Life Cycle Management

Life Cycle Analysis

Life Cycle Analysis - Decoding The Theory

Life Cycle Analysis

Life Cycle Analysis is based on a product's life cycle theory. This concept studies the various phases in the life cycle of a product such as the repeated patterns that appear in the life cycle, the causes of failure of the system and the failures that may occur within the system. The analysis also studies effects of the product on the public, environment and government in order to generate complete awareness. It then makes use of case studies and suggestions made by previous companies or industries.

The analysis begins with the birth of the system and ends with the termination of the system. A products life cycle can be viewed from different perspectives:

Life Cycle Analysis

* Enterprise View - to evaluate when the product ceases to be produced or supported.

* Customer View - to calculate when the product ceases to be used and is ready for disposal.

* Product View - to decide what type of product; whether a single product or a range of products should be produced.

LCA, Life Cycle Analysis is an extension of Global Modeling Studies and energy audits. LCA plays a vital role in generating support for eco-labeling schemes. The product needs to undergo certain tests to achieve these eco-labels.

Under this test, the product is evaluated on the basis of the manufacturing process involved, the energy consumed in manufacturing, and the amount and type of waste generated. LCA is a powerful tool that helps assist regulators to formulate environmental legislation and assists manufacturers in analyzing their processes

A practical example of the manufacturing of a product is hereto provided to better understand Life Cycle Analysis. In the case of manufacturing the product, LCA will begin with studies based on detailed measurements during the manufacturing stage. Studies include information on the mining of the raw materials used in production/distribution, the recycling process involved and the methods used for the products final disposal.

The study enables the manufacturer to quantify how much energy and raw materials are used and what types of waste (solid, liquid or gas) is generated during each phase of a product's life cycle. After sufficient information is collected, the next step is to evaluate the findings.

For example, how many kilos of pulp, how much electricity and water is required to produce a particular quantity of paper. LCA next evaluates the problems based on the environmental impact for generating a particular quantity of the product. LCA also takes care of the issues related to the recycling of the product. For example, paper can be recycled four to five times until its fibers become too short to be processed. These studies help decide whether a particular piece of paper can be recycled or not.

LCA is applied to different industry sectors to help improve the decision making process.

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