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Sustainable production in the UK: a tool to support printed circuit assembly (PCA) manufacturing

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Product life-cycle reduction, hazardous substance utilisation, waste generation and resource utilisation – among other sustainably issues – are becoming a growing concern for electronics manufactures in the UK; with tighter measures not only over what materials can be used, but also on waste production and energy utilisation. This paper discusses extensions on a tool developed by the Loughborough University to include the evaluation of sustainable phenomena during production, thus supporting more sustainable production in the electronics manufacturing domain. The tool supports the optimisation of process and product design in advance of production runs in order to support a ‘right first time’ approach to manufacturing, whilst meeting both quality and customer requirements. The main contributions are (1) providing a simulation tool to approach sustainable aspects of business based on specific user priorities in the area, (2) demonstrating the tool on a real case study developed under industrial constraints and conditions and (3) providing a tool that can evolve along with the rapidly changing sustainability requirements in the application domain. The tool is presented, in this paper, along with its integrated modelling framework. The study contains results derived from an industry-based case study, designed to represent both the functionality and potential of the developed tool. The case study and the analysis have a focus on sustainable impacts due to poor quality.
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Keywords: PCA; electronics manufacturing; integration; modelling; quality; simulation; sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering,Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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