A sensitivity analysis approach to identify key environmental performance factors
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Life cycle assessment (LCA) is widely used in design phase to reduce the product's environmental impacts through the whole product life cycle (PLC) during the last two decades. The traditional LCA is restricted to assessing the environmental impacts of a product and the results cannot reflect the effects of changes within the life cycle. In order to improve the quality of ecodesign, it is a growing need to develop an approach which can reflect the changes between the design parameters and product's environmental impacts. A sensitivity analysis approach based on LCA and ecodesign is proposed in this paper. The key environmental performance factors which have significant influence on the products' environmental impacts can be identified by analyzing the relationship between environmental impacts and the design parameters. Users without much environmental knowledge can use this approach to determine which design parameter should be first considered when (re)designing a product. A printed circuit board (PCB) case study is conducted; eight design parameters are chosen to be analyzed by our approach. The result shows that the carbon dioxide emission during the PCB manufacture is highly sensitive to the area of PCB panel.
- Computer Science & Engineering [496 items ]