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Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2821; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082821

Product Design Evaluation Using Life Cycle Assessment and Design for Assembly: A Case Study of a Water Leakage Alarm

1
Centre for Integrated Design of Advanced Mechanical Systems (PRISMA), Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
2
Centre for Materials Engineering and Smart Manufacturing (MERCU), Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 5 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

This study proposed the use of an LCA supported by a design efficiency evaluation based on Design for Assembly principles to reduce the environmental impact of a product. To illustrate the methodology, a water leakage alarm (WLA) was selected as the object for a case study. Based on the identification and evaluation of the LCA results, it was inferred that the stage with the highest environmental impact was the manufacturing stage (75.35%), followed by the use stage (23.88%), the disposal of the WLA (0.64%), and finally, the disposal of the batteries (0.14%). For the manufacturing stage, the most interrelated categories were the hazardous waste and human toxicity, while the use stage was the main contributor to ozone depletion and acidification. Moreover, the disposal of the WLA and batteries contributed to the bulk waste. Furthermore, from the assembly evaluation, the design efficiency of the product was 14%. Two recommendations for improving the design of the WLA were: (1) to reduce the number of screws from three units to one unit, and (2) to eliminate the use of a cable and to replace it with a wireless component. By implementing both the proposed recommendations, the design efficiency was improved by as much as 34%. From the environmental perspective, there is not much difference between the wired alarm and wireless alarm. The wired alarm was considered to be more environmentally friendly in terms of product manufacturing but the wireless alarm has an advantage in terms of design and energy efficiency. By combining LCA and DFA design evaluation, a more comprehensive perspective of the product life cycle can be achieved. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; design for assembly; design efficiency; sustainable strategy life cycle assessment; design for assembly; design efficiency; sustainable strategy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Suhariyanto, T.T.; Wahab, D.A.; Rahman, M.N.A. Product Design Evaluation Using Life Cycle Assessment and Design for Assembly: A Case Study of a Water Leakage Alarm. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2821.

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