Managing uncertainties in life cycle evaluation of various manufacturing alternatives for a product
Product planning activities do not only have to consider the needs and desires of the costumers, they also must meet the manufacturing process requirements while providing maximum economic benefit throughout the life cycle. When deciding what design alternatives to realise, these requirements have to be considered together with their long-term impacts on the entire product life cycle. In "addition, it is necessary during the early stages of product planning to consider uncertainties arising from the fact the available information is often incomplete and uncertain. The approach discussed in this paper combines different methods of processing uncertain information related to product manufacturing alternatives. While traditional evaluation tools only focus on economical and/or ecological aspects and consider uncertainty as part of sensitivity analysis, this approach allows for a sustainable evaluation of manufacturing alternatives in the early stages of product development in conjunction with process planning as well as ecological product assessment. Using eco indicators and life cycle costs product manufacturing alternatives are evaluated based on economic as well as ecological criteria to help selecting the most efficient and environmentally friendly alternative. This paper describes the theoretical background and explains the developed model in order to support evaluation activities during product planning.