A systematic methodology for designing sustainable engineering product systems
Growing environmental concerns, coupled with public pressure and stricter regulations, are fundamentally impacting the way companies design and launch new products across the world. Therefore, companies are confronted with the responsibility of producing products in an environmentally friendly manner. They are recognizing that implementing design for environment (DFE) in their product development process provides opportunities both for improving the environmental aspects of a product and for enhancing the product's competitiveness. DFE activities and strategies are well-known concepts used in product development processes. Establishing an appropriate DFE strategy for designing an environmentally friendly product is a decisive factor in determining the environmental aspects of the product. The process of establishing a DFE strategy requires consideration of environmental as well as business design factors, and then integrating both factors to prioritize DFE strategies. This research is based on three distinct areas of knowledge: engineering, environment, and strategy. In the past, there has been a lack of research and methods that link these three together. There are two core parts of this research. First, the proposed methodology determines what design for environment strategy is possible based on the results of the product's environmental assessment. Second, what are the design trade-off issues on integrating environmental strategies into business strategies, and how can the decision be optimized? When a company has a better understanding of the design for environment strategy appropriate for the product, the company can use the proposed method to develop an appropriate and profitable design for environment strategies for its systematic design of product systems. The ultimate goal of this dissertation is to help designers and product managers understand possible design for environment strategies and to identify the strategy appropriate for their product.^
Karthik Ramani, Purdue University.