Remanufacturing of used-products is becoming an important activity in many production companies. This paper reviews key remanufacturing process, highlights eight unique characteristics of remanufacturing process environment and proposes a generic conceptual remanufacturing process model that considers the presence and interactions of these eight features. The generic conceptual model could be modified to suit remanufacturing process of any given used products to be remanufactured. Future research can modify the generic remanufacturing model to suit used automotive parts remanufacturing with unique characteristics and apply simulation technique to model and analyse the corresponding remanufacturing process.
This paper attempts to solve the typical problems of self-organizing growing network models, i.e. (a) an influence of the order of input data on the self-organizing ability, (b) an instability to high-dimensional data and an excessive sensitivity to noise, and (c) an expensive computational cost by integrating Kernel Bayes Rule (KBR) and Correntropy-Induced Metric (CIM) into Adaptive Resonance Theory (ART) framework. KBR performs a covariance-free Bayesian computation which is able to maintain a fast and stable computation. CIM is a generalized similarity measurement which can maintain a high-noise reduction ability even in a high-dimensional space. In addition, a Growing Neural Gas (GNG)-based topology construction process is integrated into the ART framework to enhance its self-organizing ability. The simulation experiments with synthetic and real-world datasets show that the proposed model has an outstanding stable self-organizing ability for various test environments.
Strategic noise mapping provides important information for noise impact assessment and noise abatement. However, producing reliable strategic noise mapping in a dynamic, complex working environment is difficult. This study proposes the implementation of the random walk approach as a new stochastic technique to simulate noise mapping and to predict the noise exposure level in a workplace. A stochastic simulation framework and software, namely RW-eNMS, were developed to facilitate the random walk approach in noise mapping prediction. This framework considers the randomness and complexity of machinery operation and noise emission levels. Also, it assesses the impact of noise on the workers and the surrounding environment. For data validation, three case studies were conducted to check the accuracy of the prediction data and to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of this approach. The results showed high accuracy of prediction results together with a majority of absolute differences of less than 2 dBA; also, the predicted noise doses were mostly in the range of measurement. Therefore, the random walk approach was effective in dealing with environmental noises. It could predict strategic noise mapping to facilitate noise monitoring and noise control in the workplaces.
Environmental protection is critical to maintain ecosystem services essential for human well-being. It is important to be able to rank countries by their environmental impact so that poor performers as well as policy 'models' can be identified. We provide novel metrics of country-specific environmental impact ranks - one proportional to total resource availability per country and an absolute (total) measure of impact - that explicitly avoid incorporating confounding human health or economic indicators. Our rankings are based on natural forest loss, habitat conversion, marine captures, fertilizer use, water pollution, carbon emissions and species threat, although many other variables were excluded due to a lack of country-specific data. Of 228 countries considered, 179 (proportional) and 171 (absolute) had sufficient data for correlations. The proportional index ranked Singapore, Korea, Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, Thailand, Bahrain, Malaysia, Philippines and Netherlands as having the highest proportional environmental impact, whereas Brazil, USA, China, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, India, Russia, Australia and Peru had the highest absolute impact (i.e., total resource use, emissions and species threatened). Proportional and absolute environmental impact ranks were correlated, with mainly Asian countries having both high proportional and absolute impact. Despite weak concordance among the drivers of environmental impact, countries often perform poorly for different reasons. We found no evidence to support the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis of a non-linear relationship between impact and per capita wealth, although there was a weak reduction in environmental impact as per capita wealth increases. Using structural equation models to account for cross-correlation, we found that increasing wealth was the most important driver of environmental impact. Our results show that the global community not only has to encourage better environmental performance in less-developed countries, especially those in Asia, there is also a requirement to focus on the development of environmentally friendly practices in wealthier countries.
Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly common to deploy sensors in public buildings or homes with the aim of obtaining data from the environment and taking decisions that help to save energy. Many of the current state-of-the-art systems make decisions considering solely the environmental factors that cause the consumption of energy. These systems are successful at optimizing energy consumption; however, they do not adapt to the preferences of users and their comfort. Any system that is to be used by end-users should consider factors that affect their wellbeing. Thus, this article proposes an energy-saving system, which apart from considering the environmental conditions also adapts to the preferences of inhabitants. The architecture is based on a Multi-Agent System (MAS), its agents use Agreement Technologies (AT) to perform a negotiation process between the comfort preferences of the users and the degree of optimization that the system can achieve according to these preferences. A case study was conducted in an office building, showing that the proposed system achieved average energy savings of 17.15%.
This study investigates the impact of the aggregate and individual dimensions of environmental performance (EP) on financial performance (FP), based on a dataset covering the travel and tourism industry (airlines, casinos, hotels, and restaurants) across different economic regions over the period 2003-2014. The results reveal that EP positively affects the FP in the hotel industry when aggregate EP is used. When individual dimensions of EP are considered, resource reduction is found to positively (negatively) affect the performance in the hotel (airline) industry, while product innovation positively affects the performance in the restaurant industry. Hence, the trade-off effect seems to be dominant in the airline industry, and the 'heterogeneous resources and reputation-building' hypothesis is evident in both the hotel and restaurant industries. In addition, in general, the findings support the positive moderating effect of slack resources on the relationship between the individual dimensions of EP and FP in the travel and tourism industry, and, hence, are supportive of the slack resources hypothesis. These effects, however, vary depending on the travel and tourism industry under investigation.
This paper aims to explore the level of manufacturing performance, environmental
actions and customer activities in implementing green supply chain initiatives. Besides,
the relationship between environmental actions and customer activities towards
manufacturing performance also been investigated. For this purposes, the data was
collected using questionnaire-based survey among Malaysian manufacturing firms.
Using the descriptive and correlation test, the data was analyzed. From the results, it
is showing that the manufacturing performance through the implementation of green
supply chain management has a positive relationship to environmental action and
Previous work has shown that exposure to images of nature results in elevated state body appreciation, but static images may lack ecological validity. Here, we examined the impact of exposure to short films of simulated, first-person walks in natural or built environments. Thirty-six university students completed a measure of state body appreciation before and after watching films of either a walk in a natural or a built environment created specifically for the present study. Two weeks later, they completed the same task but watched the other film type. Results indicated that exposure to the film of a natural environment resulted in significantly elevated state body appreciation (d = 0.66). There was no significant change in state body appreciation following exposure to the film of the built environment (d = 0.14). These findings suggest that exposure to films depicting the natural environment may promote immediate, moderate-sized improvements in state body image.
In 2013, the Malaysian Education Blueprint (Higher Education) was developed by the Ministry of Education to guide the transformation process of the education system in this country for the next decade, starting from 2015 (1). The blueprint highlighted core aspirations for Malaysian higher education, which includes rapid expansion of research output and quality (1). This effort is in line with the nation's aspiration to uplift the standard of service provision among healthcare professionals, whose practice should advance on the essence of high quality scientific evidence.(Copied from article)
The main objective of this study is to examine the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis by utilizing the ecological footprint as an environment indicator and GDP from tourism as the economic indicator. To achieve this goal, an environmental degradation model is established during the period of 1988-2008 for 144 countries. The results from the time series generalized method of moments (GMM) and the system panel GMM revealed that the number of countries that have a negative relationship between the ecological footprint and its determinants (GDP growth from tourism, energy consumption, trade openness, and urbanization) is more existent in the upper middle- and high-income countries. Moreover, the EKC hypothesis is more present in the upper middle- and high-income countries than the other income countries. From the outcome of this research, a number of policy recommendations were provided for the investigated countries.
The diversity of beetle assemblages in different habitat types (primary forest, logged forest, acacia plantation and oil palm plantation) in Sabah, Malaysia was investigated using three different methods based on habitat levels (Winkler sampling, flight-interception-trapping and mist-blowing). The overall diversity was extremely high, with 1711 species recorded from only 8028 individuals and 81 families (115 family and subfamily groups). Different degrees of environmental changes had varying effects on the beetle species richness and abundance, with oil palm plantation assemblage being most severely affected, followed by acacia plantation and then logged forest. A few species became numerically dominant in the oil palm plantation. In terms of beetle species composition, the acacia fauna showed much similarity with the logged forest fauna, and the oil palm fauna was very different from the rest. The effects of environmental variables (number of plant species, sapling and tree densities, amount of leaf litter, ground cover, canopy cover, soil pH and compaction) on the beetle assemblage were also investigated. Leaf litter correlated with species richness, abundance and composition of subterranean beetles. Plant species richness, tree and sapling densities correlated with species richness, abundance and composition of understorey beetles while ground cover correlated only with the species richness and abundance of these beetles. Canopy cover correlated only with arboreal beetles. In trophic structure, predators represented more than 40% of the species and individuals. Environmental changes affected the trophic structure with proportionally more herbivores (abundance) but fewer predators (species richness and abundance) in the oil palm plantation. Biodiversity, conservation and practical aspects of pest management were also highlighted in this study.
Decision-makers require useful tools, such as indicators, to help them make environmentally sound decisions leading to effective management of hazardous wastes. Four hazardous waste indicators are being tested for such a purpose by several countries within the Sustainable Development Indicator Programme of the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development. However, these indicators only address the 'down-stream' end-of-pipe industrial situation. More creative thinking is clearly needed to develop a wider range of indicators that not only reflects all aspects of industrial production that generates hazardous waste but considers socio-economic implications of the waste as well. Sets of useful and innovative indicators are proposed that could be applied to the emerging paradigm shift away from conventional end-of-pipe management actions and towards preventive strategies that are being increasingly adopted by industry often in association with local and national governments. A methodological and conceptual framework for the development of a core-set of hazardous waste indicators has been developed. Some of the indicator sets outlined quantify preventive waste management strategies (including indicators for cleaner production, hazardous waste reduction/minimization and life cycle analysis), whilst other sets address proactive strategies (including changes in production and consumption patterns, eco-efficiency, eco-intensity and resource productivity). Indicators for quantifying transport of hazardous wastes are also described. It was concluded that a number of the indicators proposed could now be usefully implemented as management tools using existing industrial and economic data. As cleaner production technologies and waste minimization approaches are more widely deployed, and industry integrates environmental concerns at all levels of decision-making, it is expected that the necessary data for construction of the remaining indicators will soon become available.
Great apes are threatened with extinction, but precise information about the distribution and size of most populations is currently lacking. We conducted orangutan nest counts in the Malaysian state of Sabah (North Borneo), using a combination of ground and helicopter surveys, and provided a way to estimate the current distribution and size of the populations living throughout the entire state. We show that the number of nests detected during aerial surveys is directly related to the estimated true animal density and that a helicopter is an efficient tool to provide robust estimates of orangutan numbers. Our results reveal that with a total estimated population size of about 11,000 individuals, Sabah is one of the main strongholds for orangutans in North Borneo. More than 60% of orangutans living in the state occur outside protected areas, in production forests that have been through several rounds of logging extraction and are still exploited for timber. The role of exploited forests clearly merits further investigation for orangutan conservation in Sabah.
We evaluated 38 dura x pisifera (DP) oil palm progenies in four locations in Malaysia for genotype by environment interaction and genotypic stability studies. The DP progenies derived from crosses between pisifera palms of AVROS, Serdang S27B, Serdang 29/36, and Lever Cameroon were chosen to be the males' parent and Deli dura palms designated as females' parent. All the locations differed in terms of soil physical and chemical properties, and the soil types ranged from coastal clay to inland soils. The genotype by environment interaction and stability of the individual genotypes were analyzed for oil yield trait using several stability techniques. A genotype by environment interaction was detected for oil yield and it had a larger variance component than genotypic variance (σ(2)(gl)/σ(2)(g) = 139.7%). Genotype by environment interaction of oil yield was largely explained by a non-linear relationship between genotypic and environmental values. Overall assessment of individual genotypic stability showed that seven genotypes were highly stable and had consistent performance over the environments for the oil yield trait [total individual genotype stability scored more than 10 and mean oil yielded above the average of the environment (genotype means are more than 34.37 kg·palm(-1)·year(-1))]. These genotypes will be useful for oil palm breeding and tissue culture programs for developing high oil yielding planting materials with stable performance.
The zoonotic malaria species Plasmodium knowlesi has become the main cause of human malaria in Malaysian Borneo. Deforestation and associated environmental and population changes have been hypothesized as main drivers of this apparent emergence. We gathered village-level data for P. knowlesi incidence for the districts of Kudat and Kota Marudu in Sabah state, Malaysia, for 2008-2012. We adjusted malaria records from routine reporting systems to reflect the diagnostic uncertainty of microscopy for P. knowlesi. We also developed negative binomial spatial autoregressive models to assess potential associations between P. knowlesi incidence and environmental variables derived from satellite-based remote-sensing data. Marked spatial heterogeneity in P. knowlesi incidence was observed, and village-level numbers of P. knowlesi cases were positively associated with forest cover and historical forest loss in surrounding areas. These results suggest the likelihood that deforestation and associated environmental changes are key drivers in P. knowlesi transmission in these areas.
Pedestrian overflow causes queuing delay and in turn, is controlled by the capacity of a facility. Flow control or blocking control takes action to avoid queues from building up to extreme values. Thus, in this paper, the problem of pedestrian flow control in open outdoor walking facilities in equilibrium condition is investigated using M/M/c/K queuing models. State dependent service rate based on speed and density relationship is utilized. The effective rate of the Poisson arrival process to the facility is determined so as there is no overflow of pedestrians. In addition, the use of the state dependent queuing models to the design of the facilities and the effect of pedestrian personal capacity on the design and the traffic congestion are discussed. The study does not validate the sustainability of adaptation of Western design codes for the pedestrian facilities in the countries like Bangladesh.
The importance of twin research in the field of preventive medicine is described from the viewpoint of gene-environment interaction. The recent advancements in twin research in Japan and other countries are the major topics in this paper. The historical background of the Japan Society for Twin Studies is described. The Center for Twin Research of Osaka University is also described as the first center of this kind in Japan. The advancement of epigenetic research is described as a new global trend of twin research, particularly in European countries. Other new trends in twin research in Asian countries, such as China, Indonesia, Russia, Iran, and Malaysia, are also described.
A prospective field study was carried out to investigate any preferential differences of gravid female Aedes mosquitoes in ovipositing their eggs in man-made containers placed in different environmental conditions. The findings of this study show that gravid female Aedes mosquitoes preferred to breed in containers found in the outdoor garden than those placed on the patio and or inside the house. The findings also show that if the breeding habitats in the garden were removed, they would favorably use the breeding habitats found on the patio or inside the house as alternatives. An incidental interesting finding in this study shows that ultra-low volume fogging of insecticides using the vehicle-mounted equipment carried out outside the house may promote the gravid female Aedes mosquitoes to enter the house to breed.
Land-use change models are important tools for integrated environmental management. Through scenario analysis they can help to identify near-future critical locations in the face of environmental change. A dynamic, spatially explicit, land-use change model is presented for the regional scale: CLUE-S. The model is specifically developed for the analysis of land use in small regions (e.g., a watershed or province) at a fine spatial resolution. The model structure is based on systems theory to allow the integrated analysis of land-use change in relation to socio-economic and biophysical driving factors. The model explicitly addresses the hierarchical organization of land use systems, spatial connectivity between locations and stability. Stability is incorporated by a set of variables that define the relative elasticity of the actual land-use type to conversion. The user can specify these settings based on expert knowledge or survey data. Two applications of the model in the Philippines and Malaysia are used to illustrate the functioning of the model and its validation.