Session 8: Innovations for Improving Productivity
This presentation will introduce to the audience a new metal-finishing specific sustainability metrics system that can be utilized to determine the sustainability and profitability of newly developed and/or recently introduced technical advancements to the metal finishing market.
Technologies for Improved Performance or Increased Efficiency
Accelerated technology innovation entails rapid transfer of new technologies to the design and manufacturing of high performance products and services. While those technologies become an engine of change and progress, the net profit brought to the environment and society could be questionable, if sustainability principles were not fully incorporated into technology development and application phases. In the metal finishing industry, numerous technologies are being developed, tested, or adopted in metal finishing facilities. It is highly desirable that those technologies are evaluated systematically for their sustainability performance improvement potentials.
In the past year, we developed a metal-finishing-specific sustainability metrics system. The metric system is composed of three sets of indicators for measuring over forty aspects of sustainability. In this presentation, we introduce a technology evaluation methodology where the sustainability metrics system is incorporated. The methodology can be used to conduct a detailed analysis of sustainability performance of each technology, and rank the evaluated technologies according to the predicted sustainability performance and impact on profitability of a metal finishing facility, if they are adopted. The efficacy of this proposed methodology is shown through case studies looking at different technologies and their effects on electroplating facilities.