Katrina Appell Consulting Inc. 
Intermediate level
Advanced level

Designing for the environment and the bottom line

How lean product process development can enable lower carbon emissions and lower cost manufacturing


Deep Dive Session
Thursday, Nov. 7 Location Code
1:30pm-2:30pm ThS/53



Lean product-process development provides the structure that enables low-carbon manufacturing principles to be built into the development system. This interactive session will share on-going research on how some organizations have already done this. The researchers are seeking participation from new organizations both during and following the session.


Approximately one-third of man-made greenhouse gas emissions comes from making products. As product use phase improvements plateau, both green conscious customers and government regulators are likely to turn their attention to the environmental impacts of production, which has received little attention to date. About one-third of the emissions from making products comes from the production of metals. 25% of steel and 40% of aluminum produced globally is scrapped along the manufacturing supply chain. This provides a large opportunity to reduce carbon emissions by reducing the amount of material that is scrapped through better utilization. Another driver of carbon emissions is the energy used in the production process. A key benefit to reducing the amount of material scrapped and energy used in production is that both can drive significant cost reductions, which have a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. Despite this, material and energy utilization are rarely considered in the development process or are not considered till late in the process when the design and impact on the environment are already locked in. Designers and developers should consider the environment, which is easy to say but not nearly as easy to put into practice. We need a way to build this thinking into the development system.


Katrina Appell Consulting Inc. supports organizations in improvement and transformation through lean coaching and consulting. www.appell.org

The Resourceful Manufacturing and Design group (ReMaDe) is part of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan. ReMaDe works at the nexus between Industrial Ecology (IE) and Mechanical Engineering (ME): we use IE methodologies such as material flow analyses and life cycle assessment to identify opportunities and quantify impacts, and then pursue an experimental and mechanistic modeling approach to generate the scientific knowledge underlying those opportunities. http://remade.engin.umich.edu/index.html

Presenters: Katrina Appell / Dan Cooper

Katrina Appell is president of Katrina Appell Consulting Inc. and organizes her thinking by blogging at appell.org. She has experience as an LPPD coach and faculty member at the Lean Enterprise Institute, senior lean consultant at Liker Lean Advisors focusing on supporting organizations in lean product and process development, and as a lean coach at the University of Michigan Health System. Appell has PhD and MSE degrees in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan. and a BS degree in general engineering from the University of Illinois, where she is a member and past president of the Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering Alumni and Advisory Board.

Dan Cooper, PhD, is an assistant professor in the mechanical engineering department at the University of Michigan. He heads the Resourceful Manufacturing and Design (ReMaDe) group, which is dedicated to pursuing environmental sustainability through process innovations in material efficiency and optimized manufacturing and recycling supply chains. Cooper received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Cambridge before completing a three year post-doc at MIT sponsored by Ford Motor Company. His research, which focuses on making impactful contributions to the areas of manufacturing and sustainability, considers multiple scales: identifying significant opportunities to cut emissions and/or costs by conducting large scale analyses on processes, factories and material supply chains, and pursuing a rigorous technical analysis in order to capitalize on the opportunities.