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Empirical study on integration of environmental aspects into product development: processes, requirements and the use of tools in vehicle manufacturing companies in Sweden
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms). KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Centres, VinnExcellence Center for ECO2 Vehicle design.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2664-8783
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5535-6368
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
2014 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 81, 34-45 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An empirical study was conducted on integration of environmental aspects and requirements into four vehicle manufacturing companies in Sweden. The aim was to gain insights into how Design for Environment (DfE) is organised in these companies and, thus help bridge the gap between methodological development and practice. The processes for identifying and integrating environmental aspects into product development, the type of environmental requirements considered and the use of different types of DfE tools were investigated through semi-structured interviews.

Despite similarities regarding the type of environmental requirements considered and the major drivers for these, the companies studied have adopted different ways to identify and integrate environmental requirements into their product development process and use DfE tools to differing extents. Such variations reflect differences in the success and maturity levels of the DfE practices adopted. When compared to success factors mentioned in the existing literature, the study concluded that some components needed for efficient integration of environmental aspects into the product development process of all participating companies are lacking. Some of the companies had a greater need for measures that would increase systematic integration of environmental requirements during design decisions. Others first need to establish the processes (in terms of people and use of supporting tools) that could enable such integration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 81, 34-45 p.
Keyword [en]
Design for environment, DfE tools, Ecodesign, Environmental requirements, Product development, Vehicle design
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-134802DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.06.001ISI: 000341348600003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84905571028OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-134802DiVA: diva2:668113
Note

QC 20141003

Available from: 2013-11-28 Created: 2013-11-28 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Integration of Design for Environment in the vehicle manufacturing industry in Sweden: Focus on practices and tools
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integration of Design for Environment in the vehicle manufacturing industry in Sweden: Focus on practices and tools
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Design for Environment (DfE) promotes the systematic consideration of environmental aspects during product design and development. Despite the maturity of concepts and tools in literature, efficient implementation in industries is reported to be low. A need to bridge this gap is identified with studies that look on DfE practices as well as the use and potential of DfE tools.

This thesis is part of a research project that investigates DfE practices and the use of tools during vehicle design and development. The aim is to investigate the ways that environmental constraints can be efficiently integrated into product development processes thus assist in improving the environmental performance of products from a life cycle perspective. The scope of the study includes four vehicle manufacturing companies in Sweden. The development and utilization of tools has been also investigated aiming to increase the opportunities for effective use within this product category. Case study methodology, research interviews and literature reviews constitute the research strategy followed in this work.

The empirical results presented in this thesis indicated that vehicle manufacturing companies in Sweden are continually working to improve the environmental performance of their products and meet legal and costumer demands. Despite similarities regarding the type of environmental requirements considered, the companies studied have adopted different ways to identify and integrate environmental requirements into their product development process and use DfE tools to different extents. Such variations reflect differences in the success and maturity levels of the DfE practices adopted.

A need for increased and more systematic use of tools is identified for all studied companies and especially for analytical tools. Results from the literature review showed that a variety of tools are available that have the potential to support vehicle design processes. However, only a few cover a broad set of aspects identified to be relevant from a vehicle design perspective. For DfE tools to become effective and be used during product development, they need to cover aspects that are relevant for the company and product designers. A need towards the development of tools that assist vehicle or product designers in general, to make informed and comprehensive choices based on a variety of requirements associated to the product, is identified.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. iv, 43 p.
Series
TRITA-INFRA-FMS-LIC, 2013:01
Keyword
Design for Environment (DfE), ecodesign, vehicle design, DfE tools, ecodesign tools, product development, integrated product development
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-134804 (URN)978-91-7501-956-7 (ISBN)
Presentation
2013-12-20, L51, Drottning Kristinas v. 30, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Coupling Materials Environmental Analysis - Environmental Effects
Available from: 2013-12-04 Created: 2013-11-28 Last updated: 2013-12-04Bibliographically approved
2. Assessing design strategies for improved life cycle environmental performance of vehicles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing design strategies for improved life cycle environmental performance of vehicles
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Vehicle manufactures have adopted different strategies for improving the environmental performance of their fleet including lightweight design and alternative drivetrains such as EVs. Both strategies reduce energy during use but may result in a relative increase of the impact during other stages. To address this, a lifecycle approach is needed when vehicle design strategies are developed. The thesis explores the extent that such a lifecycle approach is adopted today and assesses the potential of these strategies to reduce the lifecycle impact of vehicles. Moreover it aims to contribute to method development for lifecycle considerations during product development and material selection.

Current practices were explored in an empirical study with four vehicle manufacturers. The availability of tools for identifying, monitoring and assessing design strategies was explored in a literature review. The results of the empirical study showed that environmental considerations during product development often lack a lifecycle perspective. Regarding the use of tools a limited number of such tools were utilized systematically by the studied companies despite the numerous tools available in literature.

The influence of new design strategies on the lifecycle environmental performance of vehicles was assessed in three case studies; two looking into lightweight design and one at EVs. Both strategies resulted in energy and GHG emissions savings though the impact during manufacturing increases due to the advanced materials used. Assumptions relating to the operating conditions of the vehicle e.g. lifetime distance or for EVs the carbon intensity of the energy mix, influence the level of this tradeoff. Despite its low share in terms of environmental impact EOL is important in the overall performance of vehicles.

The thesis contributed to method development by suggesting a systematic approach for material selection. The approach combines material and environmental analysis tools thus increases the possibilities for lifecycle improvements while minimizing risk for sub-optimizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 60 p.
Series
TRITA-INFRA-FMS-PHD, 2016:04
Keyword
Vehicle design, Design strategies, Lightweight design, Electric vehicles, Design for Environment (DfE), DfE tools, Life cycle assessment (LCA), Simplified LCA, Composite materials
National Category
Environmental Sciences Environmental Management
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192536 (URN)978-91-7729-108-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-10-17, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160920

Available from: 2016-09-20 Created: 2016-09-14 Last updated: 2016-09-20Bibliographically approved

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