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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Decision-Based Analysis of Compressed Air Usage Patterns in Automotive Manufacturing


This study is an evaluation of the use and supply of compressed air, which is one of the most expensive energy sources in manufacturing, at Ford Motor Company’s Livonia (Mich.) Transmission Plant. The aim of the study is to make recommendations to improve environmental and economic efficiency in future facilities. This paper presents a quantitative analysis of three compressed air supply patterns—plant air, point of use (POU), and local generation—as alternatives for future compressed air usage. Environmental Value systems(EnVS) tools are employed to analyze the economic and environmental performance of the three alternative supply patterns by using cost of ownership and environmental impact matrices. The results favor local generation over the other two alternatives in terms of economic and environmental considerations.

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