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Manufacturing
Pages 45-71

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From page 45...
... Thus, the designer's role in the manufacturing industry is central, both in the choice of materials and in the choice of process. Although there are substantial commonalities among the manufacturing sectors, there are great diversities as well, as indicated in Table 1.
From page 46...
... Similarly, the manufacturer may choose to perform downstream recycling or at least to enter into cooperative arrangements for doing so. In these ways, the manufacturer can examine and influence trade-offs over the complete product life-cycle, including initial materials choice, product design, processes used to manufacture, in-service impacts, ease of disassembly and reuse, and strategy for recycling and disposal.
From page 47...
... is a module within the DFX regime that allows the manufacturer to consider systematically environmental factors, such as concurrent engineering, that can be used in IPD practices. The DEE module is intended to incorporate traditional concerns about health and safety as well as more contemporary environmental concerns.
From page 49...
... Environmental strategies in product man ufacturing are well-known: minimize air emissions; minimize solid and liquid waste generation; conserve water and energy; reduce toxicity (ensuring worker health and safety during production) ; and avoid compromising the health and safety of customers, recyclers, and waste handlers.
From page 50...
... Life-cycle stage 2 and, perhaps, life-cycle stage 3 have been regarded customarily as falling within industry's responsibility, but the evolving view is that an environmentally responsible product minimizes external environmental impacts in all five life cycle stages. To date, few manufacturers have looked at the whole life cycle of their products and asked questions such as, Do our products use abundant resources rather than scarce ones?
From page 51...
... , the Clean Air Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or "Superfund." Many environmental laws are based on assumptions appropriate to a linear flow of materials to waste, rather than the internal cycling characteristic of a sustainable economy. For example, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act defines almost any by-product of a linear manufacturing process as a hazardous waste and subjects it to burdensome regulation, thereby limiting the incentives to recycle or reuse the material.
From page 52...
... Such regulations, however, are characterized by a burgeoning of mandatory requirements, a relative lack of concern for economic efficiency, a focus only on the manufacturing stage of industrial activity rather than the life cycle of materials or products, and, because specific technologies are prescribed, a strong bias against technological innovation. Moreover, in practice, it has proved very difficult to modify such regulations to reflect advances in scientific understanding.
From page 53...
... Products not so designed will, in all probability, be landfilled at substantial cost. Labeling Programs A number of labeling systems designating environmentally responsible products and/or activities are being developed around the world.
From page 54...
... (~) FIGURE 2 Some of the labels established to designate environmentally responsible products; (a)
From page 55...
... One LCA method has as its central feature a five-by-five Environmentally Responsible Product Assessment Matrix, one dimension of which is life-cycle stage and the other of which is environmental concern (Figure 3~. Using this matrix, the design-for-environment assessor studies
From page 56...
... Examples of questions to guide scoring are given in Box 2 for three of the matrix elements. Once an evaluation has been made for each matrix element, Mij, the overall environmentally responsible product rating (RERP)
From page 58...
... CULTURAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE Cultural and organizational changes are critical to the success of corporate operational responses to environmental issues. Many of these changes are within
From page 61...
... Page 61
From page 62...
... Managing Environmental Costs Developing acceptable methods to guide product and process designers in selecting low-environmental-impact materials and production methodologies is not a trivial matter. If environmental costs were reflected in the market price of goods and services, environmental preferability would be apparent.
From page 63...
... Such strategies might include developing modular designs that accommodate changes in technologies or user requirements through upgrades. Finally, the shift will also require managing risk and consumer satisfaction at all levels within the complex manufacturing, delivery, use, and disposal systems of which the product is a component.
From page 64...
... A central focus of environmental and engineering education, law and regulatory practice, and corporate management practices will be to provide these necessary new tools and incentives for the product and process designer, whose choices will determine to a great degree the environmental performance of the corporation. BREAKING BARRIERS AND CREATING OPPORTUNITIES Critical barriers to lessening the impact of manufacturing on the environment have to be addressed at least on two levels: those that fall within manufacturing organizations themselves and external societal and institutional factors that affect the manufacturer.
From page 65...
... Designers, engineers, and managers require a rational basis on which to select materials; consider alternative product configurations; compare different production processes and packaging schemes; understand energy use at each stage of the product's life; and consider remanufacture, disposal, or recycling costs at the end of the product's useful life. In larger organizations, the environmental health and safety office could provide this information, but the same issues must be addressed by smaller firms as well.
From page 66...
... firms in the 1980s without due consideration for the eventual disposal of the product. The mercury content of the lightbulb was found to cause significant landfill problems, and manufacturers who believed they were producing an environmentally responsible product were ultimately fined.
From page 67...
... These meetings would provide opportunities for the joint identification of issues whose solution would provide substantial benefits when cooperatively undertaken. Immunity from future regulatory action is an important requisite for companies that agree to participate in reducing confrontational relationships with regulators and other concerned groups.
From page 68...
... What opportunities exist to harvest the "low-hanging fruit" (i.e., simple and inexpensive activities yielding substantial benefits) of environmental improvement in the manufacturing sector?
From page 69...
... A critical element of the cultural and organizational change needed involves a redefinition of the manufacturing industry as one that is environmentally conscious. This will require industry to partnership with customers and government.
From page 70...
... More effective partnering is needed to move away from this process toward a flexible systems-based problem-solving mode. How can society avoid national regulatory actions and those imposed by international agreements that have a negative impact on innovation and the ability to compete?
From page 71...
... Pp. 185-199 in The Industrial Green Game.


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