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Eco Design Ix Eco Design Ix Presentation Transcript

  • Eco-design IX Strategies
  • Contents
    • Overview of the Strategies
    • Strategy 1: New Concept Development
    • Strategy 2: Physical Optimization
    • Strategy 3: Optimize Material Use
    • Strategy 4: Optimize Production Techniques
    • Strategy 5: Optimize Distribution System
    • Strategy 6: Reduce Impact During Use
    • Strategy 7: Optimize End-of-Life Systems
  • Overview of the Strategies
    • The DfE Strategy Wheel provides a basic framework that you can use systematically to review the entire life cycle of a product. It is a tool that can:
      • stimulate the creative design process .
      • assist in visualizing current environmental performance .
      • highlight opportunities for improvement .
    • Optimizing your product's performance will require a balance of functional, economic and environmental elements. The Strategy Wheel begins with new product concepts, and covers design, materials selection, production, distribution, and the use and end of a product's life.
    Although the strategies are numbered consecutively based on a product's life cycle, you will find the sequence for implementing the strategies is not the same for every product. In other words, there is no one way to use of the strategies that is "right"; the sequencing depends on the needs of your organization and the product's production.
  •                                                                                                                                        The Design for Environment Strategy Wheel Contents
  • Strategy 1:  New Concept Development
    • New concept development strategy can lead to revolutionary changes in reducing the environmental impact of products and services. It focuses on:
      • basic assumptions regarding the function of a product.
      • determining the end-users' needs.
      • how the specific product will meet end-users' needs.
    • If you wish to apply Strategy 1, you should do so prior to product development. Its application may lead you to discovering alternate way to fulfil the needs of users.
  • New concept development - substrategies
    • 1.1: Dematerialization
    • 1.2: Increase Shared Use
    • 1.3: Provide a Service
    • 1.1:  Dematerialization
    • Dematerialization is the replacement of a physical product with a non-physical product or service, thereby 1) reducing a company's production, demand and use of physical products; and 2) the end-user's dependence on physical products. In implementing this strategy, you will realize cost-savings in materials, energy, transportation, consumables and the need to manage the eventual disposal and/or recycling of a physical product.
    • Dematerialization may involve:
      • Making the product smaller and lighter .
      • Replacing a material product with an immaterial substitute , e.g., mail replaced by E-mail.
      • Reducing the use of material or infrastructure-intensive systems, e.g., telecommuting vs. use of automobile for work purposes.
      • See next page
  • Your designers should conduct an in-depth analysis of end-users' needs to identify the true value or service that a product provides before exploring new product concepts which may involve immaterial solutions. This strategy often leads to an exploration into 1.2: Increase Shared Use and 1.3: Provide a Service as alternative ways to add value for users. Companies, over a period of time, often make evolutionary changes to their products within a long-term strategy of dematerialization. 1.1:  Dematerialization (cont.)
  • 1.1:  Dematerialization (cont.) Pro Con
      • reduced production of goods
      • savings in energy, materials, labour
      • often provides flexible, multifunctional, productive solutions
      • changes customers' perception of the product
      • often provides energy-intensive solutions
      • few studies measuring environmental improvements
  • 1.1:  Dematerialization e.g.                                                                                                                
      • E-mail and the Internet are improved communication methods that reduce paper, post and faxes.
      • An answering service can substitute for an answering machine, leaving the user with no physical equipment.
      • On-line catalogues by retailers, libraries and government departments facilitate public access to goods and services while reducing the dependence on physical filing and storage systems.
  • 1.2:  Increase Shared Use When several people make joint use of a product without actually owning it, the product is used more efficiently. Good examples of products that can be shared include equipment such as photocopiers, laundry equipment, hardware and construction tools. Shared use from the users' perspective: When an organization decides to implement "shared use" of a product, it is no longer considered the property of an individual user. Rather, it becomes the property of the organization which provides all users with the product. The organization must then manage a limited number of products which are "shared" among users. This often involves developing a new organizational structure. Shared use from the suppliers' perspective: Companies who supply products that will be "shared" often supply services as well the product, e.g., technical support. ( 1.3: Provide a Service ) As a result, users pay per unit of service offered by the product rather than for ownership of the product.
    • The benefits of applying this strategy are:
      • More efficient use of products.
      • Reduced material ( 1.1: Dematerialization ), energy and transportation costs due to the production and distribution of fewer products.
      • Increased ability for manufacturers to track the use and life span of their products.
      • Facilitation of disposal and/or recycling of the product.
    1.2:  Increase Shared Use (cont.)
  • 1.3:  Provide a Service Companies often find that they can increase profits and add value to their product when they focus on selling a service related to the product, rather than selling the product itself. This strategy complements 1.1: Dematerialization and 1.2: Increase Shared Use . When a company provides a service related to a product, it assumes responsibility for maintenance, repair, disposal and/or recycling of the product during its use and end-of-life phases. The system operates on a pay-per-unit-of-service basis.
  • 1.3:  Provide a Service (cont.)
    • When applying this strategy, you:
      • Will have to undertake an in-depth analysis of users' needs . You are likely to find that users are more interested in the value a product provides than in its physical presence. Providing a service also reduces the user's need to manage the product during its use.
      • May have to re-organize your product development and production from being sales-oriented to being service-oriented .
      • Will find that you have increased contact with your customers.
  • 1.3:  Provide a Service (cont.)
    • The benefits of this strategy are:
      • A constant stream of information about users' needs and concerns.
      • The opportunity to respond rapidly to changes in the marketplace .
      • More control over product distribution, maintenance, disposal and recycling.
      • The opportunity to generate revenue during the product's use and end-of-life phases .
    •  
  • A service model offers companies an opportunity to generate revenue during a product's use and end-of-life phases                                                                                                                                     
  • 1.3:  Provide a Service – example 1                                                                                                                 In 1996, Nortel stopped buying component-cleaning chemicals for some of its electronics manufacturing. Rather, it hired the supplier to provide the cleaning service directly in Nortel's production facility. Since the supplier was the "expert" in using its own products, it was able to lessen the amount of chemicals required, thereby lowering Nortel's cost, improving health and safety in the facility, and reducing hazardous waste disposal requirements. Nortel agreed to share the savings realized from this arrangement with the supplier. The supplier now makes more profit despite selling fewer chemicals.                                                           
  • 1.3:  Provide a Service – example 2 Rental services provide a single piece of equipment, which is often complex or expensive, to multiple users. A well-organized rental service company can maximize the utility and life span of a single unit before the product is no longer usable and, simultaneously, realize a good income from customer use. Good examples of products that are used by rental companies are photocopiers, laundry equipment, hardware and construction tools . Contents
  • Strategy 2: Physical Optimization
  • Introduction
    • Physical Optimization strategy, which is both qualitative and quantitative in nature, covers aspects of a product's form, aesthetics and materials as well as the human responses to the product . In some cases, the application of this strategy can lead to significant, if not revolutionary, improvements in environmental aspects of a product.
    • The activities in this strategy, while complementing 3: Optimize Material Use and 4: Optimize Production Techniques , are typically undertaken during the Conceptual and Preliminary phases of the design process. To follow this strategy, you will need an in-depth understanding of the product's position in the market with respect to environmental concerns and a thorough knowledge of user needs.
  • This strategy focuses on :
    • enhancing a product's function and life span with the added benefit of improving its environmental profile,
    • designing its physical characteristics, features or components with the aim of increasing value for the end-user.
  • The strategy is geared to:
    • Optimizing the product's function.
    • Extending the technical life span, i.e., the time during which a product functions well.
    • Extending the aesthetic life span, i.e., the time during which a user finds the product attractive.
    • Designers who balance and optimize the technical and aesthetic life-span requirements for a product can reduce the energy and materials dedicated to these requirements. In some cases, this may mean designing for a short life span; in others, for a longer life span.
    • A company may prefer that a product have a shorter life span if, as is the case with engine technology and emissions controls , newer and less energy-intensive alternatives are under development, and the company is confident customers will upgrade or purchase the more efficient products.
    • A company will offer a product with a long life span when it is important to the overall economics or use of that product. For example, new high-performance, sealed-glazing window units offer superior energy efficiency and lead to more comfortable indoor living. However, such units are initially higher in cost, and users must be confident they will benefit from a purchase for many years. Therefore, it becomes a priority for the manufacturer to design a system with a long life span and, preferably, back that up with a good guarantee.
  • Physical optimisation - example
    • In the early 1990s, a consumer journal rated Sony Europe's TV well below competitors on Environmental Performance. Sony realized that to achieve market leadership, it would have to focus on environmental issues. As one manager put it: "If we fail with the environmental features, we can never reach the Best Buy qualification." The redesigned TV eliminated hazardous materials, being halogen-free and not using antimony trioxide and PVC. It also had 52 per cent fewer plastics and less total material overall. As well, Sony ensured that the TV could be disassembled quickly, as it now had only nine screws. The result was that its recyclability increased to 99 per cent.
    • A major plus for Sony was that the TV now costs 30 per cent less to produce and is assembled much faster.
  • Physical optimisation - substrategies
    • 2.1: Integrate Product Functions
    • 2.2: Optimize Product Functions
    • 2.3: Increase Reliability and Durability
    • 2.4: Facilitate Easy Maintenance and Repair
    • 2.5: Modular Product Structure
    • 2.6: Strong User-product Relationship
  • 2.1: Integrate Product Functions Material and space can be saved when you integrate several functions or products into a single product by taking advantage of common components such as power supplies, keypads, structural chassis and displays. Pro Con
      • provides customers with attractive product alternatives
      • opens up new markets
      • product increases in complexity
      • adds design challenges with regard to volume/size, ease of assembly and ease of use
  • 2.1: Integrate Product Functions - examples
    • Manufacturers who produce combination TV-VCR units have found a niche market with people who live in small spaces or require ease of portability.
    • By combining the alternator with the starter motor in new cars, some automobile manufacturers have eliminated the need for two devices and are contributing to energy efficiency through vehicle "lightweighting."
    • Manufacturers are now combining a printer, fax, scanner and copier into a single multi-purpose machine. Common components such as the printing mechanism, power supply and scanning assembly perform several different functions.
  • 2.2: Optimize Product Functions When analyzing a product's primary and secondary functions, designers may discover that some components are superfluous. For example, secondary functions such as the quality or status expressed by a product can often be achieved in an improved and less polluting way.
  • 2.2: Optimize Product Functions – Stage 1
    • Ask questions that lead to a better understanding of end-users' purchase decisions and what they consider important in a product.
    • What are the product's primary functions for users?
    • What are its secondary functions ?
    • Are the functions utilitarian or aesthetic in nature?
  • 2.2: Optimize Product Functions – Stage 2
    • Analyze and synthesize the costs of manufacture, materials, processes, assembly, labour and overhead. In this respect, the strategy is similar to value engineering, a branch of industrial engineering that provides a systematic method for studying a product in order to meet its optimum cost.
  • 2.2: Optimize Product Functions – Stage 3
    • Format the data into an analysis matrix – a technique used by value engineers. In the table:
    • Primary and secondary functions are listed in priority by column.
    • Individual parts are listed by row.
    • Part cost is positioned where function and parts meet in the matrix.
    • This matrix allows designers and engineers to establish the value of each function and identify the minimal cost required to produce a part in order to satisfy the function.
  • Example of an analysis matrix used in value engineering Primary and Secondary Product Functions Prod uct Parts by Sub - Asse mbly   f1.1 f1.2 f1.3 f2.1 f2.2 f3.1 f3.2 Total part cost p1.1                 p1.2                 p1.3                 p2.1                 p2.2                
  • Köögikombain Primary and Secondary Product Functions Prod uct Parts by Sub - Asse mbly   Miksimine Lõikamine Taignasegamine Riivimine Purustamine Viilutamine Ajanäitamine Total part cost Tera     100             100 Taimer               50   50 Mootor   30   30   30   30   30   30     200 Kauss       10     10       20 Kann   7       7   7       20
  • 2.3: Increase Reliability and Durability This strategy is not a new one, but is emphasized here because of its importance. Designing a product to perform its task in a reliable, consistent manner ensures that it will have a long life span. Reliability and durability are aspects of a product's design that are interrelated. To achieve reliability, you must analyze the product's working components that are subject to wear and seek ways to make them more durable. Durability refers to the ability of the product to withstand the expected demands in the end-users' environments. Housings, controls, connectors and interfaces must be designed in such a way as to withstand continued abuse. Designing for durability implies that both technical and aesthetic aspects of the product be taken into consideration. Product designers and developers can use special methods such as Failure Mode and Effect Analysis to improve the reliability and durability of the products they produce.
  • Textured surface finishes on injection-moulded parts.
      • Providing a gripping s u rface and indicating touch areas.
      • Hiding sink-and-flow marks and blemishes.
                                                                                                                   
      • Extending the aesthetic life span of the product.
      • Protecting against abrasion ( lihvimine ) .
    Benefits include :
  • Design for impact resistance in injection moulding.
    • Increase impact resistance by spreading the impact load over a large area of a part or product.
    • Look for a balance between introducing rigidifying features, e.g., ribs, and the ability of the part to absorb an impact through flexing.
  • 2.4: Facilitate Easy Maintenance and Repair
    • Ensuring that a product will be cleaned, maintained and repaired on time will increase its usability and life span.
    • User maintenance: Providing easy-to-follow instructions on regular maintenance and simple repairs can reduce the costs associated with transport of products for repairs and maintenance. A product's ease of maintenance and repair is often dependent upon its reliability/durability and the positive attitude of the user to the product. ( 2.3: Reliability and Durability and 2.6: Strong User-product Relationship ).
    • Manufacturer maintenance: When a product is too complex for user maintenance, you should consider:
    • how the product can be transported to a repair facility.
    • The skills and tools required by service personnel.
    • The ease or difficulty of disassembling of the product.
    • Developing a modular structure for the product. ( 2.5: Modular Product Structure )
  • Follow these strategies for facilitating repair and maintenance:
    • I ndicate clearly on the product how it should be opened for cleaning or repair (for example, where to apply leverage with a screwdriver to open snap connections).
    • Indicate on the product which parts must be cleaned or maintained in a specific way (for example, by colour-coded lubricating points).
    • Indicate on the product any parts or subassemblies that must be inspected often, due to rapid wear.
    • Make the location of wear on the product detectable so that repair or replacement can take place on time.
    • Locate the parts that wear relatively quickly close to one another and within easy reach so that replacements can be easily fitted.
    • Make the most vulnerable components easy to dismantle for repair or replacement.
  • 2.5: Modular Product Structure
    • A modular structure makes it possible to revitalize a product from a technical or aesthetic point of view, enabling the product to keep pace with the changing needs of the end-user.
    • As well, a modular structure allows the benefits of a new technology to be incorporated into an older product. As a result, a modular product may undergo several upgrades in components over its life span, reducing the need for new products to be purchased on a more frequent basis.
  • Designers and product engineers can design product that enable:
    • Upgrades at a later date, e.g., plugging in larger memory units in computers .
    • Renewal of technically or aesthetically outdated elements, e.g., making furniture with replaceable covers that can be removed and cleaned.
    • Facilitation of repair and maintenance by grouping high-wear components together into sub-assemblies. ( 2.4: Facilitate Easy Maintenance and Repair )
  • Can a standard be established?
    • A modular product structure requires the design of a product system or a connection standard between components. If you're considering such an approach, you should attempt to estimate the technical life span of the underlying system or standard. Questions to ask:
    • Can the standard be internal to my products?
    • Will competitors in the market agree to an industry standard?
    • However, products undergoing rapid evolution may not be suitable for such an approach.
  • Modular Product Structure - example
    • The 35 mm single lens reflex camera is an excellent example of a modular product structure. Within a particular company's product line, camera bodies, lenses, bellows, flash attachments and filters can be replaced and are often backwards compatible with components manufactured several years, or even decades, before.
    • Industrial design, or product design, is a process which matches, in a creative way, the technologies of production with end-user needs. Good design transcends changes in the technologies of production. On a societal level, however, ideas of good design are dependent on the culture of the time . The challenge for many companies and designers is to create products which users will find attractive to purchase, use and maintain.
    • The objective of this strategy is to avoid design that may cause the user to replace the product as soon as the design becomes unfashionable. The psychological life span is the time in which products are perceived and used as worthy objects. Products should have the material ability, i.e., technical and aesthetic life span , as well as the immaterial opportunity to age in a dignified way.
    • Most products need maintenance and repair to remain attractive and functional. ( 2.4: Facilitate Easy Maintenance and Repair ) Users are only willing to spend time on such activities if they care about a product.
    2.6: Strong User-product Relationship
  • You can aim to produce a strong user-product relationship by:
    • Creating a design that more than meets the (possibly hidden) requirements of the user for a long time.
    • Designing surface finishes that improve gracefully with age.
    • Ensuring that maintenance and repair will be pleasurable rather than tedious.
    • Ensuring that maintenance can be conducted safely with minimal tools .
    • Providing added value in terms of design and functionality so that the user will be reluctant to replace the product.
  • Strong User-product Relationship - example
    • The Thonet Model No.14 chair has been in production since 1859 with the 50 th million model sold circa 1930. The chair is comprised of six bent wood components, 10 screws and two nuts. The Model No.14 chair is an excellent example of a product that has transcended advances in technology and cultural change, and still remains in fashion.
    • Contents
  • Strategy 3: Optimize Material Use Select the most environmentally appropriate materials, substances and surface treatments for a product.
  • Introduction
    • Use of environmentally hazardous materials involves costs for health and safety, handling and waste disposal. This strategy focuses on selecting the most environmentally appropriate materials, substances and surface treatments for product manufacture.
    • When applying this strategy, you will find that it depends largely on product characteristics and life cycle, and that there can be many trade-offs when making decisions regarding materials selection.
  • Some factors to consider:
          • Whether materials can be recycled.
          • The priority of material recycleability for short-lived products as compared to long-lived products.
          • Whether products that consume energy during their use-phase can be "lightweighted" to reduce energy demand.
          • If products that disperse or wear out need to be recycled as compared to products that can be easily collected at their end-of-life-phase.
          • If you have a system where product disposal is important, how will material chemistry impact the environment and human health through traditional disposal methods.
  • Example
    • Kuntz Electroplating Inc., an Ontario company, designed a Cyanide Hydrolysis System (CHS) to destroy their hazardous chemicals in an environmentally safe and cost-effective manner. As a result, Kuntz has significantly reduced the use of sodium hypochlorite, caustic soda, hydrochloric acid and chlorine. The new system also reduces the amount of required labour. CHS has saved Kuntz $150,000 annually.
  • Substrategies
    • 3.1: Cleaner Materials
    • 3.2: Renewable Materials
    • 3.3: Lower "Embodied Energy" Materials
    • 3.4: Recycled Materials
    • 3.5: Recyclable Materials
    • 3.6: Reduce Material Usage
  • 3.1: Cleaner Materials
    • Some materials or additives are best avoided because they cause hazardous emissions during production, when they are incinerated, or if they are used as landfill. Examples are:
          • colourants
          • heat or UV stabilizers
          • fire retardants
          • degreasers
          • softening agents
          • fillers
          • foaming agents
          • antioxidants
    • Some colourants and fire-retardants are especially hazardous and, in many countries, are restricted by law.
  • Alert: toxic materials.
    • Many substances that contribute to ozone layer depletion are now forbidden or restricted such as methyl bromide, halons, CFCs and HCFCs . Many large corporations are practising materials de-selection by developing their own lists of substances banned from internal use such as mercury, lead, VOCs and PVC . This practice is a growing trend and has a direct impact on suppliers.
  • 3.2: Renewable Materials
    • Renewable materials are substances derived from a living tree, plant, animal or ecosystem which has the ability to regenerate itself.
    • The use of renewable materials can represent a good environmental and societal choice since these materials:
          • Will not be depleted if managed properly as a renewable resource.
          • May have reduced net emissions of CO 2 across their life cycle as compared to materials derived from fossil fuels.
          • Result in biodegradable waste.
          • Can be grown and used locally--a situation that promotes employment.
  • 3.2: Renewable Materials (cont.)
    • However, when considering the use of a renewable material, you should assess its full environmental impact . For instance, the plastic sack may be a better environmental choice than one made of paper. In a life-cycle analysis, a factor that becomes important is the superior ratio of strength to weight of plastics that leads to lower energy requirements and costs for transport.
    • If you are interested in using more renewable materials in your product, check your suppliers' product labels to see if you can find out:
          • The quality and consistency of organic materials that are sourced from renewable stocks.
          • If the materials have been harvested and the stocks managed in an environmentally preferable manner .
    • Products like oriented strand board (OSB) are enabling builders to make better use of the renewable resource of wood than they have in the past. Waste is virtually eliminated in the OSB production phase with 90 per cent of the wood incorporated directly and 10 per cent used as an energy source. The wood strands are combined with a resin binder and put under intense pressure and heat to form structural panels. The phenol-formaldehyde resins lead to extremely low levels of off-gassing. Indoor air quality problems that have been associated with wood products using urea-formaldehyde binders are thus avoided.
    • Other combinations of resin, wood fibre and maize fillers have been used in injection-moulding processes for products such as door handles, latches and decorative details. Researchers are now conducting studies to explore better ways of using lignin , a natural binding agent in trees.
    Examples
  • 3.3: Lower "Embodied Energy" Materials
    • The embodied energy of a material refers to the energy used to extract, process and refine it before use in product manufacture . Therefore, a correlation exists between the number and type of processing steps and the embodied energy of materials. For example, the fewer and simpler the extraction, processing and refining steps involved in a material's production, the lower its embodied energy. The embodied energy of a material is often reflected in its price.
  • 3.3: Lower "Embodied Energy" Materials (cont.)
    • In some cases, the most technically appropriate material will lower energy costs over the life cycle of a product. For example, composite materials involving carbon fibres or ceramic compounds may have a relatively high embodied energy, but when they are used appropriately, they can save energy in a product's use-phase due to their advanced physical properties, e.g., strength, stiffness, heat or wear resistance.
    • On the other hand, materials with less embodied energy may often be substituted without a loss in product performance, if you optimize the use of the material with respect to the product's reliability/durability and technical/aesthetic functions. ( 2: Physical Optimization )
  • 3.4: Recycled Materials
    • This strategy focuses on production use of recycled materials, i.e., those used in products before. If suitable, companies can use and re-use these materials in order to maximize invested resources.
    • Recycling provides cost-benefits, can enhance product production, and is an excellent environmental choice.
      • By implementing product take-back programs , companies have a cost-effective source of materials and/or parts.
      • Using recycled materials can lower the embodied energy needed to produce a product by avoiding the energy costs associated with extraction. ( 3.3: Lower "Embodied Energy" Materials )
      • Unique features of recycled materials such as variations in colour and texture can be advantageous when used appropriately in product production. This can include using recycled paper, steel, aluminum, other metals and plastics.
  • There are two sources for recycled materials.
    • 1. Industrial off-specification material generated from an industrial process, and not used.
    • 2. Post-consumer material recovered after use from an industrial or domestic setting. This material is typically collected, sorted and cleaned, but may still be contaminated by foreign material.
  • Tips
    • Currently, many recycled materials come from industrial sources and have minimal impurities and only slightly inferior properties to the originals. Nevertheless, if you decide to use recycled materials, you should:
      • Specify the required performance properties of the recycled material to control the physical characteristics.
      • Establish a quality assurance requirement with your supplier regarding recycled material.
      • Be aware that the cost of recycled materials depends on their source, percentage of virgin material content, level of contamination and physical characteristics.
  • Some guidelines for designing with recycled plastics.
      • 1. Specify thicker walls or features that enhance rigidity in a design where increased strength must compensate for reduced strength in material.
      • 2. Select applications where colour is not critical when recycled plastics come with a variety of colourants. Additional colourants may mask the original colour of the material.
      • 3. Select processes that have a wide " operating window ," i.e., the production parameters do not have to be tightly specified for successful manufacturing. Of the processes generally in use today, the most forgiving would be compression moulding, injection moulding, and extrusion. Other processes could be used if the behaviour of the material is comparable to that of suitable grades of new plastics.
      • 4. Apply specialized processing methods that allow significant quantities of recycled plastics to be used successfully.
  • Co-extrusion (koospressimine)
    • This process, which can be used in sheet, film and blow-moulding operations, makes a multi-layered product that can have a middle layer of recycled plastics sandwiched between layers of new plastic.
  • Sandwich Injection Moulding
    • This is a similar technique to co-extrusion in which recycled plastics are injected as the bulky core of thick-walled plastic products and new plastic is used only for the outer skin.
  • Foamed Extrusion and Foamed Injection Moulding
    • These techniques use gases to form bubbles in plastics that reduce the weight of thick-walled products and produce a textured skin on the surface. They provide good rigidity through enlarged thickness.
  • Extrusion and Injection Moulding of Mixed Plastics
    • These processes provide good potential for the use of recycled material because they eliminate the need for sorting or cleaning prior to processing. However, the products may have limited strength due to the incompatibility of different plastics and the contaminants. These processes usually use polyethylene as a "binder" for the other plastics and contaminants, thereby tending to limit a product's physical characteristics to those of polyethylene, i.e., generally low in rigidity and strength, and prone to display "creep" behaviour. As well, the colour is usually dark due to the variety of incorporated colourants.
  • 3.5: Recyclable Materials
    • Recyclable materials are those that can be easily recycled, depending on the type of material and the available recycling infrastructure. Reducing the amount of waste your company sends to landfill can produce significant cost-savings. Or, your waste materials could be a source of income.
  • If you wish to use recyclable materials, you need to:
    • Know which materials are recyclable.
    • Find out if collection systems are in place or anticipated.
    • Ensure the material will produce high-quality material when recycled.
  • Product design can make a significant contribution to recyclability. Here are some criteria to follow:
    • Select just one type of material for the product as a whole or for each sub-assembly.
    • If selecting one type of material is not practical, select plastics in mutually compatible groups , i.e., SAN, ABS, PC, PMMA; PC, PET; or PVC, SAN, PMMA.
    • Don't cross-contaminate metals , e.g., mixing steel components with copper; aluminum with copper or iron; or copper with mercury or beryllium.
    • To aid recycling, avoid materials which are difficult to separate such as compound materials, laminates, fillers, fire-retardants and fibreglass reinforcements.
    • Choose recyclable materials for which a market already exists.
    • Avoid polluting elements such as stickers that interfere with recycling, or glues and small components that are not removable.
  • Recyclable materials - examples
    • Fir Tree Farm in Nova Scotia prepares packaged vegetables for "ready meals." This produces a large amount of organic and packaging waste. By separating and recycling all cardboard, as well as selling organic waste as pig and cattle feed , Fir Tree Farm now saves over $3,000 each month in landfill fees.
    • Canadian General-Tower Limited (CGT), a vinyl manufacturer in Ontario, is using recyclable materials in two ways--one, as a source of income, and two, as a source of savings. In 1996, CGT sold more than 950,000 kg of pool vinyl to a local company, Norwich Plastics. In the same year, CGT reprocessed 1.8 million kg back into their own vinyl production, saving thousands of dollars and benefitting the environment.
  • 3.6: Reduce Material Usage
    • This strategy focuses on optimizing the volume and weight of materials so less energy is used during production, transport and storage. This strategy can improve the productivity of your material resources and save on raw material consumption and transportation costs.
    • Products are often deliberately designed to be heavy or large in order to project a quality image. However, a quality image can be achieved through other techniques, i.e., creating a lean but strong design. While products cannot be made so light that their technical life is affected, you many find that, in many cases, a reduction in the weight or volume of materials is possible.
  • Reduction of weight:
    • Using less material is a simple, direct means to decrease environmental impact, i.e., fewer resources extracted, less waste and lower environmental-loadings during transportation. If you are interested in reducing material usage, you should closely scrutinize appropriate materials and design, e.g., reinforcing ribs instead of using thick-walled components. Weight reduction can significantly lower material use and costs.
  • Reduction in (transport) volume:
    • When a product and its packaging are reduced in size and volume, more products can be shipped more efficiently in a given transport mode. Consider foldable or stackable designs and final product assembly at the retail location or by the end-user.
  • Reduce material usage - example
    • S.C. Johnson Wax has saved over $5 million by "lightweighting" its candle and aerosol products . It reduced the weight of its Glade candles by six per cent, decreasing material use by 1,536 tons and increasing shipping efficiency without a reduction in the life or quality of the candles. As well, it reduced the amount of material used in its aerosol products, cutting plastic use by 1,200 tons and packing material by 600 tons.
    • Contents
  • Strategy 4: Optimize Production Techniques Implement cleaner production practices through the continuous use of industrial processes and products that increase efficiency; prevent pollution to air, water and land; and minimize risk to human health and the environment.
  • Introduction
    • This strategy include approaches to production that involve practices for "cleaner" production, i.e., the continuous use of industrial processes and products to increase efficiency, prevent pollution to all media (air, water and land), and to generally minimize risk to human health and the environment.
    • To accomplish cleaner production, you need to adopt a goal to make your processes as environmentally benign as possible.
  • Production techniques should:
      • Minimize the use of ancillary materials ( abimaterjalid ) and energy.
      • Avoid hazardous compounds.
      • Provide high efficiency production with low material losses.
      • Generate as little waste as possible.
  • Process improvements are an effective strategy to reduce pollution and can provide many cost-benefits by:
      • Improving efficiency and reducing costly production downtime.
      • Increasing regulatory compliance and reducing fines.
  • Relation with Environmental Management Systems
    • Improving production processes is a key component of Environmental Management Systems like ISO 14001 which, although a voluntary program, requires organizations to make specific commitments to preventing pollution.
    • This strategy can be applied both to the production processes of the parent company and its suppliers. In fact, many companies now insist that suppliers have an Environmental Management System (EMS) registered to the ISO 14001 standard.
  • Substrategies
    • 4.1: Alternative Production Techniques
    • 4.2: Fewer Production Steps
    • 4.3: Lower/Cleaner Energy Consumption
    • 4.4: Less Production Waste
    • 4.5: Fewer/Cleaner Production Consumables
  • 4.1: Alternative Production Techniques
    • Implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS) provides an effective way to examine an existing production system and pinpoint areas where changes could be made to bring about positive environmental benefits, compliance with environmental regulations and cost-savings.( Environmental Management System )
    • Alternative, cleaner production techniques can help you realize the benefits of process optimization, quality control, energy conservation and preventive management. It can also lower energy and costs associated with:
      • raw materials
      • energy
      • labour
      • treatment and disposal
      • insurance and liability
  • 4.1: Alternative Production Techniques - example
    • Jenks & Cattell Engineering Limited, a small enterprise in England, manufactures pressings and welded assemblies for the automotive industry . During an environmental review of company processes in 1993, Jenks & Cattell managers decided to replace the solvent degreasing agent 1,1,1-trichloro- ethane , thereby significantly reducing the environmental impact as well as their costs by more than $20,000 per year. Jenks & Cattell went on to implement EMS and use the principles of cleaner production. The company saved more than $150,000 annually by using material resources more effectively and reducing energy use, solvent emissions and neighbourhood noise.
  • 4.2: Fewer Production Steps
    • Each step of a production process increases financial costs and may also increase the environmental impact. The optimization of product production with respect to steps, techniques and processes should be undertaken by a team of product designers, industrial and mechanical engineers, and production personnel. The team should analyze the following:
  • The team should analyze the following:
      • The possibility of satisfying several product functions through one component or part.
      • Allowing multiple production steps to be performed on a single part or component simultaneously.
      • Allowing single production steps to be performed on multiple parts or components simultaneously.
      • Reducing the movement/transport distances of parts and components within the production facility.
      • Using materials that do not require additional surface treatment or finishing for performance or aesthetics.
  • 4.3: Lower/Cleaner Energy Consumption
    • This strategy focuses on making production processes more energy efficient.
    • Your company can implement rewards-and-recognition policies to motivate employees to generate energy-saving ideas. Have them explore how to:
      • Use cleaner energy sources such as natural gas, wind, hydro or solar energy, in order to replace existing sources that are more polluting or inefficient.
      • Introduce a co-generation system that uses production by-products, e.g., steam or heat, to provide heating, cooling or compressed air.
      • Examine carefully the heating/ventilation/energy needs and set up systems and controls tailored to those needs.
      • Increase efficiency of compressed air systems .
      • Optimize the facility's space requirements .
  • 4.4: Less Production Waste
    • In applying this strategy, you would be optimizing production processes with respect to the output of waste and emissions. This optimization increases the efficiency of material use and decreases the amount of material sent to a landfill by reducing the "non-product output" per unit of production. To achieve this goal, consider:
      • Selecting shapes that eliminate processes such as sawing, turning, milling, pressing and punching in order to reduce waste.
      • Motivating production teams and suppliers to reduce waste and cut the percentage of rejects.
      • Looking for opportunities to recycle production residues in-house--a process that saves resources and money. Relatively simple changes with little cost-output can save your company thousands of dollars a year.
  • Less Production Waste - example
    • Entek International Ltd., a company based in Oregon and the UK, produces microporous polyethylene battery separator materials . Entek purchased a machine for $250,000 to granulate its plastic waste, which could then be re-used in the company's manufacturing process. As a result, Entek is saving over $100,000 each month--more than $1 million per year--in reduced landfill, labour and raw material costs. Their granulator paid for itself in three months.
  • 4.5: Fewer/Cleaner Production Consumables
    • This strategy focuses on reducing the production consumables or ancillary materials required for product production and/or using "cleaner" ones.
    • When applying this strategy, have your designers and production and industrial engineers conduct an analysis of consumables in the production process. The use of water, solvents, degreasers, oil/lubricants, abrasives, solders and cutting tools can be correlated with per unit production.
  • 4.5: Fewer/Cleaner Production Consumables (cont.)
    • Designers should specify materials/parts/components that are also cleaner and non-hazardous . For example, identifying and using solvents, lubricants or degreasers with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can reduce the use of ventilation systems and/or pollution prevention equipment.
    • Together with reducing waste during production and establishing in-house recycling programs, the re-design of parts/components is an effective means of reducing the use of production consumables.
    • Contents
  • Strategy 5: Optimize Distribution Systems Transport products from producer to distributor, retailer and user in the most efficient manner.
  • Introduction
    • Application of this strategy ensures that products are transported from the producer to the distributor, retailer and end-user in the most efficient manner possible. The factors involved in optimization include:
          • packaging
          • mode of transport
          • mode of storage/handling
          • logistics
    • If you decide to apply this strategy, you should consider product development separately from packaging development since packages have their own life cycles and associated environmental impacts.
    • You can also apply other DfE Strategies to packaging development and use. ( 3: Optimize Material Use , 4: Optimize Production , 7: Optimize End-of-Life Systems )
  • Substrategies
    • 5.1: Less/Cleaner/Re-usable Packaging
    • 5.2: Energy-efficient Transport Mode
    • 5.3: Energy-efficient Logistics
  • 5.1: Less/Cleaner/Re-usable Packaging
    • This strategy focuses on reducing packaging for marketing and transport purposes, resulting in less waste, less energy for transport, less emissions and greater savings. By reducing the amount and weight of packaging, your company can save on landfill and resources.
  • Here are some ideas for applying this strategy.
    • If your packaging provides aesthetic appeal to your product, use an attractive but lean design to achieve the same effect.
    • For transport and bulk packaging, consider re-usable materials in combination with a return system between yourself and the retailer and, if possible, between the retailer and end-user. Consider a package deposit/refund to encourage use of this system.
    • Use appropriate materials , e.g., recyclable materials for non-returnable packaging, and more durable materials for returnable packaging.
    • Reduce volume , e.g., providing foldability and nesting of products by using a modular structure. ( 2: Physical Optimization )
    • Encourage your suppliers to also reduce their packaging waste.
  • The major benefits of using fewer/cleaner production consumables are reductions in:
    • Production costs.
    • Material storage/handling requirements and costs.
    • Costs involved in the disposal of hazardous consumable waste.
    • Raw materials/consumables.
    • Need/use of ventilation equipment and costs of maintenance.
    • Equipment, e.g., ducts, motors, balancing.
    • Operating costs.
    • Need for pollution prevention equipment.
    • Health and safety costs, e.g., worker training and protective equipment.
    • Costs of regulatory compliance.
  • Less/Cleaner/Re-usable Packaging - example
    • In the early 1990s, Nissan had its suppliers become accountable for their own packaging waste. By 1996, over 97 per cent of 9,750 parts arriving at one of the company's plants came in re-usable containers . This not only saved Nissan and its suppliers money, but also eliminated waste entirely instead of redirecting it into recycling.
  • 5.2: Energy-efficient Transport Mode
    • The environmental impact of product transport comes primarily from energy consumed and air pollutant emissions. A consideration of this impact is important in a full-company program of environmental responsibility. As well, choosing energy-efficient transport can directly affect your bottom line as it will make your company more resilient to energy price fluctuations.
  • When deciding how to ship your products, consider many factors such as:
        • price
        • volume
        • reliability
        • time to delivery
        • distance to customer
        • environmental impact
  • Energy-efficient Transport Mode - additional guidelines
    • Have your designers, shipper/receivers and sales personnel compare the various modes of transport, i.e., foot, bicycle, courier, truck, rail, sea, air, with the above factors to determine the most appropriate mode of product transport.
    • Also investigate your suppliers' modes of transport for materials and components. Your costs can be reduced if energy-efficient modes are used throughout the supply, production and distribution chain.
  • Fuel-efficient fleet operations.
      • Install fuel-efficient computerized diesel engines to lower maintenance and operating costs.
      • Specify fuel-efficient vehicles.
      • Perform regular maintenance to reduce emissions.
      • Convert your fleet to alternative fuels such as propane, natural gas or bi-fuel, e.g., gasoline/natural gas.
      • Install on-board computers to help reduce fuel wastage by controlling idling speed and setting upper-speed limits.
      • Install an on-site vehicle refueling service to reduce fuel costs and enhance fleet efficiency.
  • 5.3: Energy-efficient Logistics
    • Efficient routing of transportation and distribution can significantly reduce the environmental impact of a company's logistics system. You might consider the following:
      • Motivate your sales personnel to work with local suppliers to avoid longer product-transport distances.
      • Motivate your sales personnel to introduce efficient forms of distribution, e.g., the simultaneous distribution of larger amounts of different goods.
      • Use standardized transport and bulk packaging, e.g. industry-standard pallets, boxes or bags.
      • Use route-optimization software to reduce product-transport distances.
      • If you are a just-in-time supplier, provide re-useable/returnable containers designed for your products.
      • Reduce warehouse distance--from storage to loading--for high-turnaround products. Contents
  • Strategy 6: Reduce Impact During Use Design a product so that end-users will be able to make efficient use of product consumables such as energy, water and detergent, and secondary products such as batteries, refills and filters.
  • Introduction
    • Many products consume considerable energy, water and/or other consumables during their life span. Resources consumed in maintenance and repair can add to the environmental impact. This strategy focuses on product design to reduce environmental impact during product use.
  • Substrategies
    • 6.1: Lower Energy Consumption
    • 6.2: Cleaner Energy Sources
    • 6.3: Reduce Use of Consumables
    • 6.4: Cleaner Consumables and Auxiliary Products
    • 6.5: Reduce Energy and Other Consumable Waste
  • 6.1: Lower Energy Consumption
    • The goal of this strategy is to achieve energy efficiency and/or the use of more environmentally responsible energy sources during product use.
    • It's important! Environmental analyses of durable products such as refrigerators and washing machines show that the largest environmental impacts can come during the use-phase of a product's life cycle. As a result, the operational costs over the product's lifetime can often exceed the initial purchase price. When users are made aware of the importance of these costs through programs like EnerGuide , then energy efficiency becomes a strong marketing feature.
    • Energy efficiency can also lead to reduced fossil fuel consumption, thereby lowering emissions of greenhouse gases and chemical contributors to acid rain.
  • Design strategies for energy-reducing products.
      • Use the lowest energy-consuming components available.
      • Design a default power-down mode and promote this function.
      • Ensure that users can switch off clocks, stand-by functions and other non-required devices.
      • Choose light-weight materials and designs if energy is required to move the product.
      • If energy is used for heating or cooling, 1) ensure that appropriate components are well insulated , and 2) consider if user-needs can still be met without such energy use.
      • Consider the possibility for human-powered alternative designs .
      • Consider possibilities for passive solar heating and rechargeable batteries .
  • Lower Energy Consumption - example
    • The Baylis FreePlay Wind Up Radio was intended initially for people in developing countries where affordable energy is scarce or non-existent. It was designed for recyclability; its materials have a low impact on the environment; and its production minimizes manufacturing waste. But the radio has also found many other applications for remote-location activities such as logging, boating and hiking. The radio uses strip steel springs as the primary energy storage device to drive a direct current generator. The spring maintains its performance characteristics over many years with a lifetime in excess of 10,000 cycles.
  • 6.2: Cleaner Energy Sources
    • The use of clean energy sources can greatly reduce harmful emissions at the energy-generation stage, especially for energy-intensive products. This strategy, aimed at increasing the use of cleaner energy sources, should be applied in conjunction with 6.1: Lower Energy Consumption .
    • It may be that your source of energy for product manufacture is predetermined by context and market. However, if you do have a choice of a cleaner energy source such as electricity or natural gas, you should consider the following:
    • Design products to use the least harmful source of energy.
    • Design high-efficiency alternatives when the least harmful source of energy is not available in the target market or available at the preferred manufacturing location. ( 6.1: Lower Energy Consumption )
    • For large industrial products or machinery, encourage the use of cleaner energy such as low-sulfur energy sources, i.e., natural gas and low-sulfur coal, fermentation, wind energy, hydro-electric power, solar energy and on-site co-generation from waste heat or steam.
  • 6.3: Reduce Use of Consumables
    • This strategy focuses on applications of design that will lead to lower, or more efficient, use of consumables such as water, oil, filters, cleaners/detergents and food/organic materials during a product's life span.
    • Reducing the need for, and use of, consumables can increase maintenance intervals for the product, reduce operating costs, and improve user satisfaction. This strategy should be applied along with 2: Physical Optimization .
  • Design for less.
        • Design the product to minimize the use of auxiliary materials, e.g., use a permanent filter in coffee makers instead of paper filters, and use the correct shape of filter to ensure optimal use of coffee.
        • Minimize possible leaks from machines that use high volumes of consumables by, for example, installing a leak detector.
        • Study the feasibility of re-using consumables, e.g., newer dishwashers re-circulate some wash water to reduce total water usage.
  • 6.4: Cleaner Consumables and Auxiliary Products
    • If a consumable/auxiliary product is to become "cleaner," it should be regarded as an individual product with its own life cycle. DfE strategies can then be applied separately for each consumable/auxiliary product, particularly in regard to:
          • material ( 3: Optimize Material Use )
          • production ( 4: Optimize Production )
          • use ( 6.3: Reduce Use of Consumables )
          • end-of-life phase ( 7: Optimize End-of-Life Systems )
  • 6.4: Cleaner Consumables and Auxiliary Products (cont.)
    • Designers and suppliers should collect information on the environmental impact of possible consumables/auxiliaries in order to make informed decisions. Specifying cleaner use can have the following benefits:
      • Increased product safety.
      • Reduced handling of hazardous/dangerous materials.
      • Reduced disposal costs of hazardous/dangerous materials.
      • Greater environmental appeal to users, resulting in more sales.
      • Development of stronger customer relationships.
  • Some factors to consider when applying this strategy
        • Implementing a collection/recycling/re-manufacturing system to eliminate disposal of filters, cartridges and dispensers in landfill or incineration facilities.
        • Being aware of the possibility of harmful wastes being produced as a result of using inferior consumables, e.g., low quality oil or coolants in engines can affect performance, emissions and efficiency.
  • Cleaner Consumables and Auxiliary Products - example
    • Black & Decker Canada has an ongoing pilot program in Ontario to provide a recycling system for its rechargeable appliances and reduce the impact of contamination from its NiCd batteries . The program gives users a rebate towards their next purchase when they bring unwanted appliances back to their dealer for re-use. They also receive the rebate if they bring their appliance back to have batteries replaced. The program diverted over 127 tonnes of waste from landfill in its first year of operation alone.
  • 6.5: Reduce Energy and Other Consumable Waste
    • There is often a gap between the manufacturer's intended use and maintenance of a product and what actually happens when it's in the hands of end-users. This gap can result in waste.
    • This strategy focuses on designs that foster proper product use.
    • Related strategies are 2: Physical Optimization and 6.1: Lower Energy Consumption .
  • Reduce Energy and Other Consumable Waste - tips
        • Design for easy-to-understand use and Provide clear instructions.
        • Design so that users cannot waste auxiliary materials, e.g., funnel-shaped filling inlets , and spring return or auto-off power switches .
        • Place calibration marks so that users know exactly how much auxiliary/consumable material, e.g., detergent or lubricant oil, is required.
        • Make the default position or state-of-the-product the one that is most desirable environmentally, e.g., power-down or stand-by modes.
        • Contents
  • Strategy 7: Optimize End-of-Life Systems Minimize the environmental impact of a product once it reaches the end of its useable life span through proper waste management and reclamation of components and materials.
    • This strategy is aimed at re-using valuable product parts/components and ensuring proper waste management at the end of a product's useful life. Optimized end-of-life systems can reduce environmental impacts through reinvestment of the original materials and energy used in manufacturing.
    • Companies should consider various end-of-life scenarios. The questions, listed here in order of most favourable to least favourable in terms of environmental impact, can help you determine how to optimize the end of a product's life.
          • Can the product/components/parts be reused?
          • Can parts/components be remanufactured and then re-used?
          • Can parts be used for material recycling?
          • Can parts be safely incinerated?
          • Should parts be disposed of in landfill?
    Introduction
  • Optimize End-of-Life Systems - substrategies
    • 7.1: Re-use of Product
    • 7.2: Design for Disassembly
    • 7.3: Product Re-manufacturing
    • 7.4: Material Recycling
    • 7.5: Safer Incineration
  • 7.1: Re-use of Product
    • This strategy focuses on re-use of the whole product, either for the same application or a new one. The more the product retains its original form, the more environmental merit is achieved, provided that take-back programs ( 7.3: Product Re-manufacturing ) and recycling systems ( 7.4: Material Recycling ) are developed simultaneously.
  • The benefits of this strategy include:
        • Greater environmental appeal for end-users.
        • Increase in sales.
        • Cost-savings.
  • The possibilities for re-use are dependent upon the following:
        • The product's technical, aesthetic and psychological life span.
        • A secondary market willing to accept used products.
        • A repair and maintenance infrastructure.
  • When applying this strategy, products should be designed:
        • With appropriate technical and aesthetic life spans in mind.
        • To be pleasing/useful for successive users in order to maximize life spans.
        • To use quality components and reliable technology that will not become prematurely obsolete and will, therefore, contribute to maintaining value.
        • To contribute to ease of cleaning, maintenance and upgrading.
  • Re-use of Product - example
    • Milliken, a North American carpet tile manufacturer, has a program which rejuvenates or "re-conditions" old carpet tiles . This program, called Ennovations, results in a carpet tile that lasts longer and can be resurfaced and re-used numerous times, as compared to the average carpet tile. As a result, Milliken has built stronger consumer relations and saved millions of dollars in new materials and landfill fees.
  • 7.2: Design for Disassembly
    • To optimize a product's end-of-life system, you should consider designing for disassembly. This type of design is also closely related to making a product more serviceable for users ( 2.2: Optimize Functions ) and aiding in maintenance and repair ( 2.4: Easy Maintenance and Repair ).
    • Factors, such as the life span of parts/components, their standardization, maintenance requirements, and instructions for servicing and re-assembly, play a major role in designing for disassembly.
  • Designing for disassembly can have the following benefits:
        • Facilitate maintenance and repair, thereby reducing costs.
        • Facilitate part/component re-use, thereby recovering materials and reducing costs.
        • Assist material recycling, thereby avoiding disposal and handling of waste.
        • Assist product testing and failure-mode/end-of-life analysis.
        • Facilitate product take-back and extended producer responsibility, thereby reducing liability and assisting in regulatory compliance.
  • Designers should attempt to:
    • Use detachable joints such as snap, screw or bayonet instead of welded, glued or soldered connections.
    • Use standardized joints so that the product can be dismantled with a few universal tools, e.g., one type and size of screw.
    • Position joints so that the product does not need to be turned or moved for dismantling.
    • Indicate on the product how it should be opened non-destructively, e.g., where and how to apply leverage with a screwdriver to open snap connections.
    • Put parts that are likely to wear out at the same time in close proximity so they can be easily replaced simultaneously.
    • Indicate on the product which parts must be cleaned or maintained in a specific way, e.g., colour-coded lubricating points.
  • A product/component disassembly checklist.
    • Evaluate the ease of disassembly. Consider assigning a weighting and scoring system to the list.
  • 7.2.1. What are the bonding and fastening methods of parts and components?
        • insert moulding
        • cohesion
        • adhesion
        • mechanical fastening
        • friction fitting
  • 7.2.2. What are the additional operations required for disassembly?
    • fracturing
    • drilling
    • ungluing
    • heating
    • lubricating
  • 7.2.3. What are the tools required for disassembly?
        • special tool
        • simple tool
        • by hand
  • 7.2.4. What is the tool motion required for disassembly?
        • complex
        • turning
        • straight line
  • 7.2.5. What is the level of difficulty for disassembly?
        • technician needed
        • assistant needed
        • deformation required
        • hold-down required
        • heavy
        • small
        • resistant
        • difficult access
        • difficult to grasp
        • difficult to view
  • 7.2.6. What are the hazards during disassembly?
        • chemical
        • electrical
        • sharp edges/corners
  • 7.2.7. Where are the instructions for disassembly?
        • provided integrally
        • provided separately
  • 7.3: Product Re-manufacturing
    • Many products end up in landfill sites even though they still contain valuable components. Often these components can be re-used, either for the original purpose or for a new one. This strategy focuses on re-manufacturing/refurbishing in the context of restoring and repairing sub-assemblies.
    • Re-manufacturing/refurbishing is related to 7.2: Designing for Disassembly and 2.5: Modular Product Structure.
  • Re-manufacturing can benefit your company by:
        • Recovering materials and the costs embodied in products.
        • Providing a reliable, cost-effective supply of parts/components for inclusion into new product production or service operations.
        • Saving the costs of new manufacturing/purchasing.
  • Re-manufacturing/refurbishing considerations.
    • Design for disassembly, i.e., from product to sub-assemblies, to ensure easy accessibility for inspection, cleaning, repair and replacement of vulnerable/sensitive sub-assemblies or parts.
    • Design a modular product structure so that each module can be detached and re-manufactured in the most suitable way.
    • Design parts/components to facilitate ease of cleaning/repair and retrofitting prior to re-use.
    • Indicate parts/components that must be lubricated or maintained in a specific way through colour coding or integral labels.
    • Consider the tooling requirements for re-manufacturing in the physical design of parts/components.
    • Consider transportation and packaging requirements for re-manufactured parts/components.
    • Since countries such as Germany, England, Australia and Taiwan are preparing product take-back regulations, many companies have already undertaken take-back programs.
      • Xerox re-uses up to 75 per cent of components and recycles up to 98 per cent of materials from take-back products. Those components that meet criteria for new components are used again in the Xerox Eco-Series Copiers . The take-back program saved $50 million in its first year of operation.
      • As of 1997, IBM has saved over $70 million through machine parts re-use and over $7 million through use of recycled commodities.
      • Hewlett Packard created a worldwide Equipment Management and Remarketing Division to re-manufacture used products including PCs, printers and scanners . As a result, the company has saved millions of dollars in parts manufacturing, has improved its image as environmentally sensitive, and has gained a greater competitive "edge" in the global marketplace.
  • 7.4: Material Recycling
    • This strategy focuses on making products that can be easily disassembled and using materials suitable for recycling.
    • This strategy is related to 7.2: Design for Disassembly which helps facilitate material recycling.
  • The benefits of recycling:
        • Requires little time.
        • Requires only a small financial investment.
        • Attracts users and increases sales.
        • Is easy to promote within and outside the company.
  • The levels of recycling, in order of the greatest environmental benefit to the least, are:
      • Primary recycling--back to the original application.
      • Secondary recycling--to a lower-grade application.
      • Tertiary recycling--decomposition into raw materials.
  • Facilitate recycling.
        • Try to recover and use recyclable materials for which a market already exists.
        • If toxic materials have to be used in the product, they should be concentrated in adjacent areas so they can be easily detached.
        • If non-destructive disassembly is not possible, ensure that the different materials can be easily separated into groups of mutually compatible materials. This is important, for instance, in efficient metal recovery and recycling.
  • In the design of the product, consider:
    • Integrating as many functions in one part as possible.
    • Minimizing the types of materials used in the whole product. If this is not possible, consider the compatibility of materials, e.g., glass/ceramics, plastics, various metals.
    • Using recyclable materials such as thermoplastics rather than composite materials such as laminates, fillers, fire retardants and fibreglass reinforcements.
    • Avoiding use of polluting elements such as stickers that interfere with the recycling process.
    • Marking any parts made of synthetic materials with a standardized material code.
  • 7.5: Safer Incineration
    • When product, component or material re-use and recycling are not possible, incineration--preferably with energy recovery--is an end-of-life option.
    • You can design for safer incineration by avoiding the use of materials that can lead to toxic emissions if the product were to be incinerated without adequate environmental controls.
    • When the use of heavy metals or other potentially toxic materials is unavoidable, you should design the product for easy disassembly and promote programs to recover the hazardous materials separately. For example, household products using chargeable batteries should be designed and labelled so that end-users can remove the batteries easily and send them for separate recycling.