Getting Hands-on Experience in Sustainable Product Design

You've probably heard of Design for Environment (DfE) among the varied “DfX” disciplines. As a supply chain professional at an OEM or contract manufacturer, if you don't know much about this topic, you certainly will in the not-too-distant future.

Today, increasing numbers of markets are open only to products that comply with expanding environmental regulations. And your corporate and/or consumer customers have asked for “greener” products. I believe that one of the best ways to really understand DfE is through a hands-on experience of designing and disassembling products according to DfE principles. These principals allow organizations to design and build products that  significantly reduce cost of goods sold, make regulations easier to follow, and offer customers competitive value.

That's why electronics design and manufacturing services company Creation Technologies brought in my company, Technology Forecasters, to illustrate DfE principles through a hands-on workshop based on TFI's online DfE courses. Creation helps many OEMs with its turnkey product development services, but the workshop, held at Creation's San Jose manufacturing facility, afforded participants from Creation and its OEM customers a unique opportunity to collaborate and experience DfE in a new way. Click on the slide show below to “experience” profitable DfE principles vicariously — through the hands of the participants.

Exploring the World of Design for Environment

You are invited to join a webinar comprising several of the people who participated in the workshop, to hear about and discuss removing the surprise and pain of customers' and regulators' increasing environmental requirements for products.  Register here, free of charge, for the March 24, 2015, webinar, which will be held from 9:00 a.m to 10:00 a.m. PST/12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST.

3 comments on “Getting Hands-on Experience in Sustainable Product Design

  1. Harvey Stone
    March 2, 2015

    There's tremendous value in hands-on workshops vs. just reading something or watching it. The learning retention is higher after a workshop. More importantly, the ability to apply the learning to design projects is substantially higher.

    Two points I'd underscore from my experience:1) using Sustainable Product Design practices can also lead to increased revenues, as well as lower costs; and 2) designers love the challenge of designing better, safer, lower-cost and more responsible products.

  2. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    March 2, 2015

    @Harvey, thanks for chiming in.  I got to sit in on this one, and i think for me it underlined the importance of out of the box thinking (pun intended). Not only do organizations need to think about doing what they are doing only better, they also have to consider, should we be changing it up and doing something entirely different? It's got to be a “no sacred cows” kind of approach.

  3. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    March 18, 2015

    Hey, EBNers, if this article caught your attention, i also wanted to let you know of another resource to extend your knowledge. A free webinar entitled “Design for Environment:  The Best Antidote to Regulatory Stress” will be held on Tuesday, March 24th, from 10 to 11am Pacific Daylight Savings Time.  Learn from the speakers — Pamela J. Gordon of Technology Forecasters Inc., Diana Ferrari of Creation Technologies, and Steve Shonebaum of GreenSoft —  how embedding all product designs with simple yet specific “DfE” principles will reduce time, expense, and risk in complying with today's and future environmental regulations. Register at

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