Texas Instruments, DS&EG - Dallas, TX
Design for the Environment Initiative
A cornerstone element of DS&EG's strategy for the elimination and minimization of Hazardous Materials (HazMat) is its Design for the Environment (DFE) initiative, which was formally established in 1992. Because it was strongly felt that the design function needed to own the responsibility for the environmental attributed of a product and its associated life cycle processes, a strategic decision was made to initiative the DFE initiative from within the DS&EG.
To accomplish this, a DFE Champion has been designated to facilitate the development and integration of environmentally-conscious guidelines and practices on product and process development programs, and within engineering design and development processes. The DFE Champion serves as a liaison between the engineering design functions, DS&EG programs, and the environmental specialists. The DFE Champion has the advantage of understanding the design and product development processes, particularly to environmental attribute decisions. These decisions include, but are not limited to, process and material selections, design feature and configuration decisions and technology choices. This approach also benefits from an insider's understanding of the types and formats of information needed to accomplish environmentally-conscious design on a real-time basis in a concurrent engineering environment. Thus, DS&EG's Engineering Division owns and drives the DFE initiative.
DFE Guidelines Development
An important step in the DFE initiative was the formation of a cross-functional DS&EG DFE Rulebase Team. The core members of this team represent several engineering disciplines, as well as manufacturing and quality functions. Selection criteria for team members emphasized strong experience in the design process, as well as a good familiarity with manufacturing and other product life cycle processes. In developing the DS&EG DFE guidelines, the DFE Rulebase Team began by reviewing industry environmentally-conscious design standards compiled through a media search by the DFE champion. Using their own experience from previous product and process design efforts, the team identified the critical information and analysis needs for the effective and timely incorporation of Design for the Environment practices into the design process. For areas where information or recommendations gaps were identified, guidelines were expanded or revised to provide the design functions with needed guidance. The DS&EG DFE Rulebase now contains sections on Material and Process Selection, Design for Disassembly, Design for Recycling, Product Maintenance and Transport Considerations, and Energy Conservation.
DFE Trade Studies
The DFE Rulebase Team also recognized that the design function needed a standardized and documented methodology for evaluating the relative environmental desirability of several potential design options. To fill this need, the team began work on a DFE Trade Study Process, and defined a hierarchical set of evaluation criteria and design questions for minimizing product and process life cycle environmental effects, while making necessary design tradeoffs against performance, costs, quality and speciality considerations. A trade study format has also been developed, which includes a tailorable trade study matrix worksheet, which can be modified to allow for differing decision making criteria and weighting values from application to application. Several specific trade study application worksheets for common design applications have been completed, and others are in work.
DFE Communication and Deployment
Both the DFE guidelines and the trade study process and tools have been made available to all design functions company-wide via an on-line electronic computer menu, as well as on an Intranet Web site. These resources contain a short tutorial on DFE drivers and principles, listings of contacts for additional information or questions.
Additionally, the DFE Rulebase Team has authored a series of awareness and communication articles which have appeared in several site newspapers, and in discipline and strategy specific newsletters throughout DS&EG. Further, briefings have also been issued to all program, project and design discipline managers on requirements and techniques to reduce Hazmat and eliminate ODS use.
The DFE Rulebase Team has also been able to incorporate the DFE guidelines and principles that it has developed into existing design training classes, further helping to reinforce the practice of simultaneously optimizing environmental considerations with other design parameters. Some of these same materials have also been integrated into the "Winning Designs" briefing developed and deployed to all TI designers worldwide. "Winning Designs" is an awareness briefing on environmental, safety and health concerns that may be related to design decisions. Also, DFE guidelines have integrated into several existing design guides.
DFE Design Process Integration
Another fundamental effort in the TI-DS&EG environmental stewardship initiative was the development and incorporation of product and process environmental assessment tasks into its established concurrent engineering methodology, the Integrated Product Development Process, or IPDP. The IPDP provides DS&EG programs with a time-phased road map of required tasks for product and process development and all later life cycle phases. The requirements for the execution of each task, including inputs, outputs, and metrics, risks, information resources, etc. are listed and communicated in order to ensure process completeness and quality, as well as to maximize effort synergy. The IPDP is executed by cross-functional Integrated Product Teams (IPTs) whose responsibility it is to simultaneously optimize the product and process designs for performance/functionally, coast, quality, schedule, safety and speciality requirements.
IPTs own, manage and report on all of their design performance requirements, generating and evaluating trade studies as required to guide them in material, process, technology and design feature selection. System or product level performance requirements include environmental considerations and are flowed down to sub-assembly or component level design efforts to be managed by the relevant IPT.
Execution of the IPDP covers all phases of a product's life from its conceptualization through its design and production, and into its operations, support and disposition. TI-DS&EG recognizes that the decisions made during the execution of the IPDP for product and process development will ultimately determine life cycle material needs, process requirements, technology selection, energy usage and waste streams. As such, the IPDP becomes the ideal vehicle for the institutionalization of assessment and optimization of life cycle product and process environmental effects during the design and product management process.
To perform the integration of DFE and environmental related tasks into the IPDP, a multi-discipline team was created to review the existing design methodology and to compare it with the environmental assessment requirements from applicable of critical environmental evaluation tasks, deliverables and decision points was developed from the customer specifications and standards, accompanied by existing contract examples and known industry practices. The IPDP was then reviewed to determine the optimum placement in the product and process development methodology for these tasks.
Assessment tasks in the early phases of product development were strategically defined so as to provide needed information for later tasks, thus becoming building blocks. In this way, the specific environmental evaluation and decision-making information needed at the progressive phases of the product's design and later life cycle was proactively and systematically identified and pulled forward to become the output of earlier analysis tasks, thus ensuring its availability when required.
As required, new task descriptions and process flowcharts were created or the existing descriptions and flowcharts were modified in order to achieve a comprehensive coverage of the environmental concerns over the entire product life cycle. This effort resulted in the generation and/or the modification of more than 35 product and process development tasks, along with associated flowcharts and deliverable descriptions in the IPDP. Product and process environmental decision-making tasks that were targeted for application of DFE practices include, but are not limited to, design reviews, parts and process selection, field testing, supplier management plans and requirements flowdown, packing/shipping, Hazmat management plans and demilitarization/disposition.
Additionally, environmental evaluation tasks, responsibilities and metrics have been incorporated into the discipline-specific design sub-process of the IPDP. This subprocess integration further enhances the active consideration of environmental requirements during the lower-level, detail engineering tasks.