A Study on Green Manufacturing in a Car Battery Manufacturing Plant

A Study on Green Manufacturing in a Car Battery Manufacturing Plant

Sedef Ergün (Department of Industrial Engineering, Çankaya University, Ankara, Turkey), Sibel Uludağ-Demirer (Department of Environmental Engineering, Karabuk University, Karabuk, Turkey) and Suat Kasap (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Turkish Aeronautical Association, Ankara, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/ijal.2013100103


This study presents an environmental manufacturing system analysis for companies looking for the benefits of environmental management in achieving high productivity levels. When the relationship between environmental costs and manufacturing decisions is examined, it can be seen that the productivity of the company can be increased by adopting a methodology of an environmentally integrated manufacturing system analysis. This study presents such a methodology and the roadmap for generating environmentally friendly and economically favorable alternative waste management solutions is elaborated. The methodology combines data collection, operational analysis of the manufacturing processes, identification of wastes, and evaluation of waste reduction alternatives. The presented methodology is examined in a car battery manufacturing plant, which generates hazardous wastes composed of lead. It is aimed to decrease the wastes derived from the production so that the efficiency in raw materials usage is increased and the need for recycling the hazardous wastes is decreased.
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While the limited resources and strict environmental regulations make the manufacturers to adopt effective and powerful environmental management strategies in production, the environmentally aware consumers create new trends in the market, like sustainable consumption, which control and affect decision making. Consequently, not only researchers, but also manufacturing managers are recognizing the importance of environmental management systems used for managing environmental practices. (Porter & van der Linde, 1995; Gupta & Sharma, 1996; Angell & Klassen, 1999; Klassen, 2000; Xigang & Zhaoling, 2000; Sroufe, 2003; Claver et al., 2007).

A major barrier to the adoption of environmental management systems is that companies often do not know the environmental costs of operating their business and therefore do not know the financial benefits that can be obtained by reducing their environmental impacts. Previously, environmental costs were generally defined as costs dealing with environmental laws, regulations, and taxes. It is now recognized that the true environmental costs includes: costs of resources, waste treatment and disposal costs, the cost of poor environmental reputation, and the cost of paying an environmental risk premium. The calculation and evaluation of environmental costs provide better understanding of the production cost of a product, and that it properly allocates costs to product, process, system or facility. Measuring environmental costs also improves the correctness of the pricing and gives profitability and competitive advantage, therefore increases the overall management system of a company (Porter, 1991).

For this reason, environmentally integrated manufacturing decisions require for the consideration of technical, economic, and ecological aspects of the manufacturing processes simultaneously. Especially the companies using hazardous materials in their production have started to consider environmentally integrated manufacturing systems to decrease their impacts on environment and to prevent pollution at source directly.

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