Friday, September 26, 2014

Assess & Compare: Assess Performance

Assess Performance

Next, alternatives should be assessed and compared based on their performance. Selecting the relevant criteria is the first step of your evaluation. To ensure the alternative performs well, some performance parameters you might consider for your evaluation include:

Physical Properties

  • Density
  • Water solubility
  • Color
  • Boiling point/melting point
  • Flash point
  • Odor
  • Vapor pressure
  • Volatility
  • Viscosity
  • Size
  • Weight

Performance Characteristics

  • Durability
  • Longevity
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Energy consumption
  • Equipment requirements
  • Tensile strength
  • Tear strength
  • Compressibility
  • Flame retardancy
  • Accuracy
  • Resistance to shock/vibration
  • Noise level
  • Operating temperature
The relevant parameters may vary greatly from one application to another. Engaging the team, and any other workers, product designers, and production engineers, can help identify performance needs, as well as technical and engineering design restraints. You may also need to consult with suppliers and customers not only to identify the critical parameters for evaluation, but also to gather information about the performance of alternatives under evaluation.

Key Example

Toxics Use Reduction Institute’s Technical Performance Evaluation

As part of its 2006 Five Chemical Study, the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute developed a model for evaluating the technical performance of alternative chemicals, materials, products, and processes. The study identified application-specific performance parameters that were required for each use of the chemicals under evaluation – including longevity, key performance requirements, key physical characteristics and key quality parameters. While applicable performance requirements vary greatly between uses, this evaluation method provides a good starting point for identifying criteria that should be considered.
Adapted from TURI Alternatives Assessment Process Guidance.

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