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Sustainable Manufacturing and Supply Chain in the Context of Industry 4.0: Opportunities and Challenges

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2022) | Viewed by 23168

Special Issue Editors

Faculty of Manufacturing Technologies with a seat in Prešov, Technical University of Košice, Bayerova 1, 08001 Prešov, Slovakia
Interests: quality assurance engineering; industrial engineering; mechanical engineering; Industry 4.0; ICT; composites; waste materials; manufacturing; circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Faculty of Mining, Ecology, Process Control and Geotechnologies, Institute of Earth Resources, Technical University of Košice, Park Komenskeho 19, 042 00 Košice, Slovakia
Interests: customization; sustainable manufacturing; circular economy; innovative technologies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The socioeconomic behavior of people and human society presupposes the necessary steps in technological preparation using the latest cybernetic and other modern technologies and methods. The Industry 4.0 concept was piloted in order to create a coherent policy framework in order to maintain and increase the competitiveness of the industry. Industry 4.0. means a large-scale transformation of the whole sphere of industrial production through the connection of digital technologies and robotics with conventional industry (suppliers, factory, distributors, even the product itself) into a highly integrated value chain. It is a completely new philosophy bringing societal change and spanning a wide range of areas from industry, through technical standardization, security, the education system, the legal framework, science, and research to the labor market and social system. Supply Chain 4.0 also consists of elements such as intelligent, automated not only in-house transport (e.g., autonomous cars), intelligent automated loading operations, intelligent “containers”, and intelligent–automated storage. Industrial information technologies play a key role here in enterprise information systems, as well as offer a precise understanding of all data and information for supply chain management. However, even here, there is a problem with a skilled workforce—not only system users, but especially their creators and innovators.

The Special Issue is focused on knowledge and practice and aims to bring together world-leading academics from the fields of:·        

  • Communication technologies;·        
  • Information and computer technologies;·        
  • Methods and techniques of cybernetics and artificial intelligence;·        
  • New materials and technologies.

Dr. Lucia Knapčíková
Dr. Behúnová Annamária
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • waste
  • management
  • customization
  • circular economy
  • manufacturing
  • Industry 4.0
  • augmented reality
  • digitalization
  • manufacturing
  • production
  • supply chain and transportation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

31 pages, 2705 KiB  
Article
Addressing the Impact of Fourth Industrial Revolution on South African Manufacturing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11703; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111703 - 22 Oct 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 9008
Abstract
The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) may fundamentally alter, not only the way people work but also, how Small and Medium (SME) manufacturing businesses operate. In the manufacturing sector, the 4IR may change the design; manufacturing; operations; services, products, and production systems; connectivity; and [...] Read more.
The fourth industrial revolution (4IR) may fundamentally alter, not only the way people work but also, how Small and Medium (SME) manufacturing businesses operate. In the manufacturing sector, the 4IR may change the design; manufacturing; operations; services, products, and production systems; connectivity; and the interaction among parts, machines, and people. While the 4IR technologies may have many benefits, owing to innovation and technological progress, the manufacturing SMEs require their challenges to be addressed before they may benefit from 4IR technologies. To the best of the knowledge of the researchers, there is no conceptual 4IR manufacturing framework, specifically for a developing economy, which is necessary for addressing these challenges and the opportunities promised by the new industry. This research, therefore, intends to fill this gap by developing a conceptual 4IR framework to assist South African manufacturing SMEs in addressing some of these challenges. Following a comprehensive literature review, components of the 4IR and challenges in the manufacturing industry are elucidated, aimed at defining a set of qualitative propositions as our instrument to develop a conceptual framework for embedding 4IR technologies and opportunities in the manufacturing industry. Further aspects of the framework enable businesses to gain a competitive advantage and sustainable business performance. Future work in this area will validate the framework among stakeholders in the manufacturing industry within the context of a developing economy. Full article
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22 pages, 2184 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Decision-Making Approach for Dual-Channel Manufacturing Systems under Space Constraints
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11456; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011456 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1744
Abstract
In response to the digital revolution, nowadays, many companies operate online and offline businesses in parallel to ensure their future competitiveness. This research examines the inventory strategy for multi-product vendor-buyer supply chain systems, considering space constraints and carbon emissions, in order to improve [...] Read more.
In response to the digital revolution, nowadays, many companies operate online and offline businesses in parallel to ensure their future competitiveness. This research examines the inventory strategy for multi-product vendor-buyer supply chain systems, considering space constraints and carbon emissions, in order to improve competence in managing online and offline integrated orders. We amalgamate costs and emissions in transport and storage. Here, we divide the warehouse of the buyer into two stages: one for satisfying online orders and the other for satisfying offline orders. We also assume that additional crashing costs reduce the lead times for receiving products in the buyer’s warehouse. This study demonstrates a mathematical model in the form of a constrained non-linear programme (NLP) and derives a Lagrangian multiplier method to solve it. An iterative solution procedure is designed in order to attain sustainable manufacturing decisions, which are illustrated numerically. Full article
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14 pages, 29701 KiB  
Article
Creation of Annual Order Forecast for the Production of Beverage Cans—The Case Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8524; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158524 - 30 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2585
Abstract
This article is focused on the creation of a system for forecasting of future orders for a specific beverage cans manufacturer. The problem comes from the irregular ordering of cans from different customers; not only national companies, but also from companies abroad. This [...] Read more.
This article is focused on the creation of a system for forecasting of future orders for a specific beverage cans manufacturer. The problem comes from the irregular ordering of cans from different customers; not only national companies, but also from companies abroad. This causes fluctuations in production and consequently an irregular transport regime. That is why the beverage can producer demanded a forecasting system that would help to create an annual production plan. The aim is to analyze the ordering process for the last two years and on that basis to create a forecast system of the possible ordering process for the following year. This is necessary for the introduction of regularity of production, because the frequent transitions of the line to another assortment range or other surface printing requires long downtimes due to the technological setting, thus creating large losses due to inactivity of the production line. As drinking habits of final customers reflect the sale of cans, it was expected that sale data would have a seasonable character; this was proved after a brief analysis of the former data. After that, the appropriate forecasting methods were chosen. The methodology was created to combine multiple forecast results into one to increase the forecast objectivity. Forecasting is performed at three different levels: forecasting of assortment, forecasting of region sale and total forecasting of all orders. In spite of the change in market behavior in 2020, due to the pandemic situation in the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis, the sale of beverage cans is expected to stabilize and return to pre-crisis level as early as 2021. Then the forecasting system will fully meet the company’s requirements. Full article
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23 pages, 7531 KiB  
Article
Newly Elaborated Hybrid Algorithm for Optimization of Robot Arm’s Trajectory in Order to Increase Efficiency and Provide Sustainability in Production
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8193; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158193 - 22 Jul 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1835
Abstract
Nowadays, resources for production (raw materials, human, energy, etc.) are limited, while population, consumption and environmental damage are continuously increasing. Consequently, the current practices of resource usage are not sustainable. Therefore, manufacturing companies have to change to environmentally friendly and innovative technologies and [...] Read more.
Nowadays, resources for production (raw materials, human, energy, etc.) are limited, while population, consumption and environmental damage are continuously increasing. Consequently, the current practices of resource usage are not sustainable. Therefore, manufacturing companies have to change to environmentally friendly and innovative technologies and tools, e.g., industrial robots. Robots are necessary in the production sector and also in terms of sustainability: (1) the application of robots is needed to compensate for the lack of human resources; (2) robots can increase productivity significantly; and (3) there are several hazardous (e.g., chemical, physical) industrial tasks for which robots are more adequate than human workforce. This article introduces a newly elaborated Hybrid Algorithm for optimization of a robot arm’s trajectory by the selection of that trajectory that has the smallest cycle time. This Hybrid Algorithm is based on the Tabu Search Algorithm and also uses two added methods—Point Insertion and Grid Refinement—simultaneously to find more precisely the optimal motion path of the robot arm in order to further reduce the cycle time and utilize the joints’ torque more efficiently. This Hybrid Algorithm is even more effective than applying the Tabu Search method alone and results in even higher efficiency improvement. The Hybrid Algorithm is executed using MATLAB software by creating a dynamic model of a 5 degree-of-freedom robot arm. The main contribution of the research is the elaboration of the new Hybrid Algorithm, which results in the minimization of robot arms’ motion cycle times, causing a significant increase in productivity and thus a reduction in specific production cost; furthermore, obstacles in the workspace can be avoided. The efficiency of the Hybrid Algorithm is validated by a case study showing that application of the new algorithm resulted in 32% shorter motion cycle time. Full article
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22 pages, 13463 KiB  
Article
Implementation of a Recycled Polypropylene Homopolymer Material for Use in Additive Manufacturing
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4990; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094990 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2113
Abstract
The main objective of the presented scientific article is to define the mechanical properties of polypropylene homopolymer with a prescribed percentage ratio of recycled granulate. The chosen material is intended for injection molding and especially for the production of products made by additive [...] Read more.
The main objective of the presented scientific article is to define the mechanical properties of polypropylene homopolymer with a prescribed percentage ratio of recycled granulate. The chosen material is intended for injection molding and especially for the production of products made by additive technologies. Experimental verification of the mechanical properties was realized by testing samples produced with various concentrations of the recycled material. Experimental samples underwent tests to obtain the mechanical properties of the produced new material. These tests included rheological tests, tensile and flexural tests as well as and Charpy impact toughness tests. These mechanical tests were conducted according to ISO standards valid for the individual testing method. Testing methods were carried out using prescribed numbers of testing samples. The presented scientific article is also focused on changes in microstructures of testing materials in relation to the percentage ratio of recycled granulate. Recycled granulate of thermoplastic was not necessity for additional modifications. Full article
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15 pages, 4412 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of eMaintenance Application Based on the New Version of the EFQM Model
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3682; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073682 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4659
Abstract
Maintenance management is connected with two opposing aspects, management costs and operational efficiency. With the implementation of new technology within the Industry 4.0 (I4.0) concept, new technical solutions are being created. These solutions (mainly robotic workplaces) must reach a maximum performance rate, production [...] Read more.
Maintenance management is connected with two opposing aspects, management costs and operational efficiency. With the implementation of new technology within the Industry 4.0 (I4.0) concept, new technical solutions are being created. These solutions (mainly robotic workplaces) must reach a maximum performance rate, production quality, and, of course, high availability. Their operation, during the whole life cycle, is expected to be absolutely safe with minimum maintenance costs. These trends, even though they seem to be optimistic, face a lot of problems. The conducted research follows up on the results of previous research aimed at the initial assessment Slovak industrial company readiness status for the I4.0 conception between 2017 and 2019. The aim of the ongoing research was to assess the readiness status in more than 70 industrial organizations in the selected area for the new concept of maintenance management (eMaintenance) and its relation to machinery integrated safety. The research was carried out by questioning, with the structure of individual questions and closed answers stemmed from the self-evaluation according to the new European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model (2020). The results of the research were presented to managements of questioned organizations and confirmed the assumptions about a low level of maintenance management transformation to eMaintenance. Full article
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