Sustainability - its incorporation into the mechanical engineering design process
As an engineering design practitioner both as an educator as well as a practicing design consultant it became clear that there was a need for a sustainability measurement tool for the mechanical engineering product designer who actually designs products, that is, the engineer who drives the Computer Aided Design (CAD) station. This need was confirmed upon consulting several publications but in particular the codes of practice of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, (I.Mech.E.) [A1.1], American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) [A1.2], and The Royal Society of Engineers (RSoC) [A1.3], who prominently advocate sustainability practices to member engineers.\ud This research project aims were formulated to derive a sustainability measurement system for new products across the entire product life cycle. The process of design was used as the system driver with ISO Standards as the system regulator. The adopted technique was to use Embodied Energy as the measurement parameter and aggregate its application to the product throughout the entire product life cycle. Furthermore, saved or generated energy was accrued and used to offset the Embodied Energy input, resulting in an energy balance sheet. A computer algorithm was devised to collect, collate and disseminate the life cycle wide generated data. A control and guidance system was also required and evolved into a top down management system from CEO to the manual worker and governed by ISO Standards.
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