Life Cycle Management

Life Cycle Engineering

What Is Life Cycle Engineering?

Life Cycle Engineering

Life cycle engineering is the practice of optimizing the variables that apply to each stage of the product life cycle. This involves a systematic business approach to the analysis of inputs and outputs used in the production, distribution, logistics and the disposal stages. Life cycle engineering is a holistic and multidimensional approach to consider the "bigger picture" consequences of decisions that are made within each stage. This encompasses total cost and the opportunity cost of environmental considerations. The decision making framework that supports life cycle engineering supports sustainable economic development.

Life cycle analysis is typically undertaken as part of the life cycle engineering process at all stages of the product life cycle. At the new product development stage alternative models are developed to assess the overall impact of the inputs and outputs used in the production process. Companies involved in this stage are investing heavily to bring the product to market. An example of life cycle engineering applied to this stage is the improvement of prototyping procedures to reduce the time it takes to bring the product to market.

Life Cycle Engineering

Life cycle engineering at the market introduction stage seeks to optimize the variables that apply to the product introduction. During this phase, supply is generally limited and the cost of production high. Engineering life cycle can focus on business initiatives to facilitate supply chain management or improve production processes to achieve greater economy of scale. Production costs are usually very high at this stage.

During the growth stage, life cycle engineering seeks to further optimize all production inputs and outputs to maximize profitability and minimize environmental and social costs. Implementing recycling is an example of reducing packaging costs and minimizing disposal waste. During this phase, market competitors fight for market share and brand differentiation and price wars can erupt. Time to market efficiency and improving product availability is a crucial focus of this market phase.

During the maturity phase, life cycle engineering focuses on refining costs to enhance profitability as market sales peak and product saturation occurs. Companies fight for shelf space to maintain product awareness and mergers start to emerge as an option to secure a larger market share.

When new products are released or market profitability diminishes, companies start to exit. Life cycle engineering works with the available alternatives that are consistent with the companies goals and objectives. If market exit becomes a priority, minimizing waste disposal and maximizing return on the companies assets is a primary focus.

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