Software-based tool path evaluation for environmental sustainability
Currently available life cycle assessment (LCA) tools provide only a rough estimation of the environmental impact of different manufacturing operations (e.g. energy consumption). To address this limitation, a web-based and application programming interface (API) based process analysis software tools were developed to estimate the energy consumption of a computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tool operation and to evaluate its environmental impact as a first step towards sustainable manufacturing analysis. Acceleration/deceleration of machine tool axes and the direction of axes movement were considered to estimate the total energy demand and processing time of the machine tool operation. Several tool path generation schemes were tested to analyze the energy consumption and resulting green house gas emission of CNC machine tool operation. It showed that tool path generation schemes affect the amount of energy and the processing time required to machine the same part, and location of the machining resulted in different amount and characteristics of green house gas emission.