Saturday, 26 September 2009

Sustainable Designs helps develop Profitable Products - A SolidWorks Initiative

Sustainability Xpress could not have been released, by SolidWorks Corporation, at a better time, with the world looking at Initiatives to address Global Warming, Reducing Greenhouse Gases and Carbon Footprint. A simple add-in inside SolidWorks, it helps Designers understand the impact of their designs on environment early in the design stage.

In terms of recent economic downturn how do sustainable designs result in higher profit, larger market share and improved sales for engineered products? Sustainable designs need to have Conservation as the central theme. Conservation of:
  • Material
  • Energy
  • Resources
Conservation of Material helps lower cost of raw material used, select material that can be recycled and evaluate alternate materials that are eco-friendly. These objectives align perfectly with the cost reduction objectives of any organization that intends to remain competitive.

Conservation of Energy focuses on Energy used to produce a product as well as energy consumed by the product during its life. By integrating features in a design to reduce manufacturing stages, energy conservation starts getting addressed. Similarly by evaluating alternate methods of manufacture (such as die casting, sand casting, forging among others) not only energy consumption gets the focus it needs, cost-effectiveness also gets evaluated. This necessarily helps reduce product development costs as well. Efficient designs result in energy savings for the consumer - a USP for the product in terms of market acceptance. Again, this finds favour with energy conscious society across the world. Imagine what, a 10% energy savings in a pump used in agricultural application, can do in terms of energy consumption - the focal point in global warming.

Needless to say, initiatives in Energy conservation helps reduce input cost, increases profitability and market share as well !

Conservation of Resources is a conscious effort requiring attention in every organization to stay competitive. In addition to lowering operating costs, resource conservation in air, water and land helps reduce carbon footprint while preserving the eco-system for future generations.

SolidWorks has raised the bar, once again, when it comes to developing eco-friendly designs for a greener earth. By introducing the ability to evaluate Carbon Footprint, Environmental Impact, Water Eutrophication, Air Acidity and Energy Consumption the ability to develop greener design has become a reality.

Other contemporary CAD software should take the example of SolidWorks in enabling designers develop products with a conscientious effort to help sustain a healthy eco-system - a Social Responsibility that protects the Wealth of future generations.

Let us take the example of a flanged-shaft design as shown in the picture below:

If we look at the design in terms of a sustainable product following aspects come to mind:

  • Reduce the number of fasteners
  • Alternate Materials considering processing cost and re-use
  • Manufacturing process with least energy consumption
  • Integration of features for lesser number of manufacturing stages.
The options available are endless. Every one of them leads to a cost-effective design with one difference - Corporate Social Responsibility of a Sustaining Eco-system !

Sustainability Xpress shows the difference between Hot-rolled Steel bar and Normalized Steel bar just in material selection.

What do organizations look for in terms of profitability, increasing market share and cost savings? Weight reduction, VAVE ( Value Addition Value Engineering ), BOM reduction, Optimization and above all reliability.

Sustainable design have complete convergence with Corporate goals for higher growth. In addition to providing for ways and means to reduce costs, it helps designers achieve a sense of satisfaction of having made their contribution for a greener earth - a new experience indeed. Another perspective in Design Validation for a Greener Earth - a small but surely a firm step in the right direction.