Year of Publication

2010

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Dusan P. Sekulic

Abstract

Engineering for sustainable development requires prudent utilization of resources under economic, environmental and societal constraints. Resource utilization must follow a holistic approach. This brings in a need for comprehensive metrics which are simple, standard and universal. Thermodynamics may offer a metric that focuses on both quality and quantity of energy resources which may carry information to be combined with other metrics. This metric may be a thermodynamic property called exergy or available energy, which provides a better insight into resource use in both energy and non-energy producing systems. This thesis is devoted to a study of the exergy concept in manufacturing.

A high volume PCB assembly, manufactured in a state of the art soldering facility is chosen for the study. Various mass and energy resources flowing through the production line were quantified in terms of exergy. On the basis of exergy content and exergy utilization in the production process, the sustainability in terms of resources use is discussed. An early version of this approach was presented at the International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technologies, IEEE, Washington DC, in May 2010.

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