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IBM Journal of Research and Development

Environmental Monitoring and Management   Abstract

Carbon management in assembly manufacturing logistics

by K. Sourirajan
P. Centonze
M. E. Helander
K. Katircioglu
M. Ben-Hamida
and C. Boucher
In this paper, we present the IBM Carbon Analyzer Tool, a software solution that models and quantifies carbon emissions and explores ways to reduce emissions through advanced analytics. The tool is designed to manage carbon emissions associated with the support logistics for an assembly manufacturing operation. The tool has four analytical modules. A shipment analysis module calculates carbon emissions from transportation activities and analyzes opportunities for reducing emissions by changing fuel types of vehicles and using larger vehicles that permit consolidated shipments. A sourcing analysis module compares sourcing alternatives, including changes to supplier locations, routing of shipments, frequency of orders, and transportation modes. A scenario analysis module explores various consolidation policies to minimize transportation, inventory, and carbon costs, subject to inventory availability requirements. A sensitivity analysis module quantifies the effects of changes to uncontrollable and uncertain inputs, such as manufacturing demand for components, carbon prices, and supplier reliability. The tool makes use of a Java™-based graphical user interface and an IBM DB2® (Database 2™) platform to manage input and output data. A pilot implementation of the solution, using actual customer data, showed that emissions and transportation costs can be reduced simultaneously by optimizing vehicle use, fuel types, and shipment consolidation. Achieving a 20%-30% reduction in emission was possible with minimal cost increase.

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