Life cycle benefits of a fully integrated thermoplastic instrument panel (IP) are compared to a traditional steel lattice construction. Design, manufacture, use and end-of-life phases are reviewed and presented in a life cycle management methodology. All components and processes are reviewed in a design for “X” format (i.e., recyclability, assembly, separability, disassembly, etc.)
The IP objectives that were balanced include: design implications; feature content; consumer appeal; occupant energy management; quality, warranty, and NVH performance; design flexibility, materials of construction; weight savings and time to market.
This methodology has been found useful to examine complex systems to guide decision makers in optimizing total life cycle costs.