SolidWorks Sustainability was introduced back in 2010 to assist engineers design renewable products in the early stages. Here is an interesting article on this topic.
Everyone knows what forecasting means, but have you heard of the term “backcasting”? With forecasts we want to know what the future will be like. Backcasting is a different mindset. Rather than trying to predict what happens in the future, we decide upfront what we want our future to be. Then we can make decisions and steps to turn that future into a reality. We have the power to create a better future and this is greater than any prediction.
Backcasting is important for sustainable development. Without a solid plan in place, the future may look more like current “forecasts” and less like the vision from our “backcast”. Not all will agree upon the exact future we desire, but working together in taking steps forward will benefit the planet and promote innovation.
SolidWorks Sustainability allows designers to review their decisions on materials, manufacturing and transportation of products to pinpoint areas where the environmental impact can be minimized. Keeping this in mind during the design stage will not only promote innovative green designs, but also reduce waste and overall production costs.
Here is a short video on “Designing for the Planet” from Joseph Vera from inkavera:
There are other great postings on inkavera’s blog at www.inkavera.com
We have now entered into Bike Month (http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/bikemonth/index.htm) and it’s time to start leaving those polluting cars at home. A few weeks ago I attended a Bike Lecture on building a cycling culture in Canada by learning from the Netherlands. The guest speaker was Hans Moor, a representative with the Netherlands Embassy. It was an interesting discussion so I’ll share some of the factoids.
- 84% of the Dutch population owns 1 or more bikes
- With a total population of 16.5 million people in the Netherlands, there are 18 million bikes
- 26% commute to work by bike, 45% take cars (around 90% of Canadians are still taking cars)
- Gas costs approximately $2.50CAD/L in the Netherlands
- 9% of Canadian incomes are now spent on gas; this used to be 4% a few decades ago
Did you know that the average person will buy 1-2 pairs of running shoes a year? If you use the population in Ontario only (~12M), that equates to almost 24M shoes a year! Also, it takes about 1000 years for a running shoe to biodegrade. Nike has come up with a great recycling program where each part of the running shoe is recycled to create sports surfaces such as running tracks, tennis courts, basketball courts, etc etc. Check out their website:
http://www.nikereuseashoe.com/ There is only one location in Canada at the moment that does this, hopefully more will be added this year!
If you were wondering, why not make a shoe that will biodegrade a little faster? Brooks has done just that by creating “The Green Silence”. This shoe will biodegrade in 20 years instead of 1000.
The SolidWorks Live Web training sessions are conveniently scheduled in two-hour sessions during the morning to allow you to complete the training quickly and then move on with your day. SolidWorks software does not need to be installed on your computer to participate in the training so can be completed in the comfort of your home or office. Only a phone and computer with internet access is needed.
Why is EPDM green you ask? Well, let me tell you!
- EPDM can remove the need to print preliminary drawings that need to be approved. When I worked as a mechanical designer without EPDM, I would print stacks and stacks of drawings (sometimes many times) before the entire design was approved. Since EPDM uses electronic notifications, we can eliminate the need to print a copy of a drawing that needs an approval. Only an automatic email would be sent from the designer to the approver stating that a file needs their attention. The approver can then access the file with a hyperlink and view it within the EPDM vault. The approver can then approve it or send it for changes all without ever thinking of printing the file.
- EPDM can also remove the need to print released for production prints that would be used by manufacturing. Once the drawing is approved, EPDM can automatically create released for production prints in PDF format for example, which can totally eliminate the need for any paper to hit the production floor. All the production personnel would need is a computer with EPDM to view all of the drawing information.
Worldwide awareness of environmental issues has never been more acute. Consumers are increasingly considering the environmental impact of products they buy. They’re not just looking at recyclability. They want to know about materials used and how the product was made. Manufacturers, in turn, are trying to respond to that growing demand.
What it means to you
As an engineer or product designer, you have the power to dramatically alter how we interact with our environment. The question is how. Many designers don’t know about the life cycle assessment (LCA) process or how it could guide them to more sustainable designs. Others may think the process is too complex and time-consuming, or is someone else’s responsibility. Learning about designing for the environment now will put you ahead of the curve.
What it means to your company
As a manufacturer, you have no choice but to address market changes. SolidWorks Sustainability is a tool that can help you stay profitable as consumers increasingly choose sustainably designed products. Using LCA information early in your design process will save your company time and money by avoiding surprising sustainability assessments and costly redesigns later. As a matter of global corporate citizenship, sustainable design means making decisions to ensure future environmental stability.
What are we doing to help you?
In addition to providing customers with SolidWorks Sustainability software, Javelin is currently working with Joseph Vera, an Environmental & Energy Specialist, to develop Sustainable Design Training Courses, Webinars, and Online Content to help our customers become more environmentally friendly designers.
Joseph Vera is a Professional Engineer with over 10 years experience in Product Development and Design. He is currently finishing a Masters in Engineering and Public Policy. His research specializes in Ecodesign, Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), Industrial Ecology, Green Engineering, and Sustainable Manufacturing Processes. Joseph’s professional goal, as an Environmental & Energy Specialist, is to help businesses adopt green practices in order to gain a competitive advantage.
Hear what Joseph has to say about sustainable design and how it will effect your business and customers. Click here to learn more about Joseph Vera.
A Danish company has optimised the development of its new blister-packaging machine using software to make it more environmentally friendly.
Ramac founders Søren Andersen and Jimmy Rose analysed their packaging machine design part by part with SolidWorks’ SustainabilityXpress software to find material choices and manufacturing methods that decreased the machine’s environmental impact throughout its life cycle.
Read More at The Engineer Website: http://www.theengineer.co.uk/news/eco-friendly-blister-packaging/1002372.article
If you were wondering how the world participated during Earth Hour 2010, please visit: http://www.earthhour.org/
There are pictures from everywhere in the globe with great insight on how we can all make a difference.
How did you spend Earth Hour this year? Let us know!
Today, Nissan Canada launched the Nissan LEAF consumer website offering Canadians the opportunity to learn more about the first all-electric, real world car. With Nissan LEAF hitting the Canadian market in the second half of 2011, www.nissan.ca/LEAF provides interested Canadians with information on the revolutionary Nissan LEAF, and the opportunity to stay informed of upcoming announcements.