It is often estimated that 80 % of a problem is due to 20 % of the cause and evidence suggests this 20 % can be a target rich environment for high return research investments. Likewise, research investments that focus on the highest 20 % of environmental impacts can disproportionally improve environmental sustainability. Environmental impact areas and costs tend to correlate, making it possible to reduce both simultaneously. The research below investigates identifying these high cost/impact areas for manufacturing, including flow times, which increase capital costs.
Life-Cycle Cost of Manufactured Goods: A Case Study in US Ground Passenger Transportation. This paper examines the life-cycle cost of passenger ground transportation as a proof of concept to identify those items that have both a high cost and high environmental impact. Public research that focuses on these items has the potential to be more economical than other areas. This paper uses US input-output data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, data from the American Time Use Survey, and environmentally extended input-output data to examine the supply chain for production and use of ground transportation equipment. This paper is unique in that it identifies the costs, some of which are not documented in GDP (i.e., uncompensated time use), along with the environmental impacts of producing and using a class of manufactured goods.
US Manufacturing Value Chain: An International Perspective. This report uses input-output data from the World Input-Output Database to track the intermediate goods and services used in national manufacturing industries. Specifically, it examines the extent that supply chains increasingly involve imports and the extent that this trend has changed for the U.S. and other countries.
An Examination of National Supply-Chain Flow Time. This paper utilizes data on manufacturing inventory along with data on inter-industry interactions to develop a method for tracking industry-level flow time and identifying bottlenecks in US manufacturing. As a proof of concept, this method is applied to the production of three commodities: aircraft, automobiles/trucks, and computers.
Inventory and Flow Time in the US Manufacturing Industry. This report identifies and reviews data on manufacturing inventory and flow time along with data on inter-industry interactions. It then develops a method for tracking the flow time of US manufactured products. This method is illustrated for automotive and aircraft manufacturing.