A methodology and support tool for environmentally conscious design and manufacture.

HOLLOWAY, Leigh P. (1997). A methodology and support tool for environmentally conscious design and manufacture. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Environmental concerns are now firmly on the agenda for engineers and designers. In recent years an increasing barrage of legislation accompanied by the public's increasing awareness of, and concern for, the environment is forcing industry to respond.Energy and resource consumption reduction have long been the concerns of industry but this narrow view is no longer appropriate with much more complex life-cycle environmental issues such as design for disassembly and environmentally conscious processing becoming apparent.In response many tools have been developed in recent years to assist engineers and designers in their attempts to address the emerging environmental problems. The most universally adopted is that of Life-Cycle Analysis or LCA. This procedure assesses the complete life-cycle environmental burdens of product or system with a view to evaluating and implementing opportunities to effect improvements. The initial stages of LCA which include initiation, inventory and impact assessment are well developed disciplines and standardised frameworks are appearing. However the improvement stage of LCA, in which changes in design are considered is currently an active field of investigation as attempts are made to develop efficient and reliable methods.The integration of LCA principles into current design and materials selection procedures, and thus completion of the improvement stage, is a task which needs addressing. Methods exist in the form of frameworks, guidelines, matrices and computer based tools, but all have drawbacks and 'blind spots'.This research looks at the problems facing designers and engineers both in terms of environmental concerns and the logistics of integrating these new concerns into current product development practices. Environmental problems are reviewed and responsibilities and possible solutions are identified. Environmental analysis procedures are explained and the process of LCA is studied in detail. The development of environmental design is discussed which leads to the presentation of the possibilities for integration of Design for the Environment (DFE) into current practices.Through a critical review of current practices in environmental design the following important unfulfilled needs are identified: the difficulty in comparing different design options in environmental terms; providing guidance in identifying appropriate product design strategies for different products; helping to train/advise engineers and designers in the use of environmentally sound products and materials and the development of tools which actively offer advice to designers and engineers.In fulfilling these needs this research presents a contribution to knowledge in the field of environmentally conscious design and manufacture in three ways:Development of a novel matrix-based method of environmental design,Integration of environmental concerns into the materials selection process andThe development of a computer support tool for environmentally conscious design andmanufacture.Validation of the research is presented through examples and the conduction of a user survey.Finally this thesis summarises the conclusions drawn from the research and identifies areas of further work which will increase the knowledge base, scope and applicability of the work carried out.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 1997.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:20
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:20
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19816

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