Matériaux & Techniques
Volume 102, Number 6-7, 2014
Matériaux et société / Social value of materials (SAM8)
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Environnement - recyclage / Environment - recycling|
|Published online||16 January 2015|
Closed-loop lifecycle management of automotive components: holistic life cycle approach as decision support system⋆
Accepted: 24 November 2014
Sustainability of their products and practices provides companies with a competitive set of methods and tools to maintain, improve and expand customer and supplier relationships and to ensure access to strategic markets. Companies pay a lot of attention to produce more sustainable products and contribute to the overall sustainability. Most of the companies manage to use lighter materials or change the material with a recyclable one or try to decrease the energy used for manufacturing. However most of these attempts are related to only one part of the life cycle or one aspect of sustainability. In spite the fact that sustainability is thought to be related with the environmental aspects of the product, it is a broad concept and has economic and social dimensions. This makes the evaluation of sustainability a very complex matter. On top of that, to achieve a certain level of sustainability, it is necessary to take into account the whole life cycle of products (life cycle perspective) from material extraction and manufacturing to use and disposal when a decision has to be made about sustainability performance. Life cycle thinking or life cycle perspective takes into account the whole life cycle of the product. The main feature of life cycle thinking is to avoiding problem shifting. This helps not only to take into account all necessary aspects in evaluation of sustainability but also make a more accurate assessment. In order to evaluate the sustainability performance of the products it is necessary to combine a number of life cycle evaluation methodologies; life cycle assessment (LCA) for environmental aspects, life cycle costing (LCC) for economic aspects, and social life cycle assessment for (S-LCA) for social aspects. It is necessary to attain and process a huge amount of data to evaluate these attributes of a product through its life cycle. Product lifecycle management system help to manage product related information through its life cycle. Closed-Loop Lifecycle Management uses PEIDs and enables to gather and distribute life cycle information through the life cycle of a product more precisely. This information may further be used for evaluation of the products sustainability performance. Closed-loop Lifecycle Management contains four main components, PEIDs’ to collect data, middleware to combine different applications and collect and distribute life cycle data, a decision support system (DSS) to transform the collected data into usable information and a product knowledge and management system (PDKM) to manage the information and knowledge generated through the life cycle of the product. In automotive industry PLM systems are used to manage the life cycle data but these systems are somehow separate from each other. It is needed to develop a middleware to combine the separate PLM systems, a DSS to transform gathered data into necessary information and knowledge for specific applications and a PDKM to manage the information and knowledge. Holistic life cycle approach takes into account the whole life cycle of the product and generates performance characteristics, which might be configured in order to evaluate the sustainability performance of the product. A Closed-Loop Lifecycle Management system containing a DSS configured with the holistic life cycle approach will be an efficient tool to evaluate and improve the sustainability performance of products.
Key words: PLM / Closed loop lifecycle management / sustainability / holistic life cycle approach / decision support system
© EDP Sciences, 2015
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