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Increasing the Sustainability of Manufacturing Processes: Ecological Impacts of Additive Manufacturing

  • Digitalization and sustainable development are goals of the global community, but can they also be achieved simultaneously? This article investigates the impacts of additive manufacturing (AM) on sustainable production and consumption. The use of AM technology as a means of digitalizing manufacturing processes is assessed through a qualitative life cycle analysis. The model developed for this purpose provides a structure for an analysis of the general ecological effects of AM. The systematics of the life cycle model also supports a company-specific assessment. AM can have a positive impact on achieving sustainable development with regards to ecological effects, particularly by reducing the consumption of resources in production and distribution. However, there are also negative ecological impacts of this technology, such as rebound effects and high energy consumption, which vary depending on the application and the printing process. It appears necessary for regulatory policy to intervene to maximize the opportunities for the positive effects of this technology. However, it is important to reduce the risks that contradict the objectives of the 12th Sustainable Development Goal of the UN: sustainability of consumption and production.

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Author:Carsten Feldmann, Therese Kirsch
Parent Title (English):Production Engineering and Management
Publisher:OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Place of publication:Lemgo
Editor:Elio Padoano, Franz-Josef Villmer
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Date of Publication (online):2019/10/09
Date of first Publication:2019/10/04
Provider of the Publication Server:FH M√ľnster - University of Applied Sciences
Creating Corporation:Technische Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe
Contributing Corporation:Università Degli Studi di Trieste
Release Date:2019/10/09
Tag:3D printing; Digitalization; Ecological sustainability; Life-cycle assessment; Sustainable developement goals
First Page:63
Last Page:76
Faculties:Wirtschaft (MSB)
Publication list:Feldmann, Carsten
Kirsch, Therese
Licence (German):License LogoBibliographische Daten