Abstract: The Function Impact Method (FIM) is a semi-quantitative eco-design methodology that is targeted specifically towards the early stages of the design process. The FIM allows a designer to predict the environmental impacts associated with a new functional embodiment by extrapolating knowledge from Life cycle assessment (LCA) of similar existing designs. LCA however, is associated with substantial sources of uncertainty. Furthermore, the FIM uses a subjective weighting scheme for representing function-structure affinities. In the authorsâ€™ previous work, a Monte-Carlo variation analysis was used to estimate sensitivity of the input data and select the preferred redesign strategy. This paper proposes a method to formalize the input uncertainties in the FIM by modeling the uncertainties present in the results of the LCAâ€™s and the involved function-structure affinities using Info-gap decision theory. The desirability of redesigning a particular function based on the magnitude of its function-connectivity and eco-impact is estimated, and a decision making methodology based on robust satisficing is discussed. This method is applied for making robust redesign decisions with regards to re-designing a pneumatic impact wrench for sustainability.
Devarajan Ramanujan, William Z Bernstein, Fu Zhao, Karthik Ramani
Addressing Uncertainties within Product Redesign for Sustainability: A Function Based Framework
Proceedings of the ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference IDETC/CIE 2011, August 28-31, 2011, Washington, DC, USA