Mil/aero Goes Green

Life Cycle Assessment, or LCA, is gaining popularity in the mil/aero community; organizations in Europe, in particular, appear to be quite active in LCA.

Four main phases of LCA exist: goal and scope, inventory analysis, impact assessment, and interpretation.

Goal and scope entails precisely what the title describes, an explicit statement that outlines the goal and scope of the LCA study. This step also describes the context of the study and to whom the results are intended to be communicated.

Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) creates an inventory of input and output to nature, including raw material, water, energy, and release to air, land, and water. This inventory is typically modeled through the use of a flow chart and, depending on the system boundaries, can include the product’s supply chain. In the case of supply chain analysis, oftentimes a survey is given to the supplier to assess LCI for the product the manufacturer (the supplier’s customer) is using.

Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) is performed by categorizing and quantifying the flows created in LCI analysis. Doing so makes it possible to measure the flow so it can be summed to provide an overall impact category total. The lower the LCIA, the better for the environment.

The last phase of LCA is Interpretation. In this phase, all previous stages are reviewed for completeness and any significant issues in those stages are identified. Finally, conclusions are drawn and recommendations are provided as to how to better produce a product that has minimal impact on the environment and a lower LCIA category total.

This geek thinks this is an interesting process. What do you think?

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Posted June 27th, 2013, by

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About J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

J. VanDomelen holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and myriad certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTia in varying facets of computer software, hardware, and network design and implementation. He has worked in the electronics industry for more than 12 years in varied fields, including advanced systems design of highly technical military and aerospace computer systems, semiconductor manufacturing, open source software development, hardware design, and rapid prototyping. J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

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