Product environmental impact reduction efforts largely focus on incremental changes during detailed design. Application of automated concept generation using a design repository and integral life cycle assessment approach is explored to evaluate and reduce environmental impacts in the conceptual phase of product design.
With increasing concerns about the environment, people are re-evaluating every aspect of their lives. Did you know that every year, an estimated 2.2 billion tons of waste is dumped in our oceans? As per the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2013, Americans generated about 254 million tons of waste with about 34% recycling rate. The UK produces about 434 million tonnes of solid waste annually with a projected growth rate of around 3% per year. The Brundtland report clearly outlined that sustainable development would only be achieved if society in general, and industry in particular, learned to produce more goods and services with less of the world's resources and less pollution and waste.
Advanced analytics opens vast untapped potential for farmers, investors, and emerging economies to reduce the cost of goods sold. The way digital technologies are reshaping the relationship between consumers and brands has been hotly debated over the past few years, with much discussion of the reshaping of consumer decision journeys, the advent of multichannel marketing and sales, and the impact of smartphones and the mobile Internet on customer behavior. Yet an even bigger opportunity has been largely overlooked. By taking advantage of big data and advanced analytics at every link in the value chain from field to fork, food companies can harness digital's enormous potential for sustainable value creation. Digital can help them use resources in a more environmentally responsible manner, improve their sourcing decisions, and implement circular-economy solutions in the food chain.
Until very recently, many energy and resource executives believed they could meet sustainability requirements by publicizing a few carefully chosen environmental projects and technology programs. In annual reports and TV ads, these companies have highlighted their successes in, for example, reducing fugitive emissions, developing biofuels and protecting fragile environments--initiatives of which executives can justly feel proud. But as the climate change dialogue intensifies, and as the calls to take action gain urgency, events are overtaking that traditional, project-by-project approach. For every promotional ad about a company's efforts to invest in carbon capture or restore wetlands, a million tweets showing a marine animal trapped in plastic make their way around the world and onto the phones of a company's customers. Most energy and natural resources CEOs would say that their companies have accelerated their sustainability efforts (see Figure 1).
Related to the recent issues on the environmental sustainability, the attention and importance of Reusable Medical Equipment (RME) has increased rapidly. As a part of System Redesign Project funded by Veterans Engineering Resource Center (VERC), “Design Evaluation for Reusable Medical Equipment” project has been conducted. This research project aims to develop new RME design assessment and evaluation framework and Design for Reusability (DFR) and Design for Sustainability (DFS) principles. In this paper, we will present a decision support system for RME design evaluation, based on DFR and DFS principles. To illustrate the proposed new framework, GI endoscope is used in this research. In the proposed system, we apply a Rough Set Theory to identify the relationships among design and reprocessing features. Also we use feature selection technique to select the customized features from the design features and reprocessing features to be used for design evaluation.