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Incorporating heterogeneous customer preferences with Bayesian methods for decision making in environmentally conscious design

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Title: Incorporating heterogeneous customer preferences with Bayesian methods for decision making in environmentally conscious design
Author(s): Zhao, Yuan
Director of Research: Thurston, Deborah L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Thurston, Deborah L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Abbas, Ali E.; Kim, Harrison M.; Shaw, Michael J.
Department / Program: Industrial&Enterprise Sys Eng
Discipline: Systems & Entrepreneurial Engr
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Environmentally conscious design Heterogeneous customer preferences Product life cycle design
Abstract: Global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, and product waste have serious impact on the balance of land, ocean, and air temperature. Environmentally conscious consumers and environmental protection legislation have been driving manufacturers to design, produce, and dispose products in a more environmentally responsible manner. The purpose of environmentally conscious design and manufacturing is to develop methodologies for designing products from "green" principles, from conceptual design through consumer use and ultimately to the end-of-life management. Incorporating environmentally conscious design poses many challenges. The greatest challenge is how to change conventional design and manufacturing and ensure sustainable production systematically and cost effectively. Progress has been made towards many environmentally oriented “Design for X” approaches, which target specific aspects of product life-cycle. One of the limitations of existing methodologies is that most approaches focus on minimizing the reprocessing cost or maximizing the recovery values only at the end-of-life management stage. However, less than one-third of the reprocessing costs depend on optimization of the reprocessing process, while the remaining costs are highly dependent on the early product design phase. Therefore, it is necessary to simultaneously consider the contradictive objectives in both the early design stage and the end-of-life stage. The goal of this work is to make design decisions early during the design process so that we can maximize the overall life-cycle value while minimizing costs and environmental impacts. Product design is considered to be the most critical stage involving decisions that incorporate environmental design principles into product development. However, the increasing complexity of energy efficiency improvements and difficulty of its implementation in product design and manufacturing impose additional design constraints and costs, which are the major concerns for manufacturers. One of the biggest obstacles to the integration of environmental principles into product design is a lack of understanding about how customers respond to environmentally conscious design. To change customer buying behaviors for products with more environmentally friendly attributes, manufacturers need to understand customer preferences first. In addition, all consumers do not have the same preferences. Heterogeneous customer preferences require analysis at the individual level and prediction of market behavior by aggregating individual customer choices into market segment levels. The need for a quantitative assessment of the trade-offs between improved environmental attributes and other product performance in different market segments is a major task and a critical research topic in product design. The methodology offers a framework where, driven by the interaction of heterogeneous customer preferences, product design decisions and end-of-life decisions are optimized under the constraints of product life cycle design. It can be expected that proposed approaches in this work will play an important role in the product life cycle design. It is envisioned that the models proposed in this work and case study results can provide manufacturers with relevant guidelines and useful insights regarding their optimal decision making in environmentally conscious design.
Issue Date: 2012-06-27
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/31917
Rights Information: Copyright 2012 Yuan Zhao
Date Available in IDEALS: 2012-06-27
Date Deposited: 2012-05
 

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