This series of cases (see also the A [UVA-E-0107], B [UVA-E-0108], C [UVA-E-0109], and D [UVA-E-0110] cases) takes students through five design-and-manufacturing decisions confronting Albin Kalin, managing director of Rohner Textil AG, a textiles manufacturer in northeastern Switzerland. Faced with community pressure to use quieter machinery and challenged by increasingly stricter environmental regulations, Kalin has committed himself to improving the ecological profile of the mill. He has adopted a set of rule-based design imperatives proposed by William McDonough based on McDonough’s concept “waste equals food.” Given these strict environmental parameters, Kalin attempts to design and manufacture a compostable fabric for DesignTex, a division of the U.S. company Steelcase. The E case discusses Kalin’s efforts to account for Rohner’s environmental costs in operations, product design, R&D, and risk projects.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia