Research Papers

A method for Estimating the Degree of Uncertainty With Respect to Life Cycle Assessment During Design

[+] Author and Article Information
Srinivas Kota

Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, Indiasrinivas@cpdm.iisc.ernet.in

Amaresh Chakrabarti

Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, Indiaac123@cpdm.iisc.ernet.in

J. Mech. Des 132(9), 091007 (Sep 16, 2010) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002163 History: Received December 30, 2009; Revised July 08, 2010; Published September 16, 2010; Online September 16, 2010

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is used to estimate a product’s environmental impact. Using LCA during the earlier stages of design may produce erroneous results since information available on the product’s lifecycle is typically incomplete at these stages. The resulting uncertainty must be accounted for in the decision-making process. This paper proposes a method for estimating the environmental impact of a product’s life cycle and the associated degree of uncertainty of that impact using information generated during the design process. Total impact is estimated based on aggregation of individual product life cycle processes impacts. Uncertainty estimation is based on assessing the mismatch between the information required and the information available about the product life cycle in each uncertainty category, as well as their integration. The method is evaluated using pre-defined scenarios with varying uncertainty.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

A product and its subsystems

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Uncertainty propagation

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Figure 3

Temporal relevance

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Figure 4

Spatial relevance



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