• Sustainable μECM machining process: indicators and assessment

      Mortazavi, Mina; Ivanov, Atanas; Brunel University London (Elsevier, 2019-07-06)
      Sustainability assessment of a manufacturing process is not an easy task and requires knowledge from inside of the process physics or chemistry as well as the overall process performance considering the effectiveness of the process and specific applications. Sustainability assessment is with increasing demand among the manufacturing companies. At present sustainability is considered only among the traditional manufacturing techniques and non-traditional processes do not receive enough attention in spite of the increasing demand for their use. Additionally micro and nano non-traditional manufacturing processes are nearly not considered in the studies for sustainability; and micro electrochemical machining (μECM) was not an exemption either. μECM is one of the promising non-conventional machining processes but its expensive structure, complex nature of the electrochemical reaction and process dependency on operator experiences has kept it back at research level. Securing a place for a new manufacturing process has to be done by proving its sustainability in comparison to the other existing processes. In this work, the aim is to establish a framework for assessment of the μECM sustainability based on five dimensions of the sustainability in order to justify its use and the initial investment cost. Indicators and measures for the effectiveness of the process are suggested as well as machining performance parameters are discussed. Routes for optimizing machining parameters is also explored. Finally the full picture sustainability assessment is generated.