The research context is about eco-design improvement that focuses on modifying an existing product for reducing its environmental impacts. In this context, engineers may propose various design concepts that can potentially make the product more environmentally friendly. At this point, the research problem is how to assess environmental impacts of each concept given the uncertainty of design information at the conceptual design stage. To address this research problem, the trapezoidal fuzzy numbers are first applied to capture imprecise design information. Then, the centroid concept is applied to model different views of imprecision (i.e., pessimistic, balanced and optimistic) associated in fuzzy impact assessment. Accordingly, a decision scheme is developed for assessing different design concepts and suggesting the potential areas of a design concept to reduce environmental impacts. In an application, a coffee maker has been decomposed and analyzed to propose three possible concepts for eco-design improvements. These three concepts are then assessed by the proposed method of this paper to demonstrate the methodical workflow and utility that assists engineers to make eco-design decisions at the early design stage.

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