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Accepted Manuscript

A Framework for Sustainable Product Design: A Hybrid Fuzzy approach Based on

Quality Function Deployment for Environment

Mojdeh Younesi, Emad Roghanian

PII: S0959-6526(15)01249-4
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.09.028
Reference: JCLP 6116

To appear in: Journal of Cleaner Production

Received Date: 7 December 2014

Revised Date: 8 July 2015
Accepted Date: 8 September 2015

Please cite this article as: Younesi M, Roghanian E, A Framework for Sustainable Product Design: A
Hybrid Fuzzy approach Based on Quality Function Deployment for Environment, Journal of Cleaner
Production (2015), doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.09.028.

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A Framework for Sustainable Product Design: A Hybrid Fuzzy approach Based on
Quality Function Deployment for Environment
Mojdeh Younesi *, Emad Roghanian
Department of Industrial Engineering, Khaje Nasir Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


Article history:
Received The modern manufacturing organizations are focused on making

Received in revised form sustainable products by means of costs reduction and prevention of
Accepted environmental problems. To achieve this, several tools are available to
Available online
the organizations such as Quality Function Deployment for
Environment (QFDE) which is the integration of voice of customer,

Sustainable product design voice of environment and quality characteristics. In this paper, an
Quality function deployment for environment integrated QFDE, fuzzy Decision Making Trial and Evaluation
Laboratory (DEMATEL) and Fuzzy Analytic Network Process

Maximum mean de-entropy algorithm
Fuzzy logarithmic least squares method (FANP) is proposed for sustainable product design to help companies
Fuzzy analytic network process identify the best design criteria for a specific product. Therefore, the
DEMATEL method is used to assume the interdependence of

customer attributes and, in addition, fuzzy Maximum Mean de-
Entropy (MMDE) algorithm is utilized to choose the best and
practical threshold value in DEMATEL process. Moreover, FANP
will be integrated into QFDE as a prioritization technique and also
fuzzy Logarithmic Least Squares Method (LLSM) is employed to find
weights during the FANP process. An integrated QFDE methodology

is appropriate to use in early design, since it does not require detailed

information about the product. In order to examine the practicality of
the proposed model, a case study is carried out in Iran Transfo

Corporation which attracts a significant interest due to its undeniable

impacts on the environment.

Product design had various logics and principles during the time. In other words, many different concepts in
product design paradigm are traceable. For the first time, in 1986, the term “sustainability” is used by the World

Commission on the Environment and Development (WCED) as the capability to meet the current needs without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Umeda et al., 2012). Nowadays,
sustainable product design has received notable attentions from around the world. According to the most recent

Green Brand Survey of 9000 consumers in the US, Australia, China, Brazil, France, Germany, India, and UK
more than 50% of consumers have environmental concerns and the need for adding environmental requirements

into the design of products is concerned as an essential issue (Chen et al., 2012). The design of sustainable
products leads engineers not only to consider environmental objectives, but also to add cost, quality and social
aspects at the early design phases (Fargnoli and Kimura, 2006). Companies that pay attention to the quality and
customer needs can continue to survive in this competitive business world. To achieve this, several tools are
available to the organizations such as Quality Function Deployment (QFD), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and
Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) (Vinodh et al., 2014).
QFD is one of the most important management tools which are useful for the design and product
development that aims to translate consumers’ requirements into the design targets and major quality assurance
points to be used throughout the production phase (Vinodh and Rathod, 2010). Quality Function Deployment
for Environment (QFDE), which is derived from traditional QFD, is one of the significant tools developed by
Masui et al. (2003). It considers economic, social and environmental aspects with other product design
requirements. The QFDE method will be utilized in order to contemplate several user requirements to produce
an environmental product to fit them in an early design stage. The purpose of this method is to identify and
prioritize criteria for customer satisfaction and also to help engineers who are unfamiliar with environmental
issues (Bereketli and Genevois, 2013). In addition, to solve the interactions among criteria, the Analytic
Network Process (ANP), as a Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) method, was proposed by Saaty (1996).
The ANP is a mathematical theory that can deal with all kinds of dependences systematically. Furthermore,
Decision Making Trial and Error Laboratory (DEMATEL) is a tool which can establish cause and effect
relationship between customer needs and the product requirements to make an intelligible structural model of
the system (Jassbi et al., 2011). Although these methods have been used individually by several researchers for
specific purposes, a few of these studies are integrated to fill the mentioned gaps and, also, had environmental

As a consequence, the novelty of the proposed approach in this paper is that it integrates QFDE, fuzzy
DEMATEL and Fuzzy Analytic Network Process (FANP) for sustainable product design to help companies

identify the best design for a specific product. The drawback of QFDE is omitting the correlation between
Customer Attributes (CAs) and Technical Requirements (TRs), as a roof, in the house of quality (HoQ) matrix.
Hence, in this paper the DEMATEL method is used to fill this gap and the FANP is integrated into QFDE as a
prioritization technique because of the importance of finding the realistic TRs weights. In this article, various

papers are used in order to provide a comprehensive literature review of sustainable product design and QFDE.
Then, the experts were asked to answer the questionnaires about transformer design and also Excel, GAMS and
Matlab software have been used during this research.

Since environmentally friendly product design is one of the most important factors for survival in today's
competitive environment, designing and creating products based on environmental criteria with the aim of
combining economic, quality and environmental aspects is critical. Accordingly, to examine the practicality of
the proposed model, a case study is carried out in the Iran Transfo Corporation in Iran and a cast resin dry-type
distribution transformer is selected due to ease of design in electronic industries which is produced based on
customer’s demand. A transformer is an electrical device that transfers energy between two or more circuits

through electromagnetic induction. The cast resin dry-type distribution transformer is a kind of distribution
transformers which is safe, ecological and environmentally friendly and also has no fire hazard. From the other
point of view, it has disadvantages such as high load losses and price so it is important to analyze this product to

improve its environmental performance.


The research questions can be summarized as follows: How to use a fuzzy approach in QFDE to choose CAs
and TRs based on environmental concerns? How to determine the interdependences in CAs? How to avoid
subjective judgments and uncertainty in DEMATEL method? What are the priorities in CAs and TRs to design
an environmentally friendly transformer? Hence, a model is designed to answer the aforementioned questions

which its main contributions can be highlighted as considering the issue of sustainable product design using
QFDE in a cast resin dry-type distribution transformer which Propose a hybrid model in sustainable product
design by considering DEMATEL (to evaluate the interdependences in CAs), MMDE (Maximum Mean de-
Entropy) to find the best threshold value and LLSM (Logarithmic Least Squares Method) in FANP analysis. For

this purpose, sustainable product design is essential for companies to survive in today’s environment.
Companies may choose to simply obey the basic requirements of governments, or they may aim to achieve a

higher standard as a form of social responsibility. The proposed framework is applied to solve the sustainable
design problem in a transformer corporation to show the practicality of the framework.
The paper is then organized as follows: in the next section, the review of literature and the research gap are
presented. In section 3, the research framework and method are developed in order to conceptualize design
processes. The test results are discussed in section 4. Managerial implications and conclusion are stated in
sections 5 and 6, respectively.
2. Review of literature
The basis of current QFD matrix originally referred to the same tables which were used at shipyard industry
by Professor Yoji Akao in 1970. The first step in the four-phase QFD is quality deployment which is inspired by
HoQ. HoQ’s rows represent the customer expectations and columns show the product components (Puglieri et
al., 2011). In fact, it is an endpoint for many of the actual QFD project. Over the years, a number of practices
have considered the improvement in environmental aspects of products based on QFD. In this way, researchers
combine environmental requirements with QFD method to assess, improve and develop criteria (Masui et al.,
2003; Fargnoli and Kimura, 2006; Bereketli and Genevois, 2013). Cristofari et al. (1996) is developed Green-
QFD which integrates LCA and QFD and considers two phases. In phase I, there are three houses: the Quality
House (QH) that considers the QFD methodology, the Cost House (CH) which includes Life Cycle Cost (LCC)
and the Green House (GH) to assume LCA methodology. In phase II, the MCDM technique is applied to find
the best conceptual design which integrates all those criteria (Bovea and Wang, 2005). Davidsson (1998) has
stated the Environmental-QFD (E-QFD) which is consisted of three main parts. In the phase I and II, he has
tried to obtain information about environmental impacts of products and acquire stakeholder expectations in the

house of quality throughout the product life cycle. In the phase III, he has evaluated the TRs and their relations
to stakeholder-weighted environmental expectations. Environmentally Conscious Quality Function Deployment
(ECQFD) is introduced by Vinodh and Rathod (2010) and consisted of environmental Voice of Customer
(VOC) and the Environmental Matrix (EM) includes the TRs which are valued obtaining the final score for each

item. Then, LCA is applied to assess and calculate the impact of the product and the process.
Integrated approach for sustainable product design is based on three parts: customer need, environmental
performance and economic. QFDE includes these considerations to simultaneously handle environmental and

traditional product quality requirements (Otani and Yamada, 2011). QFDE which is proposed by Masui et al.
(2001) is one of the most cited methods in the subject of environmental QFD. In their research paper, VoC and
environmental Engineering Metrics (EMS) are incorporated into QFD to design an environmentally product in

the early stages of product design. Moreover, in order to achieve various options to improve the production,
QFDE integrates VoC, Voice of Environment (VoE) and Quality Characteristics (QC). QFDE also consists of
four phases. In Phase I, VoC, VoE and QC for traditional and environmental qualities are correlated, while QC
and components (such as function units or part characteristics) are obtained in the same way as phase II, and
then analyze which of the design changes among the various candidates are most effective on environmental
improvement through the phases III and IV. Bereketli and Genevois (2013) have used QFDE with fuzzy AHP

(Analytic Hierarchy Process) to provide an integrated approach to product development with regard to the
requirements of economic, environmental and quality. Fargnoli et al. (2014) have provided a specific design for
sustainability procedure based on QFDE. They have reviewed environmental criteria and customer requirements

with considering the risk factor. Sakao (2007) has presented a model based on LCA, TRIZ and QFDE to
identify the features and environmental qualities of the product and to search solutions for it. He applied his

methodology for a hair dryer to effectively support the product planning and conceptual design stages for
product environmental activities. LCA is utilized in the early stage of product design and followed by the first
and second phases of QFDE. TRIZ is used in the third phase to find design solutions so the steps of QFDE are
then implemented. Eventually, LCA is applied again to appraise the environmental improvements.

Apart from the environmental assessment and life cycle techniques, QFD is also integrated with MCDM
methods to design an environmentally friendly product. Lin et al. (2010) have presented a model based on fuzzy
environmental QFD and sustainable aspects for a company in Taiwan. They combined ANP with QFD where

CAs are sustainable production indicators and TRs are social, economic and environmental production
requirements. Lin et al. (2015) have integrated Fuzzy Interpretive Structural Modeling (FISM), FANP, QFD and

Functional Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FFMEA) for a green and low carbon TFT-LCD panel. Firstly,
they have applied the FISM to determine both the interdependence among CAs/TRs and the effects of TRs on
CAs. The results are used to construct the HoQ which are implemented in FANP process to find priority vectors.
Then FFMEA is utilized to discover potential failures and propose suggestions for improvement, and finally the
priorities of TRs with respect to risk control are calculated.
Fuzzy approaches can be applied to formulate the relationships between CAs and TRs. Fuzzy sets were first
introduced by Zadeh in 1965 as a means of representing and data that was neither precise nor complete. The
differences between the fuzzy QFD and the traditional one is that the QFD relevant data are represented as
linguistic terms which they are processed by algorithms in the system’s internal environment (Zaim et al., 2014).
The ANP has been proposed as a suitable Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) tool to evaluate
multiple alternatives during the conceptual planning and design. The ANP technique allows for more complex
and interdependent relationships and feedbacks among elements in the hierarchy (Saaty, 1996) which uses
criteria feedback and interrelationship. Also it is enabling the pair-wise comparisons of the sub-criteria under
main criteria (Zaim et al., 2014). Lee and Lin (2011) have adopted fuzzy Delphi method (FDM) to select the
critical factors, and combine QFD and FANP to choose the most important criteria in new product development.
Büyüközkan and Berkol (2011) have presented a framework using ANP, QFD and zero-one goal programming
models to determine the design requirements for a sustainable supply chain. Lee et al. (2010) have integrated
QFD with the supermatrix approach of ANP and the fuzzy set theory to calculate the priorities of TRs, and
applied multi-choice goal programming to consider QFD results with other additional goals.
FANP is commonly adopted to accommodate the complicated interdependence among criteria, but they
might be infeasible in which multiple criteria appear on a hierarchy. To overcome the difficulties, we use

DEMATEL to construct a fuzzy MCDM based QFDE. Fuzzy DEMATEL is utilized to incorporate correlations
among criteria. DEMATEL was developed by the Science and Human Affairs Program of the Battelle Memorial
Institute of Geneva Research Centre (Jassbi et al., 2011), which is able to visualize the complex interdependency
relationship among all evaluation criteria. Not only can convert the relations between cause and effect of criteria

into a visual structural model, but also can be used as a wise way to handle the inner dependences within a set of
criteria. The DEMATEL is based on digraphs which can separate factors into cause and effect group. Wang and
Chen (2012) have used fuzzy MCDM based QFD which integrates FDM and fuzzy DEMATEL with linear

integer programming to reduce the gap between CAs and product development and to execute collaborative
product design and optimal selection of module mix. Aliei and Rafiean (2014) have used fuzzy AHP and fuzzy
DEMATEL to rank critical success factors of the corporate entrepreneurship in Iranian institutes.
Although QFDE, FANP, and fuzzy DEMATEL have been used individually by several researchers for

specific purposes, these approaches have not been integrated for sustainable product design. A sustainability
framework for the identification of the pertinent eco-design improvement should attend as a basic conceptual
structure for decision makers in design phases with a multi-aspect approach and should include an integrated
methodology which is able to combine the required aspects. Hence, the following hybrid methodology is
suggested to fill the aforementioned research gaps.

The aim of this study is to identify the improvement strategies to accomplish sustainable product design.
This research is followed by the selection of suitable approach for the case study. The list of CAs and TRs are

recognized for a dry transformer, and they were outlined from the relevant literature. Therefore, we propose the
QFDE method, which allows engineers to make strategic decisions in the early product design stage.

DEMATEL is used to find correlations among CAs and FANP will be integrated into QFDE in order to identify
the weights of the technical requirements. This proposed framework allows experts to identify options using
linguistic expressions and proposes a hybrid approach based on a fuzzy DEMATEL, fuzzy QFDE and FANP
techniques to find the possible design options. Since all decision makers in this research are not completely

familiar with dry-type transformers and using average method which would have led to a long process, the data
used in comparisons matrices and the house of quality matrix are based on the most used items or mode (Farsijani
and Torabande, 2013). The systematic hybrid procedure contains steps as follows:

Step1. Obtain CAs and TRs which are collected from literature and selected by designers (Table 2 and Table 3)
(Lebot, 2002; Barnes et al., 1996; IEC 60076-11:2004, 2006; Farsijani and Torabande, 2013; Mouhamad and

Lauzevis, 2013; Yurekten et al., 2013). Considering cost, quality and environmental traits, as basic required
aspects, is very highly significant in sustainable design.
Step 2. To determine the interdependence among the CAs, a fuzzy DEMATEL (By adopting a fuzzy triangular
number) with five linguistic terms as {Very high, High, Low, Very low, No} is created. These linguistic terms are
shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Linguistic terms using in fuzzy DEMATEL method
Linguistic terms Very High Influence (VH) High Influence (H) Low Influence (L) Very Low Influence (VL) No Influence (No)

Linguistic values (8, 9, 9) (6, 7, 8) (4, 5, 6) (2, 3, 4) (1, 1, 1)

The questionnaire is prepared to ask the relationship between any two CAs. The experts are responsible to rate the
importance degrees of them. Therefore, the fuzzy matrix z% (inner independence) is produced which is shown as

 0 z%12 L z%1n 
 
z% 0
z% =  21 z%2 n (1)
M M 
 
 z%n1 z% n 2 0

It is called initial direct-relation fuzzy matrix and z%ij = (lij , mij , uij ) is a triangular fuzzy number that has three

elements. If x%ij is the element of normalized direct-relation matrix ( X% ), total-relation fuzzy matrix (T) is

defined as:

z%ij lij mij uij

x%ij = =( , , ) (2)

r r r r
r = max l ≤i ≤ n (∑ uij ) (3)
j =1

T% = lim( X% 1 + X% 2 + ... + X% k )
k →∞

U (4)
 t%11 t%12 L t%1 n 
% 
t t%22 L t%2 n 
T% =  21 (5)
M M M 

 
 t%n 1 t%n 2 L t%nn 

Where t%ij = (lij′′, mij′′ , uij′′ ) (6)


[l ij′′ ] = X l × ( I − X l ) −1 (7)

[mij′′ ] = X m × ( I − X m )−1 (8)

[uij′′ ] = X u × ( I − X u ) −1 (9)

The interrelationship of each factor can be showed as the directed graphs on a two-dimensional plane after a
certain threshold value is set. Only those factors which have an effect on matrix T, greater than the threshold
value, should be selected. The experts are usually asked to set the threshold value and as a result, it is time-

consuming and hard to aggregate their ideas and make a constant decision. We use the MMDE algorithm to find
a threshold value for describing the impact-relations map or a binary matrix. In this algorithm, by using the

entropy approach, Li and Tzeng (2009) have defined another information measure which searches for the
threshold value by nodes or vertices. First step contains of transforming total relation matrix (T) into an ordered
set T = { t1 1 , t1 2 , ..., t , t 2 2 , ..., t n n } and rearrange them from large to small. Every element of T should be

considered as an ordered triplet (tij , xi , x j ) as influence value, dispatch node and receive node, respectively. By
taking the second element (dispatch node), we make a new set ( T ). For an ordered dispatch-node set (or an
ordered receive-node set), we can count the frequency of the different elements of the set. If the finite
cardinality of an order dispatch-node set (or an ordered receive node set) is m and also n denotes the cardinal
number of different elements as well as the frequency of element xi is k, the corresponding probability of pi is
assigned k/m. After that, the probability of different elements ( H ) is assigned and de-entropy can be
calculated by (10) which N (T ) is the cardinal number of different elements. We choose the MMDE and
perform these steps for the receive node again. As a result, the minimum influence value in set could be
introduced as the threshold value then the impact-relations map or binary matrix can be structured (Li and
Tzeng, 2009).

HD (10)
N (T D )
H ( p 1 , p 2 , ..., p n ) = − ∑ p i lo g p i

1 1 (12)
H D = H  ,...,  − H ( p1 , p2 ,..., pn )
n n

After using the defuzziation (Dehghani et al., 2013) method (13) on T% , according to the data in Table 6, the
inner relationship between CAs are set based on the threshold value to determine whether there is a relation
between each two factors. These inner relationship matrices for CAs construct Impact-relations map (Wang and

Chen, 2012).

[( u ij − l ij ) + ( m ij − l ij )]
d ij = + l ij (13)

Step 3. The pair-wise comparison matrices have then constructed based on the Impact-relations map. In this
phase, the consistency of the decision maker’s judgments has to be checked. In the next step, Wang et al. (2006)
have calculated the relative importance of CAs by using modified fuzzy LLSM method. Different kinds of
methods have been improved to handle fuzzy comparison matrices. For instance, Buckley (1985) has utilized
the geometric mean method to find fuzzy weights. Chang (1996) proposed an extent analysis method, which

derives crisp weights for fuzzy comparison matrices. Nevertheless, this method is found unable to derive the
true weights from a fuzzy or crisp comparison matrix and could not present the relative importance of
alternatives at all. This problem can be determined by using the modified fuzzy LLSM (15) which derives the

priorities of the triangular fuzzy comparison matrices. The modified fuzzy LLSM is developed as a nonlinear
optimization model, and normalized triangular fuzzy weights for triangular fuzzy comparison matrices can be

driven by it (Wang et al., 2008).

wiL wiM wiU
If a%ij = (lij , mij , uij ) = ( , , ) (14)
wUj wMj w Lj

n n
Min J =∑ ∑ (ln wiL − ln wUj − ln lij )2 + (ln wiM − ln wMj − ln mij ) 2 + (ln wiU − ln wLj − ln uij ) 2 
i =1 j =1, j ≠ i

Subject to:


wiL + wUj ≥ 1
j =1, j ≠ i
wiU + ∑
j =1, j ≠ i
wLj ≤ 1

i =1
=1 i=1, 2, n (15)

∑ (w
i =1
+wiU ) = 2

wiU ≥ wiM ≥ wiL > 0

By using LLSM algorithm, the normalized weight vector for environmental CAs (W weight ) with respect to the
goal is calculated. From those comparison matrices, the normalized priority vectors of CAs’ inner relations
(WCA) are obtained and ,consequently, final priorities of CAs is prepared by:
WFinal = WCA ×W weight (16)
Step 4. In final step, the house of quality (Fig. 1) is developed. Based on the results from step 3, providing the
fuzzy comparison matrices for TRs with respect to each CA and , finally, using LLSM to prepare normalized
weight vectors, a HOQ is constructed to comprise the CAs and TRs to calculate the priorities of the TRs. This
can be seen clearly in the case study in Fig .2.

Fig. 1. House of Quality

We carried out a case study in the Iran Transfo Corporation to deal with power generation and distribution
transformers. The company is the only manufacturer of transformers in Iran and the Middle East. We chose the
cast resin dry-type distribution transformer as the case study. Transformers alter voltages from one level to
another. Most commonly, this change includes very high power line transmission voltages being reduced to the
much lower levels used in heavy industry and households. Dry type transformers complete this function securely

and efficiently that they can be utilized for indoor applications where other types are too risky. All cast resin dry-
type transformers are designed, produced and tested in accordance with IEC 60076-11:2004 or any other
international and national standards upon request. This type of transformer offers various benefits such as: no

environmental pollution, no toxic substances, low noise level, no fire hazard, reduction of expenses of electricity
distribution and installation as close as possible to the center of load and consumption. From the other point of

view, it includes disadvantages like high cost and increased losses. We try to make a more environmentally
friendly product. Furthermore, in consequence of the limited number of experts and specialists that are
completely familiar with specific transformer design and the lack of direct relationship with customers, the CAs
or TRs of QFDE are prepared by literatures. According to the identifications of criteria which are discussed in

this research, the DEMATEL questionnaires are designed based on the lists of customer attributes and
environmental and technical requirements as follows:
Table 2. Customer Attributes Table 3. Technical Requirements


CA1: Cheap (Cost) TR1: Materials (Product)


CA2: Easy to Maintain (Quality, Environment) TR2: Energy Consumption (Product, Environment)
CA3: Voltage Variations (Quality) TR3: Power (Product)
CA4: Environmentally Safe (Environment) TR4: Load Losses (Product, Environment)
CA5: Light Weight (Quality, Environment) TR5: No Load Losses (Product, Environment)
CA6: Long Life Time (Quality, Environment) TR6: Volume (Product, Environment)
CA7: Less Volume (Quality, Environment) TR7: Weight (Product, Environment)
CA8: Preparation Time Packaging/Transportation/Delivery(Quality) TR8: Physical Life Time (Product, Environment)
CA9: Energy Saving (Environment, Cost) TR9: Noise and Vibration (Product)
CA10: Quiet (Quality)
CA11: Easy to Recycle (Environment, Cost) *Product= Product related parameter
CA12: Free of Hazardous Substances (Environment) *Environment= Environment related parameter
CA13: Less Material Usage (Environment)
First, the received questionnaires (Table 4) are analyzed by the DEMATEL to identify the inner dependence
among CAs in this study.
Table 4. The inner independence matrix based on DEMATEL
CA1 CA2 CA3 CA4 CA5 CA6 CA7 CA8 CA9 CA10 CA11 CA12 CA13
CA1 (0,0,0) No VL No VL No H L No No No No No
CA2 VL (0,0,0) VL L No H No VL VL L H No No
CA3 VL No (0,0,0) L No H No No VH VL L VL VL
CA4 H L VL (0,0,0) VL H No VL L VL VH No No
CA5 VL No No VL (0,0,0) No VL H No No VL No VH
CA6 VL VL VL L No (0,0,0) No VL No No VL VL VL

CA7 No No No No VL No (0,0,0) No VL No L No VH
CA8 L No VL VL L No No (0,0,0) No No VL No VL
CA9 L No VL L No H No No (0,0,0) VL No No No
CA10 No VL VL No No No No No VL (0,0,0) No No No

CA11 H H VL H L VH VL No VL No (0,0,0) VH VH
CA12 H No VL H No VH No VL No No VH (0,0,0) L
CA13 H No VL VL VH L VH H No No VH No (0,0,0)

Second, the MMDE is employed to find the threshold value to omit the unnecessary relations in total relation
matrix (Table 5).
Table 5. The total relation fuzzy matrix (T) for CAs
CA1 CA2 CA3 CA4 CA5 CA6 CA7 CA8 CA9 CA10 CA11 CA12 CA13

CA1 0.045 0.036 0.069 0.053 0.076 0.057 0.123 0.101 0.043 0.032 0.063 0.036 0.062
CA2 0.121 0.049 0.093 0.139 0.066 0.177 0.058 0.092 0.089 0.101 0.169 0.058 0.078
CA3 0.127 0.062 0.051 0.143 0.067 0.183 0.062 0.070 0.164 0.075 0.146 0.083 0.105
CA4 0.186 0.121 0.101 0.043 0.101 0.189 0.070 0.104 0.121 0.080 0.201 0.066 0.091
CA5 0.114 0.049 0.058 0.096 0.051 0.079 0.092 0.148 0.050 0.039 0.113 0.046 0.176
CA6 0.108 0.076 0.082 0.124 0.059 0.049 0.053 0.087 0.053 0.041 0.109 0.073 0.092
CA7 0.079 0.046 0.051 0.067 0.091 0.077 0.046 0.062 0.072 0.036 0.130 0.045 0.171

CA8 0.125 0.044 0.076 0.089 0.109 0.070 0.054 0.045 0.048 0.036 0.097 0.042 0.091
CA9 0.122 0.046 0.077 0.115 0.049 0.149 0.047 0.054 0.035 0.065 0.068 0.041 0.055
CA10 0.049 0.059 0.063 0.047 0.035 0.053 0.033 0.037 0.064 0.017 0.050 0.031 0.041
CA11 0.223 0.159 0.120 0.204 0.153 0.246 0.122 0.111 0.110 0.065 0.010 0.510 0.218

CA12 0.196 0.073 0.104 0.180 0.085 0.217 0.078 0.111 0.070 0.051 0.214 0.050 0.148
CA13 0.197 0.071 0.104 0.129 0.194 0.163 0.185 0.172 0.073 0.052 0.216 0.069 0.010

As a result, the threshold value could be determined as 0.051 by MMDE algorithm and then the impact-
relations diagram or binary reachability matrix can be structured. The inner relationship between CAs are set
based on the threshold value to determine whether there is a relation between each two factors or not and the

impact-diagraph map is obtained as shown in Fig. 2,

Table 6. Reachability matrix derived from T for CAs

CA1 CA2 CA 3 CA 4 CA 5 CA 6 CA 7 CA 8 CA 9 CA 10 CA11 CA 12 CA 13

CA 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1
CA 2 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
CA 3 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

CA 4 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
CA 5 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 1
CA 6 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1
CA 7 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1
CA 8 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1
CA 9 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
CA 10 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
CA 11 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1
CA 12 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1
CA 13 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0

Fig. 2. Impact-relations map based on the threshold value

The questionnaire was prepared based on the pairwise comparison of elements, and decision makers were asked
to do the questionnaire with linguistic terms (Table 7).

Table 7: Fuzzy triangular numbers in FANP method
Linguistic terms Linguistic values

Preference with equal importance (1, 1, 1)

Preference with little importance (1, 3, 5)

Preference with strong importance (3, 5, 7)

Preference with very strong importance (5, 7, 9)
Preference with full and absolute importance (7, 9, 9)

The non-uniqueness of normalized fuzzy weights brings difficulty and inconvenience for the comparison and

ranking of fuzzy weights as well as the synthesis of local fuzzy weights. Therefore, we use modified fuzzy
LLSM, in this paper. By using this algorithm, the normalized fuzzy weight vector for environmental CAs with
respect to the goal is calculated (Table 8).

Table 8. Derived normalized weights of CAs

Fuzzy number
l m u
CA1 0.052 0.070 0.097 0.073

CA2 0.078 0.090 0.095 0.088

CA3 0.072 0.083 0.083 0.080
CA4 0.060 0.070 0.084 0.071

CA5 0.061 0.064 0.074 0.066

CA6 0.076 0.076 0.076 0.076
CA7 0.061 0.064 0.074 0.066
CA8 0.079 0.083 0.083 0.080
CA9 0.079 0.083 0.083 0.081
CA10 0.069 0.070 0.073 0.071
CA11 0.079 0.083 0.083 0.080
CA12 0.069 0.076 0.083 0.076
CA13 0.079 0.083 0.083 0.080

Following that, the inner dependence among the CAs is determined through analyzing the impact of each CA on
other CAs by using pairwise comparisons. To state it differently, each time, relative importance of all criteria is
calculated for each particular criterion. Table 9 manifest the result of evaluation and relative importance weights
of CAs. Then, the final priorities of the CAs are calculated by using (16) as follows:
Table 9. Relative importance weights of CAs

Wweight CA1 CA2 CA3 CA4 CA5 CA6 CA7 CA8 CA9 CA10 CA11 CA12 CA13 WFinal

CA1 0.073 0 0.062 0.067 0.071 0.124 0.090 0.090 0.004 0.083 0 0.067 0.071 0.071 0.029
CA2 0.088 0.096 0 0.082 0.082 0.124 0.083 0.120 0.007 0.098 0.140 0.082 0.082 0.082 0.040
CA3 0.080 0.089 0.082 0 0.082 0.124 0.082 0.099 0.008 0.106 0.123 0.082 0.082 0.082 0.039
CA4 0.071 0.107 0.095 0.090 0 0.124 0.083 0.090 0.004 0.083 0.111 0.096 0.102 0.102 0.041
CA5 0.066 0.070 0.076 0.076 0.071 0 0.076 0 0 0 0 0.076 0.082 0.082 0.023

CA6 0.076 0.105 0.074 0.082 0.082 0.124 0 0.099 0.015 0.083 0.124 0.082 0.078 0.078 0.038
CA7 0.066 0.083 0.070 0.082 0.082 0 0.082 0 0.021 0.090 0 0.076 0.082 0.082 0.030
CA8 0.080 0.066 0.095 0.076 0.082 0 0.076 0.091 0 0.090 0 0.082 0.082 0.082 0.031
CA9 0.081 0.096 0.088 0.112 0.082 0 0.082 0.099 0.004 0 0.124 0.082 0.082 0.082 0.035
CA10 0.071 0 0.082 0.071 0.082 0 0.082 0 0 0.090 0 0.082 0.082 0.082 0.025

CA11 0.080 0.096 0.095 0.093 0.083 0.140 0.077 0.099 0.007 0.113 0.124 0 0.094 0.094 0.042
CA12 0.076 0.105 0.088 0.082 0.105 0.111 0.096 0.108 0.008 0.078 0.124 0.089 0 0.072 0.040
CA13 0.080 0.082 0.088 0.082 0.090 0.123 0.083 0.100 0.020 0.083 0.124 0.095 0.072 0 0.039

Easy to Recycle (CA11) is the most important CA with a priority of 0.042, followed by Environmentally Safe
(0.041), Free of Hazardous Substances (0.040), Easy to maintain (0.040), Less Material Usage (0.039), Voltage
Variations (0.039), Long Life Time (0.038), Energy Saving (0.035), Preparation Time (0.031), Less Volume

(0.030). Cheap (0.029), Quiet (0.025), Light Weight (0.023).
In the next step, assuming that there is no dependence among the TRs, they are compared with respect to each
CA. For example, one of the matrices for determining the degree of relative importance of the TRs with respect
to CA13 can be shown as Table 10. From these comparison matrices, the normalized TRs weights based on CA13
are calculated by using LLSM method, respectively (see Table 11).

Table 10. The relationship between TRs toward CA13

CA13 TR1 TR2 TR3 TR4 TR5 TR6 TR7 TR8 TR9
TR1 (1,1,1) (1,3,5) (3,5,7) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,3,5) (1,1,1) (1,3,5) (3,5,7)

TR2 (0.2,0.33,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1)
TR3 (0.143,0.2,0.333) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1)

TR4 (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,3,5)
TR5 (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,3,5)
TR6 (0.2,0.333,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1)
TR7 (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1)

TR8 (0.2,0.333,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (1,3,5)
TR9 (0.143,0.2,0.333) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (0.2,0.333,1) (0.2,0.333,1) (1,1,1) (1,1,1) (0.2,0.333,1) (1,1,1)

Table 11. The weighted vector of TRs with respect to CA13

Fuzzy number

CA13 l m u weight
TR1 0.139 0.213 0.256 0.203
TR2 0.095 0.095 0.097 0.095
TR3 0.089 0.089 0.089 0.089
TR4 0.117 0.117 0.117 0.117
TR5 0.117 0.117 0.117 0.117
TR6 0.095 0.095 0.097 0.095
TR7 0.106 0.106 0.106 0.106
TR8 0.095 0.104 0.120 0.106
TR9 0.050 0.060 0.091 0.067
Then, for the remaining TRs, the normalized technical requirements weights vectors are calculated in the same
way and shown in Fig. 3 placing in the body of the HoQ. The HoQ is prepared with CAs weights and the
relationships between CAs and TRs calculated by using LLSM method. The total of the sum at crossing-points
between CAs and TRs is the raw weight (RW). Furthermore, final weights of each TR is obtained by “the total
of the sum multiplied by CAs and TRs”/ RW. The Final weight ranking is obtained according to the
relationships and the weighting factors of customer requirements.
To consider customer satisfaction, Materials (TR1) is the most important environmental TR with a priority of
0.035 followed by Energy consumption (TR2), Power (TR3), Load Losses (TR4), Physical Life Time (TR8),
Volume (TR6), Weight (TR7), No Load Losses (TR5) and Noise and Vibration (TR9) with priorities of 0.0349,

0.0348, 0.0347, 0.0346, 0.0345, 0.0345, 0.0344, and 0.034, respectively.


Physical Life

Load Losses

Noise and

No Load













Cheap CA1 0.029 11 0.122 0.110 0.122 0.122 0.099 0.122 0.110 0.099 0.090

Easy to Maintain CA2 0.040 4 0.122 0.122 0.122 0.122 0.099 0.110 0.110 0.090 0.099
CA3 0.039 6 0.122 0.122 0.099 0.122 0.099 0.110 0.101 0.099 0.122
CA4 0.041 2 0.148 0.121 0.121 0.110 0.098 0.109 0.090 0.109 0.090
Light Weight CA5 0.023 13 0.136 0.121 0.109 0.121 0.109 0.109 0.109 0.099 0.083

Long Life Time CA6 0.038 7 0.135 0.099 0.149 0.109 0.109 0.099 0.099 0.099 0.099

Less Volume CA7 0.030 10 0.122 0.122 0.110 0.110 0.110 0.110 0.110 0.110 0.091
CA8 0.031 9 0.134 0.134 0.099 0.099 0.109 0.109 0.109 0.109 0.090

Energy Saving CA9 0.035 8 0.100 0.110 0.110 0.110 0.100 0.100 0.122 0.122 0.122
Quiet CA10 0.025 12 0.1206 0.120 0.091 0.108 0.108 0.089 0.089 0.134 0.134
Easy to Recycle CA11 0.042 1 0.1482 0.121 0.101 0.109 0.099 0.109 0.099 0.109 0.101

Free of
CA12 0.040 3 0.1349 0.109 0.134 0.090 0.099 0.109 0.109 0.109 0.099
Less Material
CA13 0.039 5 0.203 0.095 0.089 0.117 0.117 0.095 0.106 0.106 0.067

0.0350 0.03454 0.03493 0.03461 0.03455 0.03471 0.03463 0.03451 0.03460


0.0350 0.0344 0.0349 0.0346 0.0345 0.0348 0.0347 0.034 0.0345

C Rank

1 8 2 5 7 3 4 9 6

Fig. 3: House of Quality of the case study

In this research, a novel framework has been developed based on QFDE technique which led us to recognize
the most relevant environmental requirements for the cast resin dry type transformer. Eventually, selecting the
appropriate material has the highest potential to design a sustainable transformer. The possible implementation
tips to be considered by the producers should be regarded as follows: the type of material used for building the
transformer core affect various parts such as load losses, energy efficiency and etc. This silicon steel technology
is produced from iron bars and is one of the most recycled materials worldwide. Depending on the characteristic
load profile, either load losses/no-load losses, or both should be minimized. Yurekten et al. (2013) have stated
that a core made of amorphous metal considerably reduces core losses by 40-70%. Amorphous metal is
produced by rapid solidification from the liquid and its one step manufacturing process reduces the production
cost. Georgilakis et al. (2011) have found that the environmental cost of the losses can reach 35% of the
transformer purchasing price for high loss transformer so the environmental cost of transformer losses should
incorporate into economic evaluation. Mouhamad and Lauzevis (2013) have proved that LCA of amorphous
technology is the most ecofriendly one in comparison to traditional technology. Hernandez et al. (2010) have
introduced a wound core technology in order to reduce weight and volume which leads to cost minimization.
Consequently, the improvement strategies by considering the highest importance in QFDE are all related to
materials and core. As a consequence, the environmental performance of the transformer will be improved by
these considerations.

5. Managerial Implications

QFDE enables designer engineers to choose the most productive plan using design changes. Even though
there have been plentiful researches that have studied sustainable product design using QFDE with other
methods, the authors, after reviewing these papers, found that there is a possibility of merging the concepts to

obtain a hybrid framework. For the reason that conventional QFDE approaches have some drawbacks, the
proposed framework can tackle some of the issues which were found in the literature. The research program
which include awareness of environmental issues have to be conducted for managers to encourage them

understand the benefits of research results. Hence, managers should be informed about the steps of QFDE and
data which are needed for successful model implementation. In the next step, CAs and TRs have to be recognized
and experts should be selected by top management to do questionnaires. Finally, ranking of TRs have to be

derived and should be executed. The effect of the hybrid model accomplishment should be studied afterwards.
The inferences obtained from the study are applicable to other manufacturing organizations.
The modern manufacturing organizations are focused on making sustainable status by means of costs

reduction and prevention of environmental problems. The practical aspects of sustainable design can be found in
previous studies include environmentally safe, manufacture without using hazardous substances, easy to recycle
and so on. In this study, an integrated QFDE methodology is considered cost, quality and environmental

parameters for sustainable product design and helps designers to make better decisions by incorporating fuzzy
decision making into QFDE in design phase. Through a comprehensive literature review, a list of CAs that satisfy

customers for a dry type transformer and a list of TRs that may be necessary for it were prepared. This research
proposes an extensive framework that applies fuzzy DEMATEL to determine the relationship among factors,
MMDE method to choose the best and practical threshold value in DEMATEL process, LLSM method to find
weights and finally uses integrated FANP-QFDE technique to obtain priority weights of the requirements. In

conclusion, the proposed methodology can help designers effectively determine key CAs and TRs for designing
and manufacturing sustainable products
For future studies, this model can be applied to the other stages of QFDE, and the model can be utilized by

manufacturers in sustainable product design process in other industries. In addition, one of the most important
factors in sustainable product design is social concerns which is missed in this research and can be used in future

studies to complete sustainable product design process. Regarding to the literature review, integrating LCA,
which considers the product’s whole life cycle, with the proposed method will be useful because of assessing the
environmental impact of products and processes. Also, a goal programming model can be constructed to consider
additional goals such as risk control or manufacturing variability in order to select the most important TRs.

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