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Open AccessArticle

Simulation Modeling Approach for Collaborative Workplaces’ Assessment in Sustainable Manufacturing

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maribor, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
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Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4103; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104103
Received: 8 April 2020 / Revised: 7 May 2020 / Accepted: 16 May 2020 / Published: 18 May 2020
The presented manuscript represents a new simulation modeling approach, which evaluates the impact of collaborative workplaces on manufacturing sustainability in terms of workplaces’ cost, flow times and electrical energy consumption. The impact of collaborative workplaces on the manufacturing system and on its sustainable viability as a whole has not yet been explored, despite the fact that collaborative workplaces are increasingly present in different manufacturing systems. In the past, researchers have devoted a lot of time to research individually examining the collaborative machines, workplaces and various aspects of Sustainable Manufacturing. Investigating the impact of collaborative workplaces on an enterprise’s financial, social and environmental points of view is a very complex task, since we are talking about a multicriteria evaluation of manufacturing systems. The simulation approach is based on a newly proposed block diagram structure that allows for an evaluation of the impact of collaborative workplaces on Sustainable Manufacturing in its entirety. Using the input data of the real-world manufacturing system characteristics and Eurostat statistical values, numerical and graphical results of the proposed simulation evaluation are given, which, with a high degree of evaluation credibility, influences the introduction of collaborative workplaces in manual workplaces. The results obtained show a 20% reduction in the cost of collaborative workstations compared to manual assembly workstations, a 13.2% reduction in order throughput times, a negligible increase in energy consumption in operation mode of 3.28% and a 4.57% reduction in the idle mode. The new evaluation approach allows for a comprehensive consideration of the influence of the collective workplace when developing new or modernizing existing manufacturing systems from a financial, social and environmental point of view. View Full-Text
Keywords: simulation modeling; collaborative workplace; human-robot collaboration; Sustainable Manufacturing; mass customization; environmental, social and financial assessment simulation modeling; collaborative workplace; human-robot collaboration; Sustainable Manufacturing; mass customization; environmental, social and financial assessment
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Ojstersek, R.; Buchmeister, B. Simulation Modeling Approach for Collaborative Workplaces’ Assessment in Sustainable Manufacturing. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4103.

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