Design for environment: An environmentally conscious analysis model for modular design

Xueqing Qian, Hong Chao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Nowadays, more and more manufacturing enterprises are working hard to improve the environmental performance of their products. Pollution may be generated through the life cycle of a product. To maximally improve a product's overall environmental performance and reduce potential environmental impacts, Design for the Environment can be used as early as the design stage for the product. For electromechanical products, modular design is a widely used design method. While traditional modularity analysis pays little attention to environmental factors, this research aims at including comprehensive environmentally conscious criteria into modularity analysis. This paper presents a semi-quantitative environmentally conscious modular analysis model in order to reduce pollution. Eight criteria are identified to capture most of potential environmental impacts of modular products, some of which are fuzzy criteria. Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process is used to rank these environmental criteria, and fuzzy numbers are used to map some uncertain judgments of decision makers with crisp numbers. Structure of a product is represented as a fuzzy graph. The proposed modularity analysis includes similarity analysis and independence analysis. In the end, an example is given to illustrate the developed methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-175
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electronics Packaging Manufacturing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • Design for the environment (DFE)
  • Environmentally conscious modular criteria
  • Fuzzy analytic hierarch process
  • Modular design
  • Modularity analysis


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