Keywords: life cycle assessment, LCA, modular product architectures, fuzzy logic, alternative function fulfilment, AFF, sustainable manufacturing, sustainability, modularity, modular products, environmental impact
Supporting development of modular products utilising simplified LCA and fuzzy logic
The application of life cycle assessment (LCA) is usually aimed at products where most parameters relating to architecture, processes and materials are defined and known. However, application of conventional LCA for products or services that are incomplete in their specification is quite difficult or even impossible, if too many significant parameters are unknown. In our previous work targeting the development of eco-design tools, an approach integrating LCA methodology with the concept of product modularity has been introduced. In this paper, further improvements of this novel approach, being based on fuzzy logic and its application, are presented. In this context, fuzzy logic is being used to increase user friendliness of the interface while avoiding any circumstances of compromising the precision of quantitative results computed. A set of fuzzy attributes, membership functions and an inference algorithm are used to evaluate the modification of design parameters of modular products regarding their influence on environmental impact indicators.