Date of Award

Spring 2001

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

MengChu Zhou

Second Advisor

Reggie J. Caudill

Third Advisor

Yun Q. Shi

Abstract

Environmental concerns and rising product disposal costs have pressed manufactures to make more environmentally friendly products and customers to use and dispose of them in an environmental responsive way. Thus the practice of Design for Environment (DFE) is becoming essential in today's industrial environment. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) provides different ways for the environmental assessment of products. One critical step in performing lifecycle assessment of any product design is to collect design-related data. The common way based on manual input for traditional DFE tools is not only cumbersome and time-consuming but also error-prone. This thesis presents the characteristics of a DFE tool which not only extends traditional four stages LCA model to seven stages Multi-Lifecycle Assessment (MLCA) model, but also integrates CAD tools and MLCA software. It presents an interface for the DFE tool which can automatically extract all related design information from a product's CAD database and populate to the database used for multi-lifecycle assessment. The interface design involves both database structure and population algorithm implemented in JAVA/JDBC. Thus CAD tools and multi-lifecycle assessment software are integrated to allow designers to make immediate environment performance evaluation of their product designs and thus make their changes, if needed, on-line. This work provides a robust infrastructure for the next generation DFE tools and overcomes a challenging technical barrier in the wide DFE application in industrial design practice.

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