Increasing resource efficiency with an engineering decision support system for comparison of product design variants
The development of sustainable and resource-efficient products requires consideration of multiple design targets concerning the whole product life cycle. Taking these factors into account leads to complex decision situations with conflicting targets and trade-offs. To support design engineers in these situations an Engineering Decision Support System (EDSS) has been developed. In this article, the overall concept of the EDSS is presented. Furthermore, one function of the EDSS to assist a systematic comparison of product variants is introduced in detail. It is based on combining an existing PLM solutions (in particular Siemens Teamcenter 11/Siemens NX9) and software for Life Cycle Assessment (GaBi 7). Beyond a proof of concept for information exchange between both systems a methodology is presented which enables design engineers to systematically assess and select multiple product variants based on their resource utilization. The approach is complemented with a comprehensive case study for different design options of a core slide. In the scope of this study, variations of geometry (solid vs. hollow design), materials (hot-working steel vs. nickel-based superalloy) and manufacturing processes (laser metal deposition vs. milling) were considered. Furthermore, a usability study of the decision support tool is shown.
Schleifenbaum, Johannes Henrich