Using lean methodologies for economically and environmentally sustainable foundries

R. M. Torielli, R. A. Abrahams, R. W. Smillie, Robert Carl Voigt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lean manufacturing is often seen as a set of tools that reduce the total cost and improve the quality of manufactured products. The lean management philosophy is one which targets waste reduction in every facet of the manufacturing business; however, only recently have studies linked lean management philosophies with improving environmental sustainability. These studies suggest that lean manufacturing is more than a set of lean tools that can optimize manufacturing efficiencies; it is a process and mindset that needs to be integrated into daily manufacturing systems to achieve sustainability. The foundry industry, as well as manufacturing in general, has significant challenges in the current regulatory and political climate with developing an economically and environmentally sustainable business model. Lean manufacturing has proven itself as a model for both economic sustainability and environmental stewardship. Several recent studies have shown that both lean and green techniques and "zero-waste" policies also lead to reductions in overall cost. While these strategies have been examined for general manufacturing, they have not been investigated in detail for the foundry industry. This paper will review the current literature and describe how lean and green can provide a relevant framework for environmentally and economically sustainable foundries. Examples of lean and green technologies and techniques which can be applied to foundries in a global context will be described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-88
Number of pages15
JournalChina Foundry
Volume8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 10 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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