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Identifying the Material Information Requirements for Sustainable Decision Making

[+] Author Affiliations
Anantha Narayanan, Paul Witherell, Jae Hyun Lee, K. C. Morris, Sudarsan Rachuri

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD

Paper No. DETC2013-13284, pp. V02BT02A018; 8 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2B: 33rd Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Portland, Oregon, USA, August 4–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5586-7
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Materials play a central role in product manufacturing, contributing to each phase of product development in the form of either a component or process material. As the product revolves around materials, so does much of the product information. Material information plays a significant role in the decision making process at any stage of the product life cycle, especially with respect to the sustainability of a product. Material information in the manufacturing stages of a product’s life cycle will relate to the processes used in manufacturing and assembling individual components. The material properties may determine what processes can be used and how these processes should be controlled.

To support sustainable manufacturing, the impacts of material choice should be considered during design, when resources are being committed. When comparing material alternatives at design time, it is not as simple as saying one material is “more sustainable” than another. Many different factors determine the sustainability of a product, and each of these factors may be influenced by multiple material properties represented through various information requirements. In order to develop a material information model that can satisfy these information requirements, we need to carefully study the requirements from an information modeling perspective. In this paper, we use activity models to describe design and manufacturing scenarios that rely on the availability of proper material information for sustainability decision making. We will use these models to first define specific scenarios and then to identify the types of material information that is typically required in these scenarios, and collect and categorize key concepts. Based on this study, we will make recommendations that will aid the development of a useful material information model for sustainable decision making.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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