Tolerance Optimization for Economic and Ecological Sustainability Using RD&T
Conference contribution, 2013
Product developers choose tolerances to go along with every geometric dimension, and they typically do so based on how the tolerances influence variation in so-called “critical” dimensions of the final assembled product. A common decision-making approach is to minimize costs given some acceptable critical dimensional variation, but this strategy often conflicts with ecological sustainability objectives. This paper introduces a new approach to simultaneously considering the ecological and economic consequences of tolerances through a software tool that combines Robust Design and Tolerancing (RD&T) with Environmental Priority Strategies in product development (EPS). This allows designers to simultaneously assess the economic and ecological sustainability outcomes associated with geometry, material, and tolerance choices, and it is demonstrated through design optimization of an automotive part.