Manufacturing accounts for 31% of all energy consumed in the United States. Of increasing concern to industry decision makers is how to make their manufacturing processes more sustainable. Current sustainable assessment methods do not consider the parameters of unit manufacturing processes (UMPs) and, thus, do not provide the granular level of modeling required for accurate sustainability performance assessment. Further, there is little research within the field of sustainable manufacturing into how to recompose UMPs to form a unified model of a manufacturing system. This research attempts to rectify this deficiency by investigating the feasibility of composing (linking) disparate processes by incorporating the workpiece as an information repository. This enables modeling the information flows between processes as a co-product of the transformations imparted to the workpiece by the selected manufacturing processes. The result is a method for assessing the sustainability performance of a manufacturing system. This method would provide value to decision makers through more capable tools to better understand the sustainability performance of their manufacturing system.

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