Design for Environment in conceptual product design – a decision model to reflect environmental issues of all life-cycle phases


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Abstract

It will be shown that a modelling approach for the conceptual design of products that considers the environmental aspects of all phases of the product's life-cycle is still needed. Next, a taxonomy of the various categories of environmental aspects is developed and the options for incorporating these into the planning of the early phases of product development are highlighted. In the following article, a new modelling approach is introduced to fill the gap and its usefulness is shown in a case-study of a pencil-sharpener. For the task of implementing the disposal phase's costs in the mathematical model two options are compared that differ in the level of detail on the one hand and in the amount of work needed for the analysis on the other hand. The case-study's results show that even in the early stages of product development, it is possible to include the consideration of the environmental impact into the decision process and that the resulting conceptual design exhibits these environmental considerations in the choice of the configuration elements activated.

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