Title: Establishing foundational concepts for sustainable manufacturing systems assessment through systems thinking

Authors: Hao Zhang; Javier Calvo-Amodio; Karl R. Haapala

Addresses: School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA ' School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA ' School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA

Abstract: The foundational concepts of sustainability have emerged over the past 40 years and have attracted the interest of academic researchers and manufacturing industry practitioners, particularly in understanding how the concepts can be applied to increase competitiveness. Consumers are demanding affordable, eco-friendly products that are produced in a socially responsible manner. Challenges of achieving sustainability span all levels of the manufacturing system. The assessment of a system can be a complex problem which requires systems thinking as guide for theory development. The work presented seeks to provide operational definitions for sustainable manufacturing assessment by applying systems thinking methods as a first step to defining a unified theoretical framework. Thus, operational definitions are developed based on content analysis of existing sustainable manufacturing literature and common definitions. A discussion of the integration of systems thinking and sustainable manufacturing assessment then follows.

Keywords: sustainable manufacturing; systems thinking; system design; economic viability environmental impact; social responsibility; operational definitions; decision making.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEAM.2015.072124

International Journal of Strategic Engineering Asset Management, 2015 Vol.2 No.3, pp.249 - 269

Available online: 01 Oct 2015 *

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