The purpose of this research was to develop new sustainability indicators consistent with the sand mould casting industry, through benchmarking of cleaner production (CP), in order to identify the levels of practice and performance of companies of the casting sector. In addition, a lean manufacturing checklist was specified in order to verify the presence of lean manufacturing techniques employed to eliminate waste towards CP. No previous work was found in the literature that attempts to assess practices and performance of companies performing sand mould casting (a significantly polluting manufacturing process) in the context of CP and lean manufacturing.
For the application of this benchmarking, nine companies from the sand mould casting sector were studied, where the profile of each company was analysed through eight variables and 47 indicators. Data was obtained through face-to-face visits and questionnaire application in the companies, and the data was analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively.
The results obtained were the diagnosis of companies' practices and performance resulting from their position in the benchmarking charts, as well as the identification of the areas in which companies should implement improvements aiming at achieving CP.
This research was developed specifically for sand mould casting companies, and each process has its own characteristics
14 companies were invited to participate in this survey, but nine companies agreed to participate. Unfortunately, there were companies that declined to participate in the survey.
It is important to diagnose casting companies regarding CP practices, performance and deployment potential. Thus, important negative issues in the company can be identified, and with this information, they can develop actions focussed on cases that need more attention. In addition, this work contributes to evaluate the relationship and efficiency of improvement actions developed by companies in the context of both lean manufacturing and CP, aiming to reduce or eliminate the environmental impact. The improvement of practices and performance of a company regarding CP is considered to be beneficial to supply chain management in the context of sustainability, as the other participating companies are likely to seek ways to reduce environmental impact, and the diagnostics provided by this work may also be used by those companies.
The authors would like to thank the companies and their professionals who participated in this research for their attention and information. The second author would like to thank the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) of Brazil for the financial support for this project.
da Silva, H.G., Ferreira, J.C.E., Kumar, V. and Garza-Reyes, J.A. (2020), "Benchmarking of cleaner production in sand mould casting companies", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 31 No. 5, pp. 1407-1435. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-12-2019-0272
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