1997-04-08

Exploring the Designer's World (A LucasVarity Approach to Environmental Guidance for Design Engineers) 971189

LucasVarity, a major supplier to the automotive and aerospace industries, is in the process of developing an environmental design methodology (Design for Environment) to support its product introduction process.
In this paper, a case study is used to examine the existing design process within one part of the company. Four design functions are identified, characterised and compared with the structures, methods and working practices of a company-specified product introduction process.
The results of the case study research are intended to form the basis of a framework for an environmental design methodology which will:
  • integrate with existing work practices
  • fulfill the current and future information needs of design engineers and customers
  • minimise environmental impact throughout the product life cycle
This approach varies from other published work on DFE because it takes as its starting point the analysis of the current design process rather than the creation of an environmental procedure. This approach is justified by initial results, which indicate that the four identified design functions make very different demands on a DFE methodology. Thus, instead of a ‘single solution’ environmental procedure, the DFE methodology proposed within this paper will be constructed from a combination of environmental training, tools and techniques tailored to the requirements of each design function.

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