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26-10-2020 | Production Process | Issue 5-6/2020

Production Engineering 5-6/2020

Reusable unit process life cycle inventory for manufacturing: metal injection molding

Journal:
Production Engineering > Issue 5-6/2020
Authors:
Kamyar Raoufi, Dustin S. Harper, Karl R. Haapala
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Abstract

Unit process life cycle inventory (UPLCI) is a modeling approach that enables researchers to estimate the energy use and material flow for a unit process. UPLCI models can be reused in characterizing a full manufacturing line, where a wide range of machines and materials are used. As part of a collaborative effort from various universities and industry researchers to create UPLCI models for all common manufacturing processes, this paper presents UPLCI for the metal injection molding (MIM) process, which is in the mass conserving category of the taxonomy of manufacturing processes. In addition to the energy required for injection molding of the metal-polymer feedstock and for the subsequent debinding and sintering processes, the energy consumption during idle and standby periods are also captured. The application of the UPLCI model for MIM process is demonstrated using an example case study. This UPLCI model provides opportunity for researchers to estimate the energy use for a sequence of manufacturing processes used to make a metal injection molded product.

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