The major global drivers affecting our societies are listed as human population, food based security, energy based security, resource depletion, emissions and associated climate change, community safety, transportation and economic globalization. Out of these global drivers, the most important global driver is identified to be the human population. In order to satisfy the increasing needs of the growing population, manufacturing sector is facing rapid growth and technological developments. Environment friendly design and manufacturing methods are attaining high importance for sustainable development. As manufacturing sector deals with different input resources and waste streams, there is a need to make these developments economically feasible and sustainable in nature. Thermodynamic assessment methodologies can provide an efficient way of quantifying input and output streams. In order to have better understanding of the energy flow involved in the manufacturing process, there is a need to explore a methodology based on the principles of thermodynamics to assess the manufacturing process. The application of second law of thermodynamics, in the form of exergy analysis, is very helpful in improving the efficiency of the process. In addition exergy analysis has potential to reveal the energy inefficiencies present within the process generally mentioned as exergy losses. The increase in exergy efficiency of the process decreases the environmental impact. The presented study provides an overview of implementing exergy analysis for a metal cutting operation of discrete nature. The study revealed that efficiency of removal can be increased by optimizing the input raw materials and electrical energy supplied during the cutting operation.

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