Research Papers

Integrated Sustainable Life Cycle Design: A Review

[+] Author and Article Information
Karthik Ramani

School of Mechanical Engineering, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2035ramani@purdue.edu

Devarajan Ramanujan, William Z. Bernstein

School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2035

Fu Zhao

School of Mechanical Engineering, and Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2035

John Sutherland

Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2035

Carol Handwerker

School of Materials Science and Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2035

Jun-Ki Choi

Department of Energy Sciences and Technology, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973

Harrison Kim, Deborah Thurston

Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

J. Mech. Des 132(9), 091004 (Sep 16, 2010) (15 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002308 History: Received February 21, 2010; Revised July 13, 2010; Published September 16, 2010; Online September 16, 2010

Product design is one of the most important sectors influencing global sustainability, as almost all the products consumed by people are outputs of the product development process. In particular, early design decisions can have a very significant impact on sustainability. These decisions not only relate to material and manufacturing choices but have a far-reaching effect on the product’s entire life cycle, including transportation, distribution, and end-of-life logistics. However, key challenges have to be overcome to enable eco-design methods to be applicable in early design stages. Lack of information models, semantic interoperability, methods to influence eco-design thinking in early stages, measurement science and uncertainty models in eco-decisions, and ability to balance business decisions and eco-design methodology are serious impediments to realizing sustainable products and services. Therefore, integrating downstream life cycle data into eco-design tools is essential to achieving true sustainable product development. Our review gives an overview of related research and positions early eco-design tools and decision support as a key strategy for the future. By merging sustainable thinking into traditional design methods, this review provides a framework for ongoing research, as well as encourages research collaborations among the various communities interested in sustainable product realization.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Design decisions affect every stage of a product’s life

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Figure 2

Revised approach to DFS (15)

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Figure 3

Map of current ecodesign tools

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Figure 4

Steps for identifying environmental impact

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Figure 5

Sustainable manufacturing research map

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Figure 6

Research map for product end-of-life management and logistics

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Figure 7

Classification of research papers according to life cycle stages



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