The purpose of this project is to extend lean manufacturing methods, particularly value stream mapping (VSM), to accommodate environmental waste.
Lean manufacturing looks at minimisation of all types of waste, although it primarily focusses on things like raw materials, scrap, transitional inventory, and time. Thus VSM, which is a specific tool used for implementing lean, is directed at minimising waste time. We are extending that to include environmental waste. This is worth doing as different manufacturing processes have different consequences in the natural environment. If the work is successful it will help manufacturing organisations with greater environmental sustainability of their processes, and give them a strategic point of difference with customers who are environmentally-conscious.
The work was done by Mr Timothy Roosen as a Masters thesis, and in conjunction with an industry partner. You can read the resulting journal paper here http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/298103