Sustainability has become a very significant research topic since it impacts many different manufacturing industries. The adoption of sustainable manufacturing practices and technologies offers industry a cost effective route to improve economic, environmental, and social performance. As a major manufacturing process, the machining system plays an important role for sustainable manufacturing on the factory floor. Therefore, technologies for monitoring, analyzing, evaluating, and optimizing the sustainability impact of machining systems are critical for decision makers. Modeling and Simulation (M&S) can be an effective tool for success of sustainable manufacturing through its ability to predict the effect of implementing a new facility, process without interrupting real production. This paper introduces a methodology that provides a traditional virtual Numerical Control (NC) machining model with a new capability — to quantitatively analyze the environmental impact of machining system based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The objective of the methodology is to analyze the sustainability impacts of machining process and determine a better plan for improving the sustainable performance of machining system in a virtual environment before work orders are released to the shop floor. Testing different scenarios with simulation models ensures the best setting option available can be chosen. The virtual NC model provides the necessary data for this assessment. In this paper, a list of environmental impact indicators and their metrics has been identified, and modeling elements for sustainable machining have been discussed. Inputs and outputs of the virtual machining model for sustainable machining are described. A case study to experiment the proposed methodology is discussed.

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