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Product development with a focus on integration of environmental aspects
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Machine Design (Div.).
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Environmental awareness has increased during the past 2-3 decades, and companies have gone from simply following legislation to adding environmental considerations into their business plans. The ongoing developments make it interesting to study how leading companies integrate environmental considerations into their product development processes.

The aim of this thesis is to study how environmental considerations can be integrated into the product development process. It is based on studies made in the Swedish manufacturing industry. The research has used both quantitative and qualitative methods. The foundation for the conclusion was derived from the four different studies building this thesis.

The aggregated conclusion from the studies suggests a conceptual model consisting of four cornerstones that should be addressed in order to ease the integration of environmental concerns: the management, product development process, DfE Mindset, and DfE Tools. The development of this model has its foundation in industrial case studies that show how leading companies have integrated environmental considerations in an innovative way.

Combined with the conceptual model is a discussion concerning the usage of existing tools and how sub-activities carried out within the development process are less formal than before. This non-rigid structure is in line with what is suggested in current innovation research for radical innovation, since it enables creativity to flourish and does not limit designers. This freedom of action for the creativity of the personnel in the projects has raised the environmental work to a new level.

The thesis also suggests how to use analytical and dialogue-based tools in a development project. It is beneficial to have a dialogue tool in the beginning of a project and in a radical innovation project, while it is beneficial to have an analytical tool later on in a project if more that one tool is used or in an incremental innovation project.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2007. , x, 102 p.
Series
Trita-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2007:01
Keyword [en]
Product development process, innovation, integration, environmental considerations, DfE Tools, DfE Mindset, product developmen
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4289OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4289DiVA: diva2:11648
Public defence
2007-03-07, F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100820.Available from: 2007-02-28 Created: 2007-02-28 Last updated: 2012-03-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The challenge of environmental improvement in different types of innovation projects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The challenge of environmental improvement in different types of innovation projects
2005 (English)In: Advances in Integrated Design and Manufacturing in Mechanical Engineering / [ed] Bramley A; Brissaud D; Coutellier D; McMahon C, 2005, 33-44 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Product development tends to strive towards radical innovations of products to gain an advantage in a competitive market. Which tool should be used to evaluate environmental performance in order to reach the market faster with radically improved products? This paper discusses radical and incremental innovation and combines them with tools for evaluating environmental performance of products. The environmental tools examined or used in this paper are design handbook, life cycle assessment (LCA), and environmental effect analysis (EEA). This paper is based on a literature review in the field of innovation and environmental research. Primarily journal articles and conference papers have been used but also books and dissertations. The result of the discussion is that a radical innovation should use EEA as a supporting tool, and incremental innovation should use LCA. This is based on known facts about EEA and LCA. A design handbook can easily be used as a support for both types of innovation.

Keyword
incremental and radical innovation; product development; design for environment (DfE); life cycle assessment (LCA); environmental effect analysis (EEA)
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6823 (URN)10.1007/1-4020-3482-2_3 (DOI)000231847200003 ()1-4020-3481-4 (ISBN)
Conference
5th International Conference on Integrated Design and Manufacturing in Mechanical Engineering Univ Bath, Bath, England, Apr., 2004
Note
QC 20100820Available from: 2007-02-28 Created: 2007-02-28 Last updated: 2010-08-20Bibliographically approved
2. Non-functional demands in Swedish organisations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Non-functional demands in Swedish organisations
2004 (English)In: Tecnológico de Moterrey Proceedings of 7th International QMOD conference, 2004Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6824 (URN)
Conference
International QMOD conference, 2004
Note
QC 20100820Available from: 2007-02-28 Created: 2007-02-28 Last updated: 2010-08-20Bibliographically approved
3. Integrating environmental aspects in products
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integrating environmental aspects in products
2004 (English)In: Proceedings of NordDesign: Product Development in Changing Enviroment / [ed] Lehtonen T., 2004, 244-250 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper present the result from two different interview studies made in Sweden. One study had focus on companies developing consumer products and focus of the other study was product developing companies. The companies in the study were from small to large size.

Many different aspects need to be considered when a product is developed. Most of them are connected directly to the function of the product such as speed, weight, height etc. Historically the main focus has been the products functionality, other aspects such as environmental, design, and ergonomic have been considered as less important.

The study show that size of the company affects how the companies work with environmental issues. The larger companies were more active regarding the work more with environmental issue. They have the possibility to have in-house knowledge or to contract external support to study their products.

Keyword
environmental demands; sustainable engineering; Design for Environment (DfE); eco-design
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6825 (URN)000252984000026 ()978-952-15-1227-8 (ISBN)
Conference
5th Biannual NordDesign 2004 Conference Tampere Univ Technol, Tampere, Finland, Aug. 18-20, 2004
Note
QC 20100820Available from: 2007-02-28 Created: 2007-02-28 Last updated: 2010-08-20Bibliographically approved
4. The relationship between environmental analyses and the dialogue process in product development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The relationship between environmental analyses and the dialogue process in product development
2006 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 14, no 15-16, 1409-1419 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Eco-design tools ought to be made more useful, so that they become effectively used in companies to support improvements of product systems. This article discusses the interconnections between environmental analysis and integrative cooperation in the product development processes. The study focuses on two different assessment tools, life cycle assessment (LCA) and environmental effect analysis (EEA), in three different combined uses. The discussion of the Eco-design methods focuses on integration in product development processes considering the relation to a product competitiveness perspective. The interviews indicate that the interconnection of methods is important as a key to real transformation of design practices.

Keyword
Eco-design; Sustainable product development; Transformative learning; Verification by acceptance; Ecology; Environmental impact; Project management; Sustainable development
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6826 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2005.11.012 (DOI)000240298500013 ()2-s2.0-33745647570 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100820Available from: 2007-02-28 Created: 2007-02-28 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
5. Sustainability management in product development projects: the ABB experience
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainability management in product development projects: the ABB experience
2006 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 14, no 15-16, 1377-1385 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article describes how ABB worked with environmental considerations when they developed their new capacitor. The sustainable development priorities are now integrated within their mainstream product development process model. The fact that ABB started a mandatory use of their GATE Model, including the sustainability considerations, verifies that ABB considers it to be a commercially sound methodology. The studied project resulted in a product with considerably better environmental performance than the traditional technology. One key factor is that the sustainability interest was truly advocated and supported by the management of the project.

Keyword
Capacitor; Eco-design; Stage gate Model; Sustainability management; Capacitors; Environmental impact; Mathematical models; Performance; Project management; Environmental considerations; Product development
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6827 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2005.11.027 (DOI)000240298500010 ()
Note
QC 20100820. Tidigare titel: Managing sustainability aspects in product development: the ABB experience. Titel ändrad 20100820.Available from: 2007-02-28 Created: 2007-02-28 Last updated: 2010-08-20Bibliographically approved
6. Managing Radical Innovation and Environmental Challenges: Development of a Dry Capacitor at ABB
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing Radical Innovation and Environmental Challenges: Development of a Dry Capacitor at ABB
2008 (English)In: European Journal of Innovation Management, ISSN 1460-1060, E-ISSN 1758-7115, Vol. 11, no 2, 182-198 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the driving forces for taking environmental considerations to a higher level in a project involving radical innovation.

Design/methodology/approach – This qualitative case study is based on ten in-depth interviews with respondents from the development team for the DryQ project at ABB.

Findings – In order to achieve substantial environmental benefits, radical product development is essential. Radical product development has attributes that differ from those of incremental product development. It is important that these differences be acknowledged when preparing to manage environmental challenges in development projects. In radical product development, environmental considerations should be taken into account very early on, at the strategic level of the design process.  Setting challenging environmental targets and rewarding environmental improvements was crucial to the outcome of the project presented in this paper.

Research limitations/implications – The research presented here describes one case in one manufacturing company. Readers can, however, learn from this case and apply the insights gained to their own research or use the findings to promote new thinking in their own organisation.

Practical implications – Suggestions are made about how to manage environmental considerations in radical product development.

Originality/value – Few studies combine ecodesign and radical innovation theories, as is done here. Yet this is not a theoretical paper but an industry-based study of eco-innovation, from which researchers and practitioners can learn.

Keyword
Innovation, Environmental management, Product design, Operations and production management
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5471 (URN)10.1108/14601060810869857 (DOI)2-s2.0-43049114602 (Scopus ID)
Note
Updated from Submitted to Published. QC 20111219Available from: 2006-03-14 Created: 2006-03-14 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved

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