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Sharing information between stakeholders is a critical success factor for ecodesign projects. This sharing is based on indicators that can be interrelated, i.e., impacting each other.
This article focuses on the perception of environmental performance indicators’ relationships during the design phase of projects. It uses a DEMATEL approach combined with a graph-database visualization linking environmental performance indicators. While the DEMATEL approach highlights the critical environmental indicators, the graph-based visualization maps the primary interrelations of these factors and defines the best scale to manage them. The novelty here lies in the complementary use of these two methods to facilitate environmental project monitoring.
This research is applied to rail infrastructure projects. The main results insist on land optimization, landscape insertion, carbon footprint, economic benefits, and biodiversity measures as critical factors when designing these projects. The graph-based visualization maps the main oriented links between indicators, allowing managers to identify the gaps between the perceived knowledge and the ground truth, facilitating their project monitoring.
Considering a growing number of metrics and indicators to assess circular economy, it is of paramount importance to shed light on how they differ from traditional approaches, such as life cycle assessment (LCA) or sustainability performance indicators. This study provides new empirical insights on the correlation between LCA, circularity, and sustainability indicator-based approaches. Specifically, the importance lies in analyzing how the results generated by these different approaches can be used to support the design of products that are not only circular, but also sustainable. A practice-based project involving 87 engineering students (divided into 20 groups) is conducted with the aim to compare and improve the circularity and sustainability performance of three product alternatives of lawn mowers (gasoline, electric, autonomous). To do so, the following resources are deployed: 18 midpoints environmental indicators calculated by LCA, eight product circularity indicators, and numerous leading sustainability indicators. Critical analyses on the usability, time efficiency, scientific soundness, and robustness of each approach are drawn, combining quantitative results generated by each group with the feedback of future engineers.
A refrigerant system (like that of a supermarket) is a complex system if we consider all the stakeholders throughout its lifecycle phases (use, maintenance, technological update, end of life). The lack of stakeholders' interaction during the design and other lifecycle stages of such a system generates issues and leads to sub-optimal system performances. We used the RID methodology to identify the main areas for improvement for these activities related to the refrigerant system. It is precisely designed to analyze, within the scope of activity, the major stakeholders' problems (user profiles) during lifecycle phases (use situations) to deduce areas for improvement (value buckets). Therefore, we built a process of interviews and data collection on existing practices to feed into a RID model. The first results are an archetypal description of the actors and problems encountered according to the lifecycle phases. The second part is a prioritized mapping of the areas to improve despite a certain number of known available solutions but proven insufficient.
The formalization of environmental issues has gained prominence since the definition of sustainable development by the Brundtland's report. Environmental performance has then been introduced to qualify the “green” contribution of an organization to its surrounding environment. However, its multi-dimensional aspects can be problematic when designing projects and making decisions, especially in the infrastructure sector where industrial activities are the most polluting ones. The aim of the study is to fill the environmental gap and confusion for decision-makers on the understanding of environmental performance, as well as to communicate on it, to define and share a clear vision and targets. A literature review is conducted and confronted with an industrial example in the railway sector to analyze the existing misunderstandings in industries while approaching environmental issues. By proposing and setting a clear framework of environmental performance, this research contributes to the conceptualization of environmental performance. More precisely, it characterizes an environmentally performant design project, in order to consider environmental performance as a driver and catalyzer of value creation.
Ecodesign has gained significant traction in recent years ranging from academic research to business applications at a global scale. Initial emphasis on the environmental aspect of design has evolved to include economic and social aspects, with projects ranging from small-scale products to large-scale industrial systems. In this paper, the authors re-analyse 10 of their major ecodesign research projects of the past ten years to identify five categories of challenges and promising future directions for ecodesign research. This paper is primarily a retrospective position paper based on the authors’ experience of actual design studies, providing also a relevant literature review and summary of design practices.
Monitoring properly the circularity performance of technical products is a point of increasing importance. Yet, evaluating the circularity potential of products during (re)design and development phases is a challenging task. In this study, several C-indicators are experienced by doctoral students and industrialists through two workshops on a real-world industrial product. The values obtained for each indicator are collected and analyzed: as all participant are working on the same technical product with the same dataset, the circularity scores calculated are compared to discuss the reliability and the uncertainty related to these indicators. These new empirical insights are put in parallel with the existing critical analyses of C-indicators from literature. As a result, future research directions on circularity indicators are advanced and discussed, including: the integration of uncertainty considerations into the assessment methodology of circularity indicators; the uptake by industry of such indicators during product design and development; the link between circularity and sustainability scores.
One of the main tasks of today's data-driven design is to learn customers' concerns from the feedback data posted on the internet, to drive smarter and more profitable decisions during product development. Feature-based opinion mining was first performed by the computer and design scientists to analyse online product reviews. In order to provide more sophisticated customer feedback analyses and to understand in a deeper way customer concerns about products, the authors propose an affordance-based online review analysis framework. This framework allows understanding how and in what condition customers use their products, how user preferences change over years and how customers use the product innovatively. An empirical case study using the proposed approach is conducted with the online reviews of Kindle e-readers downloaded from amazon.com. A set of innovation leads and redesign paths are provided for the design of next-generation e-reader. This study suggests that bridging data analytics with classical models and methods in design engineering can bring success for data-driven design.
The R&D of Autonomous Transportation Systems (ATS) is hindered by the lack of industrial feedback and client's knowledge about technological possibilities. In addition, because of intellectual properties (IP) issues, technology consulting companies can't directly reuse developed functionalities with different clients. In this context, requirements reuse technics presents a good way to capitalize on their knowledge while avoiding IP issues. However, the literature review on requirements reuse processes doesn't propose methods to the application of reuse processes with little information about the system's operational context. In this paper, we present a semi-automated requirement reuse and recycle process for ATS R&D. The process helps designers’ copes with the lack of inputs from the clients. Requirements candidates are retrieved from a database using Natural Language Processing and traceability propagation. It is applied to 3 use cases with inputs less than 5 concepts from the client's needs. The results validate its efficiency through number requirements retrieved and the analysis time consumption
Organic photovoltaics has attracted much effort and many research groups during the past decade, because of low-cost and easy fabrication techniques. Despite the great progress that has been achieved in increasing the conversion efficiencies of the devices, there are still several problems to be solved to make the solar cells commercially viable, especially for cells based on bulk heterojunctions.
The purpose of this work is to supply techniques for predicting the order of magnitude of the charge carrier mobilities of bulk heterojunction devices, on the basis of easy-to-perform measurements for experimentalists. A one dimensional model of a bulk heterojunction cell was used, and then simulations were performed in order to obtain the photocurrent as a function of an effective applied voltage. Plotted in a double logarithmic scale, the resulting curves exhibit different signatures depending on the mobilities of the charge carriers. These signatures could be helpful for experimentalists in order to predict an order of magnitude for both the electron mobility and the hole mobility.
On the road to miniaturization, nanocrystal layers are promising as floating gate in nonvolatile flash memories. Although much experimental work has been devoted to the study of these new memory devices, only few theoretical models exist to help the experimentalists to understand the physical phenomena encountered and explain the behavior of the device.
We have developed a model based on the geometrical and physical properties of the elementary structure of a nanocrystal flash memory, i.e. one nanocrystal embedded in an oxide between the channel and the gate electrodes. To obtain a fine analysis of the observed phenomena, several specific hypotheses have been taken into account. Concerning the channel, the contribution of the subbands is explicitly included. In the case of an electrode with a quasi-continuum of energy levels, we replace the continuum by equivalent sets of 2D subbands in order to be able to isolate the energy range that really contributes to the charging/discharging of the nanocrystal. The properties of the materials (bulk band structure, dielectric permittivity, …) can be easily set as well as the geometrical specifications of the elementary structure (nanocrystal radius, tunnel and control oxyde thicknesses, …).
The behavior of a layer of nanocrystals is described according to a statistical approach starting from single nanocrystal results. This method allows us to take into account the fluctuations of geometrical parameters. Thus we are able to simulate various types of materials for the nanocrystals (Si, Ge, …), the oxide layer (SiO2, HfO2, …) and the electrodes, for both a single nanocrystal and layers of nanocrystals.
We propose a theoretical study for charging the floating gate composed of Si nanocrystals (NCs), in a non-volatile flash memory. Only a few electrons tunnel from the channel of a metal-oxide-semiconductor transistor into the two-dimensional array of nanocrystals.
Our model is based on the geometrical and physical properties of the device, in order to take the dispersion of the relevant parameters into account: NC radii, inter-NC distances, tunnel oxide and gate oxide thicknesses. The energy subbands of the channel are explicitly included, together with the doping density.
This three-dimensional model of electron tunneling into a NC is numerically solved through a two-dimensional finite element approach, which allows extensive numerical experimentations.
The tunneling times to charge a single NC or the whole NC floating gate are evaluated in a finer detail, and the influence of the dispersion of the relevant parameters is discussed.
Such a study may help the experimentalists to build efficient quantum flash memories.
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