thinkstep Integrates Sustainability Into Next Generation of Product Design

Date: July 18, 2019

To drastically reduce the negative environmental impacts of products, manufacturers need to integrate sustainability assessment criteria seamlessly into their design process.

With a 5-liter engine, 12 cylinders, 221 kW power and 250 km/h top speed, the 1989 BMW 850i (E31) is a dream for every car enthusiast —the most expensive BMW manufactured in the 1990s. For the purposes of this blog entry, however, more interesting is that the BMW 850i (E31) was one of the first cars designed with a computer aided design (CAD) tool. Now, more than 30 years later, finally the automotive industry is beginning to see the potential of integrating environmental and substance compliance considerations into the early phases of the product lifecycle: The concept and development phase where new CAD-Iterations and design and material possibilities are evaluated.

In this context, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a proven and widely used method for analyzing the environmental footprint of a product. The first studies recognized as LCAs date from the early 1970s, so the methodology of Life Cycle Assessment is even older than the traditional CAD-modelling.

Right now, most environmental assessments are made on the final products. Yet, up to 80% of environmental impacts and costs are the result of decisions made early in the conceptual design phase. So, manufacturers desperately need to integrate sustainability assessment criteria seamlessly into the design process if they wish to drastically reduce the negative environmental impacts of their products.

As part of the EU project Steel S4 EV, thinkstep is extending its Teamcenter® Integrated Material Management solution to connect these two worlds further. This will empower engineers to select reliable and accurate materials and manufacturing technologies for the design of a novel urban electric vehicle based on engineering, environmental and economic criteria.

The Steel S4 EV project uses the product life cycle management (PLM) solution Siemens Teamcenter ®, capable of storing and managing CAD & 3D drawings, technical material knowledge and LCA & LCC data. The open and robust architecture of Teamcenter allows us to develop and integrate interfaces between our project partners’ engineering design tools and GaBi, thinkstep’s LCA Software. 

thinkstep integrates sustainability into next generation of product design

Interested in automating your life cycle assessment in a cost-effective way and seamlessly integrating environmental and economic criteria into the design process of your product? thinkstep can help you achieve this. 

For more information, please contact:

Christoph Hoppe

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