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Integrated eco-design decision making for sustainable product design

Romli, Awanis 2015. Integrated eco-design decision making for sustainable product design. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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A major challenge for any manufacturer is including aspects of sustainable development in product design that are related to the social, environmental and economic impacts. Several methods and tools have been developed to facilitate sustainable product design, but they lack critical application of the ecological design (eco-design) process and economic costing, particularly during the conceptual design phase. This research overcomes these deficiencies by integrating eco-design approaches across all phases of product life cycle. These approaches were applied and tested in two case studies, which demonstrate that the tools developed can be used to reduce a product’s environmental and economic impacts while fulfilling customer needs. The integrated eco-design decision making (IEDM) methodology is proposed and developed in this study as a method for improving product sustainability. This is the principle contribution of this thesis to the field of sustainable product design. The IEDM applies environmental considerations across three stages of product development. The first stage is the life cycle assessment (LCA), which is used to identify critical areas in which the product’s environmental performance can be improved. The results of the LCA are then analysed in the second stage using an eco-design process (Eco-Process) model. This model identifies environmental concerns relating to the manufacturing process, product use, and end-of-life (EOL) strategy. These concerns are then addressed within the third stage, which uses an ecological house of quality (Eco-HoQ) embedded in an ecological quality function deployment (Eco-QFD) process. The ecodesign case-based reasoning (Eco-CBR) tool was also developed in this study to improve product design knowledge sharing. The development of the Eco-HOQ, which is integrated into the Eco-QFD process and part of the broader IEDM, is the second major contribution of this work. The Ecov HOQ is an extra “house” that can capture and manage sustainability considerations in a single place. This increases the relevance of the information used and produced in product design and encourages actions for improving sustainability at each phase of the Eco-QFD process. The Eco-QFD ensures that customer needs are incorporated within the context of sustainability. The eco-design case-based reasoning (Eco-CBR) tool was developed on the premise that if experiences from the Eco-QFD process can be captured in some useful form, designers can refer to and learn from past experiences. The Eco-CBR is an intuitive decision support tool that complements the IEDM framework and proposes solutions related to the social, environmental, and economic impacts of the product. The application of the entire IEDM framework, including the Eco-HoQ, Eco-QFD, and complementary Eco-CBR, is demonstrated in the case studies of single-use medical forceps and an office chair base. The case studies demonstrate the effectiveness of these tools when assessing a product’s sustainability, even when its design is altered. In addition, this methodology provides a complete view of the environmental performance and economic cost of these products over their entire life cycles in conjunction with an assessment of customer requirements. In summary, this thesis contributes significantly to the field of sustainable product design by proposing the integration of eco-design approaches at every stage of product development, including the critical conceptual phase. The approaches developed in this study will enable designers to improve product design, increase productivity, and reduce material usage and costs while meeting customer specifications.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TS Manufactures
Uncontrolled Keywords: Design for sustainability; Quality Function Depolyment; Case-Based reasoning; Sustainable product design; Decision Making; ECO-design.
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2016 04:31

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