Major Initiatives

Circular Design

Revolutionizing U.S. Production systems

According to recent estimates, over 80% of a product’s lifecycle costs and environmental footprint is determined during the design phase. With this in mind, design for the Circular Economy has the potential to revolutionize U.S. production systems by significantly reducing emissions and waste while simultaneously increasing resource efficiency and improving the economics of our products.

Our Goals

Develop design frameworks that will help designers:

  • Quantify the trade-offs and costs associated with different end of life (EOL) options and estimate their impact on circularity
  • Evaluate the impact of design decisions on remanufacturability
  • Identify ways to increase the level of automation with product assembly and disassembly
  • Determine avenues to increase recycled content in products and ensure adequate markets for EOL materials

Create tools to help design engineers:

  • Calculate the lifecycle (energy, emissions, and materials) and financial implications of their design decisions
  • Evaluate the trade-offs between initial production costs and the revenue stream at EOL

Pilot design for Re-X tools that could be integrated with CAD Systems (and required databases) to provide guidance on preliminary design best practices and quantify lifecycle and financial impacts