Developing eco-design tools for industry

Benoît Eynard is a lec­tur­er and research sci­en­tist in the Mechan­i­cal Engi­neer­ing Depart­ment at UTC and is also head of an indus­tri­al engi­neer­ing research team in the UTC’s Rober­val lab­o­ra­to­ry. Togeth­er with Bertrand Mar­con­net from ECAM LaSalle (Lyon), he will be co-direct­ing the ‘ProAc­tive Design for Sus­tain­abil­i­ty’ indus­tri­al chair at the request of PTC (Para­met­ric Tech­nol­o­gy Cor­po­ra­tion), a glob­al soft­ware com­pa­ny based in the USA.

With its 7 000 employ­ees, this Amer­i­can group offers soft­ware solu­tions and plat­forms to help man­u­fac­tur­ers adopt a sus­tain­able and glob­al approach to their prod­uct devel­op­ment. In oth­er words, man­u­fac­tur­ers need to think about prod­uct sus­tain­abil­i­ty from the design stage right through to the end of the product’s life, includ­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing, oper­a­tion and main­te­nance phases.

Why UTC and why ECAM LaSalle? «The Chair is a major project for PTC, which want­ed to deep­en its research into eco-design tools or Design for Sus­tain­abil­i­ty. UTC has been a long-stand­ing part­ner of the Amer­i­can group, with links dat­ing back to the mid-90s. As for ECAM LaSalle, they have close links with the soft­ware publisher’s teams in Lyon and also bring exper­tise that com­ple­ments that of UTC. This led us to devel­op a joint project to cre­ate a four-year Indus­tri­al Chair», explains Benoît Eynard.

Can you cite one of PTC’s objec­tives with this Chair? «The aim is to devel­op research into ecode­sign in order to improve PTC’s soft­ware solu­tions in the areas of life cycle analy­sis and cal­cu­la­tion of a product’s envi­ron­men­tal impact. UTC has some def­i­nite assets, as well as a num­ber of the­ses — some of which I per­son­al­ly super­vised — car­ried out on this sub­ject over the last ten years. With Bertrand Mar­con­net, as part of this Chair, we are going to pro­pose method­olog­i­cal frame­works for improv­ing best prac­tice and eco-design meth­ods, all with­in a soft­ware inte­gra­tion frame­work that is PTC’s, whether in com­put­er-aid­ed design soft­ware or life-cycle man­age­ment soft­ware, or in more recent solu­tions such as the Inter­net of Things. In fact, the envi­ron­men­tal assess­ment or life cycle engi­neer­ing com­po­nent is not suf­fi­cient­ly present in PTC’s soft­ware suite. Their objec­tive is to enhance their prod­uct pack­age offer and pro­vide more effec­tive solu­tions that meet the need to con­trol a product’s envi­ron­men­tal impact as ear­ly as pos­si­ble», he adds.

Are there some the­ses start­ing soon? «Yes, two the­ses fund­ed by PTC are about to be launched. One will focus on proac­tive eco-design meth­ods enabling sim­pli­fied dis­man­tling of assem­blies to be planned from the design phase, as well as improved cir­cu­lar­i­ty of prod­uct com­po­nents and sub-assem­blies. In a word: improv­ing the abil­i­ty to repair prod­ucts and reuse com­po­nents in order to lim­it their envi­ron­men­tal impact. The sec­ond focus­es on prod­uct life-cycle man­age­ment, inte­grat­ing envi­ron­men­tal indi­ca­tors. The nomen­cla­ture of the parts mak­ing up the prod­uct will include infor­ma­tion on the type of mate­r­i­al used, their recy­cla­bil­i­ty or, for exam­ple, their CO2 equiv­a­lent impact depend­ing on the man­u­fac­tur­ing process or the uses cho­sen. A PLM plat­form will col­lect, trace and jus­ti­fy all the envi­ron­men­tal data and char­ac­ter­is­tics asso­ci­at­ed with the product’s life cycle, includ­ing those for the mate­r­i­al extrac­tion and pro­cess­ing, man­u­fac­tur­ing, use, main­te­nance and dis­man­tling phas­es,» con­cludes Benoît Eynard.

Le magazine

Avril 2024 - N°62

Faire face aux enjeux environnementaux

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