3M Approach to Implementing Life Cycle Management 2000-01-0594
3M is committed to continuously improving products and their manufacture toward the goal of sustainability. The 3M Life Cycle Management (LCM) program has been established to implement this goal. It utilizes a matrix tool to facilitate the review. The matrix consists of LCM Stage (Material Acquisition, R&D Operations, Manufacturing Operations, and Customer Use/Disposal) and Impact (Environment, Health, Safety, and Energy/Resources). The program is coordinated at the staff level by the Corporate Product Responsibility group. The corporate goal is to apply LCM to all new and existing products. The LCM program started with evaluations of new products within business units. Since 3M produces more than 60,000 products manufactured from more than 10,000 different raw materials, the routine evaluation of individual products challenges available staff and business unit resources. A technology-based approach for doing LCMs has been implemented to meet the challenge. The technologies are categorized as Process/Engineering Technology that deals with the engineering operations, Materials Technology that deal with the chemicals used and manufactured, and 3M Technology Platforms that deal with product type. Advantages of the technology approach include more efficient use of staff resources, streamlining the LCM evaluation of new products, and identifying advantages and opportunities to improve the environmental, health and safety attributes of the existing and emerging technologies.