Utilisation of embedded information devices to support a sustainable approach to product life-cycle management

2011-02-25T10:31:41Z (GMT) by Khurram Kamal
The huge landfills from solid waste generated by the massive utilisation of different products from domestic sources are badly affecting the environment. About 70% of the solid municipal waste, two thirds of which comprises of household waste, is dumped as landfill all over the world. For efficient product lifecycle management via upgrade, maintenance, reuse, refurbishment, and reclamation of components etc., storage of product related information throughout its lifecycle is indispensable. Efficient use of information technology integrated with product design can enable products to manage themselves in a semiautomatic and intelligent manner. It means that products themselves should contain information that what to do with them when they are of no use. More advanced products may locate themselves and communicate with their recyclers through internet or some other communication technology. This thesis investigates the possible technologies that can be used to store product lifecycle data; however, the main question that is addressed in this thesis is the possibility of deployment of an on-chip intelligent logic that can make product intelligent in the sense to predict its own lifetime against different usage modes. The other issue that is investigated in this thesis is the bidirectional communication between the product and its external environment in terms of information exchange. In addition to this, possibility of storing detailed maintenance logs into the product itself throughout its whole lifecycle has also been investigated. Different types of embedded information technologies are described in this thesis. These technologies are broadly classified as passive embedded information devices and active embedded information devices. Methods of automatic identification in combination with information technology can act as passive Embedded Information Devices (EID) to make products intelligent enough in order to manage associated information throughout their life cycles. Barcodes, Radio Frequency Identification tags, and a new technology called ibutton technology are investigated as possible candidates for passive EIDs. The i-button technology from the perspective of product lifecycle management is presented for the very first time in the literature. Experiments demonstrated that RFID and i-button technologies have potential to store not only the static but dynamic data up to some extent, such as small maintenance logs. (Continues...).