Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) is a widely used approach through manufacturing environments in a variety of sectors. With a tendency to go to specialized, smaller lot sizes in several industries (e.g., the pharmaceutical sector), companies are dealing with capacity bottlenecks if the planning rhythm wheel is not well calibrated or when production lines are not flexible enough in terms of changeover (C/O) and set-up times (S/U) (OEE is too small). A well-established communication system including other enterprise resources or production factors (e.g., Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP) is favorable to any extent. More and more questions arise from stakeholder communities and end-users on whether or not supply chains and manufacturing environments are sustainable and safe. Departments such as Environmental Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS & S) and Product Stewardship are too often at the “blind” side of the ICT interface. When it comes to product and organizational sustainability, data seems to be lacking in order to conduct sustainability assessments proficiently. Years of intensive research and experience proved that primary data to perform sustainability assessments often are measured through equipment control sensors (e.g., flow rates, temperatures, etc.
) and sent to PLCs and many other systems. Nevertheless, these data measurements are in many cases simply not penetrating through the Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) because these bottom-up engineering data seems to be of little value to planning, procurement, etc.
This communication paper deals with how sustainability assessments can be embedded in business operational management systems. After all, who does not want a “live Carbon Footprint” for process improvements and external sustainability reporting instead of a series of expensive resource consuming studies of 4 to 6 months digging into data logs in traditional Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)? This communication paper has taken one step further in coupling business ERP systems with environmental sustainability of products, services and enterprises.
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