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Product Design for Energy: An Inverted Pyramid Approach
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The product design function is important within the spectrum of the product life cycle. Manufacturing processes are likely to consume much energy, as evidenced in aluminum and steel industries. The product design parameters such as the material characteristics, geometry and system level variables play a major role in the level of this energy consumption. The sensitivity of the energy consumption to these parameters and variables is likely to reveal the satisfactory conditions within the design spectrum leading to significant reductions in manufacturing energy consumption. In the overall process of concurrent engineering, applicable herein, the information flow is often gradual, ranging from broad issues relating to energy usage with minimal user input to specific issues. This approach, termed as the "inverted pyramid" approach, and outlined in this paper is beneficial in providing energy related information to product designers and manufacturing process specialists at an early stage in the product life cycle.
Gopalakrishnan, B.; Alkadi, N. M.; Plummer, R. W. (2002). Product Design for Energy: An Inverted Pyramid Approach. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from