Life cycle engineering and management methods for designing hybrid structures – cases, potentials, and challenges
Designing sustainable systems that take into account production factors, processes, and/or products is becoming more and more important. It is therefore the focus of research projects such as the Federal Cluster of Excellence EXC 1075 “MERGE Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures”, which strives for resource-efficient lightweight construction and especially the design of hybrid structures. To support this challenging task, the Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) approach is recommended. However, a sustainable design requires an economic or rather management orientation of the engineering activities, which is underrepresented in the LCE concept. Therefore, it is proposed to extend the LCE to a Life Cycle Engineering and Management (LCEM) concept. Since both concepts are relatively new, only a few cases of application are available. Therefore, this paper describes and analyzes cases – especially on the basis of MERGE research objects –, to which LCE and LCEM are applied, identifies potentials and challenges, and derives consequences for further research activities. This highlights the relevance of LCE and LCEM for research projects, especially regarding the transformation of an invention into a successful innovation.
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