Given materials scarcity and drive for greener consumer products, marketers strive for redesigning products and realigning supply chains to accomplish these challenges. Plastic toys impose a complicated challenge as entertainment value, product safety, durability, globalization, cost, and environmental concerns all meet at designer’s desk. Idealistic eco-oriented frameworks such as cradle-to-cradle (C2C) and design-for-disassembly (D4D) suggest inspiration for technical developers and material specialists. This study employs a mixed qualitative and quantitative method to analyze the adequacy and completeness of the product portfolio at bill-of-material level in parallel to field test of disassembly characteristics. Among findings, are that globalized manufacturing might lead to different and conflicting product properties in respect to end-life management. Interesting findings furthermore points to potential shortcomings in reverse logistics, a tendency to down-cycle valuable products more than necessary, and a risk of loss of control of reclaimed products in the downstream supply chain. The study suggests an eco-design-inspired framework for improving the marketers understanding and planning of greening of the product portfolio based on management of the individual technologies of creative design, mold design, polymers, and supply chain. The study is conducted within plastic toys, but results are applicable to a wide range of durable consumer products.
Proceedings of the 2012 Picmet Conference, 2012, p. 1-15
cleaner production; design for disassembly; Management of technology; toy industry
Main Research Area:
Portland International Conference for Management of Engineering and Technology