Research Papers

A Conceptual Design Tool for Resolving Conflicts Between Product Functionality and Environmental Impact

[+] Author and Article Information
Daniel P. Fitzgerald

 Stanley Black & Decker, 701 East Joppa Road, Towson, MD 21286Daniel.Fitzgerald@bdk.com

Jeffrey W. Herrmann

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742jwh2@umd.edu

Linda C. Schmidt

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742lschmidt@umd.edu

J. Mech. Des 132(9), 091006 (Sep 16, 2010) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002144 History: Received February 01, 2010; Revised July 02, 2010; Published September 16, 2010; Online September 16, 2010

Product development organizations are unwilling to compromise product functionality, unit cost, or time to market in order to create products that have less environmental impact than that required by regulations. Thus, designers may face a conflict between improving product functionality and reducing environmental impact. The design for environment (DfE) tools currently available are inadequate with respect to helping designers determine how to resolve this conflict during the conceptual design phase. Design-by-analogy is a promising conceptual design approach for this problem. Examples of products that simultaneously reduce environmental impact and improve product functionality can inspire designers to do likewise. The challenges are to generate the relevant knowledge and to organize it in an accessible DfE tool. This paper describes an approach for generating and organizing this knowledge, an analysis of successful products, and a table of successful designs.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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