Responsible Consumption and Production

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Material Flow Analysis

  • Hasse NylundEmail author
  • Minna Lanz
Living reference work entry



Material flow analysis is the study of well-defined process chains where raw materials are transformed into goods and products that are consumed or used by end users or customers.


In this entry, material in material flow is understood as goods or products that are consumed or used by customers. The focus is on industrial systems and flow of materials in industrial supply chains. The material flow is described with activities, the individual steps, as well as a process that consists of several of the individual steps of activities.

Encyclopedia Britannica (2018) defines material as “the elements, constituents, or substance of which something is composed or can be made.” Similarly, Rhee (2008) defines material to physical matter that is used to produce an object, which typically is some kind of product. Material can also be divided into substances and goods, where a substance is a single type of material,...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bandyopadhyay S, Bhattacharya R (2014) Discrete and continuous simulation: theory and practice. CRC Press, Boca RatonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bangsow S (2016) Tecnomatix plant simulation - modeling and programming by means of examples. Springer, ChamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Banks J (2003) Discrete Event Simulation. Encyclopedia of Information Systems, 1:663–671. Academic Press, USAGoogle Scholar
  4. Banks J, Carson JS, Nelson BL, Nicol DM (2010) Discrete-event system simulation. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar
  5. Bowman C, Ambrosini V (2010) How value is created, captured and destroyed. Eur Bus Rev 22(5):479–495. Scholar
  6. Bras B (1997) Incorporating environmental issues in product design and realization, Ind Environ. Special Issue on Product Design and the Environment 20:1–19Google Scholar
  7. Brunner P, Rechberger H (2004) Practical handbook of material flow analysis. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  8. Carson J (2005) Introduction to modelling and simulation. In: Kuhl ME, Steiger NM, Armstrong FB, Joines JA (eds) Proceedings of the 2005 winter simulation conferenceGoogle Scholar
  9. ElMaraghy H, Wiendahl HP (2009) Changeability – an introduction. In: ElMaraghy H (ed) Changeable and reconfigurable manufacturing systems. Springer, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Encyclopedia Britannica (2018) Accessed 20 Apr 2018
  11. Enzler S (2006) Aspects of material flow management. In: Wagner B, Enzler S (eds) Material flow management. Sustainability and innovation. Physica-Verlag, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  12. GRI (2015) Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Sustainability report.
  13. Hubka V, Eder E (1988) Theory of technical systems. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. ISO (1985) ISO 5807:1985 information processing – documentation symbols and conventions for data, program and system flowcharts, program network charts and system resources chartsGoogle Scholar
  15. Jayal AD, Badurdeen F, Dillon OW, Jawahir IS (2010) Sustainable manufacturing: modeling and optimization challenges at the product, process and system levels. CIRP J Manuf Sci Technol 2(3):144–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kumar S, Putnam V (2008) Cradle to cradle: reverse logistics strategies and opportunities across three industry sectors. Int J Prod Econ 115:305–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kurle D (2018) Integrated planning of heat flows in production systems. Springer International Publishing, Cham, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  18. Lanz M, Järvenpää E, Nylund H, Tuokko R, Torvinen S (2014) Sustainability and performance indicators landscape. Accessed 27 Apr 2018
  19. Law AM (2015) Simulation Modeling and Analysis, 5th edn. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Liker J (2004) The Toyota way: 14 management principles from the world’s greatest manufacturer, 1st edn. McGraw-Hill, Madison, WIGoogle Scholar
  21. MacArthur E, Zumwinkel K, Stuchtey MR (2015) Growth within: a circular economy vision for a competitive Europe. Report of Ellen MacArthur FoundationGoogle Scholar
  22. Nylund H, Tapaninaho M, Torvinen S, Andersson PH (2013) Impacts of product lifecycle and production system design on competitive and sustainable production. In: Azevedo A (ed) Advances in sustainable and competitive manufacturing systems. Lecture notes in mechanical engineering. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  23. OECD (2011) OECD sustainable manufacturing toolkit. OECD Publishing.
  24. Rhee J (2008) Materials. In: Erlhoff M, Marshall T (eds) Design dictionary. Board of International Research in Design. Birkhäuser, BaselGoogle Scholar
  25. Robinson S (2004) Simulation: the practice of model development and use. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  26. Rolstadås A, Henriksen B, O’Sullivan D (2012) Manufacturing outsourcing – a knowledge perspective. Springer, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rother M, Shook J (1999) Learning to see: value stream mapping to create value and eliminate muda. Lean Enterprise Institute, BrooklineGoogle Scholar
  28. Rummler GA, Brache AP (1990) Improving performance: How to manage the white space on the organization chart. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco CAGoogle Scholar
  29. Schenk M, Wirth S, Müller E (2010) Factory planning manual – situation-driven production facility planning. Springer, Berlin/HeidelbergCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Umeda Y, Nonomura A, Tomiyama T (2000) Study on life-cycle design for the post mass production paradigm. Artif Intell Eng Design Anal Manuf 14:149–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. United Nations (UN) (2018) United Nations 17 goals to transform our world – goal 12: ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Accessed 20 Apr 2018
  32. van de Weerd I, Brinkkemper S (2008) Meta-modeling for situational analysis and design methods. In: Rahman M, Nessa S (eds) Handbook of research on modern systems analysis and design technologies and applications. IGI Global, Hershey, PAGoogle Scholar
  33. Wiendahl HP, Reichardt J, Nyhuis P (2015) Handbook factory planning and design. Springer, Berlin/HeidelbergCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and Natural SciencesTampere UniversityTampereFinland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ulla Saari
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept of Industrial Management, Center for Innovation and Technology ResearchTampere UniversityTampereFinland