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Integration of environmental assessment tools in product development

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6 Author(s)
A. Middendorf ; Res. Center for Microperipherik, Technische Univ. Berlin, Germany ; C. Petermann ; H. Reichl ; H. Griese
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Considering the increasing demands on manufacturer to take responsibility for their products in all phases of life, companies are going forward to integrate environmental aspects into production and products. In the context of the coming EU-directives (WEEE, RoHS and EuE) companies have to furnish information about the constituent substances in their products. Project undertaken: Rohde & Schwarz (R&S), Munich, Germany, an internationally active company in the fields of test and measurement, information technology and radiocommunication, started a project in cooperation with Fraunhofer IZM, to integrate material data information into the construction process. The cognition of environmental product assessment should be integrated in the product development as early as possible. Data processing tools may assist the designer in finding environmental adequate solutions. The conception of the integration of environmental assessment tools into the design process shows how to exert influence on design decisions in various stages of development. In the first step the assessment of existing products or modules helps to identify weak points of the realized construction and shows the main origin of environmental impacts. This may serve as a starting point for an effective new approach of construction. During the realization phase the selection of parts can be directed by an assessment of components. Components with higher-than-average environmental impact can be exchanged for others with lower impact. The created material portfolio and the results of product assessment can be taken as a basis for product documentation.

Published in:

Electronics and the Environment, 2003. IEEE International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

19-22 May 2003