Sustainable product family design and a platform strategy
Date of Issue2017-05-16
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
With awareness of environmental concerns growing at an ever-increasing rate, environmental regulations are becoming more stringent which is leading product designers to factor-in an extra feature into their designs: sustainability. Modular product design has been researched to consider product lifecycle including manufacturing, use, and end-of-life stages. As most modular product design has been developed for primarily manufacturing purposes, the design lacks the ability to configure and assess modules for the end-of-life stage. Since a product recovery strategy at the end-of-life stage has potential to meet the environmental regulations and earn economic and social benefits, the product recovery strategy must be considered for sustainable product design. This research proposes a sustainable product family design methodology (SPFDM) to incorporate sustainability performance into module-based product family design. Product design features including functionality and architecture have a major impact on the economic and environmental performances at the product recovery stage. By incorporating sustainable design at the product architecture design level, the proposed methodology extends and reinterprets the current product family design to enhance product recovery. In this research, new concepts of sustainable design methods are introduced to: 1) evaluate disassembly complexity and modularity of products from the viewpoint of the product recovery, 2) provide modular architecture to show how sustainable modular drivers affect the modular architecture to improve recyclability and reusability, 3) determine a sustainable platform for a product family by considering not only commonality, but also sustainability and risk of redesigning products, and 4) identify a sustainable product family to enhance economic and environmental performances by considering manufacturing and end-of-life (remanufacturing) stages simultaneously. To demonstrate and validate the effectiveness of the proposed SPFDM, case studies have been performed with product families of coffee makers and electric shavers. The main contribution of the SPFDM is to provide a foundation for modelling the link between product design and sustainability performance that incorporates environmental, economic, and social aspects. Accordingly, the proposed product design methods can help determine how to evaluate which design is more sustainable than other design, and then apply the evaluated information into product family design. The SPFDM can be used to develop design strategies to manage and enhance product lifecycle to meet environmental regulations and customer requirements.
DRNTU::Engineering::Industrial engineering::Engineering management