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Addressing sustainability and flexibility in manufacturing via smart modular machine tool frames to support sustainable value creation

Peukert, Bernd; Benecke, Stephan; Clavell, Janire; Neugebauer, Sabrina; Nissen, Nils F.; Uhlmann, Eckart; Lang, Klaus-Dieter; Finkbeiner, Matthias

FG Technischer Umweltschutz / Sustainable Engineering

Sustainability and flexibility are crucial aspects in todays’ manufacturing processes. Within this study an innovative approach of modular machine tool frames (MMTF) equipped with micro system technology is presented that aims at enhancing flexibility of mutable production processes. This new approach extends the existing reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMS). MMTF goes beyond the platform approach via minimizing the machine tool frame parts used for the building block system of manufacturing cells. The concept has been realized by integration of modularized microelectronics and actuators enabling for integrity and accuracy of the machine tool frame. In this contribution, sustainable hotspots for the production of the MMTF are identified via a tiered life cycle sustainability assessment. From these findings, new approaches are derived that provide for a reasonable usage of mechanical and electronic components in MMTF for sustainable value creation.