIs measure quality- and cost-related factors, while end-of-life scenarios, waste segregation and the environmental effects of waste generation and material consumption are not equally measured. Additionally, ME-KPIs must also be connected to pre-determined goals and that defining or revising ME-KPIs requires communication with various external and internal actors to increase employees’ awareness and engagement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 181, p. 17-32
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-38518DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.01.215ISI: 000428483100003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85042354105OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-38518DiVA, id: diva2:1179795
Available from: 2018-02-02 Created: 2018-02-02 Last updated: 2018-04-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sustainable Manufacturing through Material Efficiency Management
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable Manufacturing through Material Efficiency Management
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Material efficiency contributes to reduced industrial waste volumes, reduced extraction and consumption of virgin raw materials, increased waste segregation, decreased energy demand, and reduced carbon emissions, thereby generally mitigating the environmental impact of the manufacturing industry. However, the area of material efficiency in manufacturing is under-researched, and related knowledge is limited particularly at individual manufacturing sites and lower levels. These levels are crucial to achieve improved material efficiency, as a great amount of material is consumed and waste flows are generated on manufacturing shop floors. There are still gaps in both literature and industrial practice regarding material efficiency in manufacturing, where materials are consumed to make products and great volumes of waste are generated simultaneously.

The research objective of this dissertation is to contribute to existing knowledge on management and improvement of material efficiency in manufacturing. To achieve this objective, three research questions were formulated to investigate material efficiency barriers, material efficiency tools and strategies, and material efficiency performance measurement. The results are supported by four structured and extensive literature reviews and also by five empirical case studies conducted at a total of fourteen Swedish global manufacturing companies. These empirical studies entail observations, interviews, waste stream mapping, waste sorting analyses, environmental report reviews, and company walkthroughs.

A number of material efficiency barriers in manufacturing were identified, categorized and clustered to facilitate an understanding of material efficiency to effectively mitigate the barriers. The clustered barriers cited most often in the literature are budgetary, information, technology, management, vision and culture, uncertainty, engineering, and employees. In the empirical studies, vision and culture, technology, and uncertainty were replaced by communication. Most of the material efficiency barriers identified appear to be internal and are dependent on the manufacturing company’s characteristics.

A number of tools and strategies were identified and some were used to assess, manage, and improve material efficiency in the manufacturing companies studied. Empirical studies indicated that certain criteria are necessary to select and use operational tools. These criteria include being hands-on, time efficient, based on lean principles, easy to use and learn, visualized, promoting engagement, and being connected to a predetermined goal. These criteria are essential for mutual understanding, intra-organizational communication, performance improvement, and becoming a learning organization.

A model for a material efficiency performance measurement system was proposed that included the most common material efficiency-related key performance indicators from literature and empirical findings. The model divides material and waste flows into four main categories: productive input materials, auxiliary input materials, products, and residual output materials. The four main categories should be measured equally to realize material efficiency performance improvements in an operation.

This research contributes to the research area of material efficiency and sheds light on different inter-connected aspects, which affect one another and contribute to assess, manage and improve material efficiency in a manufacturing context. The studied conducted and the results are presented in five appended papers. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2018
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 253
National Category
Environmental Management
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-38520 (URN)978-91-7485-373-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-03-16, Raspen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-02-06 Created: 2018-02-02 Last updated: 2018-03-05Bibliographically approved

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Shahbazi, SashaWiktorsson, MagnusBjelkemyr, Marcus

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