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Product Life Cycle Management (Volume I).

Wright, Lucy. (1999) Product Life Cycle Management (Volume I). Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The driving force behind this research is the need to move beyond traditional environmental management, towards product life cycle management. In the last five to ten years, the focus of environmental initiatives for the electronics industry has shifted from company or site based management systems to product based management systems that strive for improved environmental performance over the whole product life cycle. This shift in attention has increased focus on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and in particular its application to product design (Design for Environment (DfE)). However, a number of factors have weakened the application and decision-making basis of LCA within industry. Although accepted as a concept, LCA is often viewed by industry as a tool suited to the domain of academia; the consequence of this is that typically the results are too complex and controversial to be useful to the ‘lay’ person and are ignored. In particular, to enable LCA to influence product Research and Development (R&D) activities in fast-moving and rapidly changing business environments, its practicality must be enhanced. To elicit more appropriate use of LCA, a fundamental understanding of the decision-making stages of innovation and product development within R&D is needed. In particular, the development of product takeback legislation in Europe will have a profound effect on the electronics industry. Companies will need to fundamentally re-appraise their product design from a life cycle perspective, including materials selection, assembly and disassembly processes and the total supply chain including end-of-life recovery. This research starts by examining these challenges, and critically reviewing Life Cycle Assessment techniques. Whilst understanding and appreciating the complexity of environmental issues, coupled with the fast moving and complex consumer electronics business environment, it is clear that life cycle approaches must be simplified greatly if they are to be integrated successfully into business processes. A simplified life cycle approach is developed to identify and quantify environmental impacts for a mobile phone. In particular takeback and recycling have been analysed systematically from a life cycle perspective. Furthermore, the decision-making life cycle has been investigated alongside the product life cycle, to provide a new perspective towards integrating environmental criteria into business practice and improving strategies for the environmental performance of products.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Wright, Lucy.
Date : 1999
Additional Information : Thesis (Eng.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1999.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 15:43
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 15:49
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856873

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