This paper presents a system-level environmental analysis of machining. The analysis presented here considers not only the environmental impact of the material removal process itself, but also the impact of associated processes such as material preparation and cutting fluid preparation. This larger system view results in a more complete assessment of machining. Energy analyses show that the energy requirements of actual material removal can be quite small when compared to the total energy associated with machine tool operation. Also, depending on the energy intensity of the materials being machined, the energy of material production can, in some cases, far exceed the energy required for machine tool operation.

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