Date of Award

Fall 1997

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Reggie J. Caudill

Second Advisor

Valerie M. Thomas

Third Advisor

Sanchoy K. Das

Abstract

Over the past few years environmental issues and concerns have become more and more important, as they become a common part of most people's personal experience. In these regards, the electronics industry is facing substantial problems in terms of end-of-life management of its products, televisions and monitors in particular. The building blocks of this industry are usually viewed as relatively "clean". However, manufacturing by­products of the electronics industry and the disposition of electronics are becoming increasingly important technical, financial, and environmental issues.

Within the context of the above issues, environmentally responsible disposal of Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT's), which is still the prominent display of choice for both the television and the computer monitor, is regarded as a major concern, due to the high amount of lead in the CRT glass. A considerable proportion of the environmental effects of a CRT is related to its lifecycle and also to the lifecycle of its materials. And hence to analyze and assess the environmental impact of the raw materials used in a CRT during its complete lifecycle, the method of Multi-Lifecycle Assessment (MLCA) is adopted in this research and thesis. A generic process modeling structure for manufacture of materials is developed to conduct a full inventory analysis, in terms of mass balance, energy balance and environmental performance. The demanufacturing aspect of televisions is also addressed. The disassembly process is studied and different disassembly levels are analyzed using the reverse fishbone diagram technique. Considering three different end-fate objectives for recovering the subassemblies, components, and materials in the television, a cost effectiveness analysis is also performed to compare end-fate objectives and determine the scenario yielding the highest value for disassembling televisions.

The major contributions and results obtained from this research are as follows:

  1. A database for eco-profile of commonly used materials namely, steel, aluminum, copper, lead, and leaded-glass, is generated by conducting LCI of these materials.
  2. Environmental burden for the lifecycle of CRT from raw materials extraction to production is calculated.
  3. The demanufacturing study conducted suggested that, for profitable and economical operation of a disassembly process, the procedure and level of disassembly, the time required for disassembly, and the current market value of recovered materials, are important and dependent on each other. The demanufacturer has to make a trade-off between these issues and thus try to efficiently and effectively manage the entire demanufacturing operation.

Included in

Manufacturing Commons

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