A framework incorporating lean six sigma and life-cycle assessment in sustainable manufacturing

Fargani, Haitem (2017) A framework incorporating lean six sigma and life-cycle assessment in sustainable manufacturing. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

Manufacturing companies must consider the environmental and social aspects of their business in order to meet the requirements of sustainable manufacturing (SM). In this context, traditional manufacturing management techniques are being challenged because they do not address environmental concerns. Therefore, to meet the commitment to sustainability, a new manufacturing paradigm is needed to improve these techniques in order to assist practitioners and researchers in overcoming this new challenge. This study addresses Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as important live manufacturing improvement techniques that are currently handled independently, but there could be value in bringing them together. Researching the integration of LSS and LCA is expected to reveal improvement opportunities that would enhance the financial and environmental performance of SM. The main objective of this research has been therefore to design a framework to integrate LSS and LCA so as to yield an outcome better than that obtained if the two methods are applied in isolation.

The thesis explores SM through an extensive literature review and then proceeds with data collection using a mixed-methods approach. Analysis of the knowledge and data acquired reveals that communication, environmental strategy and the market are important factors in integrating LSS and LCA. The data is also used to examine the current state of sustainability in a sample of companies by examining the recommendations put forward by other researchers for the transition to SM. The results show that most companies struggle in SM because these recommendations are not adopted.

The findings of the study lead to the development of a framework that can be used to support decision making in sustainable manufacturing and to guide environmental improvement projects. The framework illustrates how conducting a LCA study provides the information to formulate an environmental strategy, and how to undertake a LSS project to make improvements. The framework highlights the importance of upgrading standard LSS tools to include environmental measures. Finally, thought experiments are conducted to demonstrate the usefulness of the framework.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H700 Production and Manufacturing Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2018 14:03
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2019 08:16
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/36189

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