Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing: Design for Disassembly (DFD) in De-Manufacturing of Products

EPA Grant Number: R825370C067
Subproject: this is subproject number 067 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825370
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: EERC - National Center for Clean Industrial and Treatment Technologies (CenCITT)
Center Director: Crittenden, John C.
Title: Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing: Design for Disassembly (DFD) in De-Manufacturing of Products
Investigators: Gadh, Rajit
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
EPA Project Officer: Klieforth, Barbara I
Project Period: January 1, 1997 through January 1, 1999
RFA: Exploratory Environmental Research Centers (1992) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Center for Clean Industrial and Treatment Technologies (CenCITT) , Targeted Research


The research goals are:
1) Allow environmental engineers and designers at different locations to collaborate and design products that can be assembled in a cost-effective manner so that final disassembly and disposal of the materials and components in them can be effectively and economically achieved.
2) Generate automatically the disassembly and disposal instructions from the product design information, using the DFD tool, which can be accessed by the person in
charge of disposing the product via the De-Manufacturing Web.
3) Empower the consumer to dispose the product in an environmentally sound manner, following the disassembly instruction on the web, in a way that would maximize reuse and minimize waste.


This research develops a framework for allowing the investigation of the universal Product Environmental (PE) index for a given product directly during design and well before production. The PE index determines the environmental impact engendered by the creation and dismantling of mechanical product sub-assemblies, within automobile or aircraft. By comparing and contrasting different design alternative, the optimal PE index value design may be selected.

The PE index is being defined that is valid within a given class of manufactured products. The definition of PE index is based partly on existing indices and partly on new research findings regarding the environmental effects of creating and dismantling products. While existing indices have relied primarily on the pollution due to the chemical constituents to measure environmental consequences, these definitions will be expanded to include mechanical component fabrication, assembly activities, disassembly activities, and component de-fabrication activities.

The first focus is on plastic assemblies, which have the following important characteristics with respect to mechanical de-manufacturing:
(I) Dies are expensive and have significant environmental implications.
(II) The following variables in a die are expected to be the most significant contributors to PE: (a) shape, (b) tolerance, and (c) weight/volume/size/bulk.
(III) The injection molding process has significant PE impact due to energy needed in manufacturing.
(IV) The assembly process requires energy and so will add to the PE.
(V) The disassembly process tends to be energy-expensive and is expected to contribute significantly to the de-manufacturing process. At the conclusion of the
project, the effect of design decisions on the PE index contribution due to the above product life cycle steps will be determined.

A web-based software tool called De-Manufacturing Web that supports collaborative de-manufacturing (disassembly, service, recycling and disposal) between manufacturer, demanufacturer, disposer, customer and designer, is being developed. A web-enabled DFD software program has been developed for determining the disassembly sequence and cost of product assemblies utilizing the product domain, material, and environmental databases. Some of the Preliminary implementation results include designs for automotive and consumer electronics.

Expected Results:

Design for Disassembly (DFD) allows efficient separation of components for product recycling and disposal. Currently, products are acquired with no clear plan of disposal of the product. Often, consumers are left with no other choice at the end of a product's life but to dispose of it by throwing it in the trash.

The de-manufacturing program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison addresses the question of systematically designing for easier products dismantling and disposal. Moreover, financial measures for justification of de-manufacturing in the Product Life Cycle to companies encourages them to invest further in design for disassembly methodology.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 27 publications for this subprojectView all 155 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 11 journal articles for this subprojectView all 36 journal articles for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

Computing technology, technology for sustainable environment, sustainable industry, environmental chemistry, chemical properties, physical property data, clean technology, environmental engineering, web-based training, de-manufacturing, product life cycle, Design for Environment, DfE, pollution prevention., RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Sustainable Industry/Business, cleaner production/pollution prevention, computing technology, Economics and Business, pollution prevention, Environmental Engineering, in-process changes, life cycle analysis, in-process waste minimization, industrial design for environment, industrial process design, chemical process safety, occupational safety, cleaner production, environmentally conscious manufacturing, green design, demanufacturing, pollution prevention design tool, environmentally friendly technology, cash flow analysis, decision making, clean technology, physico-chemical properties, computer science, Clean Process Advisory System (CPAS), CPAS, industrial process, process modification, industry pollution prevention research, Monte Carlo simulator, information technology, innovative technology, life cycle assessment, product life cycle, design for disassembly, Design for Environment, industrial innovations, outreach and education, DfE, green technology, environmentally conscious design, decision support tool

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997
  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825370    EERC - National Center for Clean Industrial and Treatment Technologies (CenCITT)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825370C032 Means for Producing an Entirely New Generation of Lignin-Based Plastics
    R825370C042 Environmentally Conscious Design for Construction
    R825370C046 Clean Process Advisory System (CPAS) Core Activities
    R825370C048 Investigation of the Partial Oxidation of Methane to Methanol in a Simulated Countercurrent Moving Bed Reactor
    R825370C054 Predictive Tool for Ultrafiltration Performance
    R825370C055 Heuristic Reactor Design for Clean Synthesis and Processing - Separative Reactors
    R825370C056 Characterization of Selective Solid Acid Catalysts Towards the Rational Design of Catalytic Reactions
    R825370C057 Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing: Prediction of Processing Waste Streams for Discrete Products
    R825370C064 The Physical Properties Management System (PPMS™): A P2 Engineering Aid to Support Process Design and Analysis
    R825370C065 Development and Testing of Pollution Prevention Design Aids for Process Analysis and Decision Making
    R825370C066 Design Tools for Chemical Process Safety: Accident Probability
    R825370C067 Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing: Design for Disassembly (DFD) in De-Manufacturing of Products
    R825370C068 An Economic Comparison of Wet and Dry Machining
    R825370C069 In-Line Copper Recovery Technology
    R825370C070 Selective Catalytic Hydrogenation of Lactic Acid
    R825370C071 Biosynthesis of Polyhydroxyalkanoate Polymers from Industrial Wastewater
    R825370C072 Tin Zeolites for Partial Oxidation Catalysis
    R825370C073 Development of a High Performance Photocatalytic Reactor System for the Production of Methanol from Methane in the Gas Phase
    R825370C074 Recovery of Waste Polymer Generated by Lost Foam Technology in the Metal Casting Industry
    R825370C075 Industrial Implementation of the P2 Framework
    R825370C076 Establishing Automated Linkages Between Existing P2-Related Software Design Tools
    R825370C077 Integrated Applications of the Clean Process Advisory System to P2-Conscious Process Analysis and Improvement
    R825370C078 Development of Environmental Indices for Green Chemical Production and Use