While corporations focus on product innovation, they also need to consider their products’ environmental impact and the product development process. Sustainability helps to balance modernization, improve our quality of life and protect our planet and environment for our future generations. For businesses to thrive, sustainability can no longer be delegated to an individual or a special team. Sustainability is an integral strategy secured throughout the entire corporate strategy.
SOLIDWORKS SustainabilityXpress is included with every SOLIDWORKS license to help you gauge the environmental impacts of designs across the product life cycle. Using industry-standard Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) criteria, the software generates feedback at a fraction of the time and cost of a typical assessment.
SustainabilityXpress can be accessed via the Evaluate Command Manager tab or by navigating to Tools > Xpress Products > SustainabilityXpress. The application opens in the Task Pane, as shown in the image below. Based on the user input, the evaluated results appear in the Environmental Impact Dashboard. This dashboard updates dynamically with any changes you make.
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Top 5 Features in SustainabilityXpress
1. Similar Material List
SOLIDWORKS SustainabilityXpress can help you understand the effects of material used, manufacturing and assembly process, manufacturing region and transportation through product use and its end of life or disposal. If you need to use a material not readily available in the database, you have the option to find similar material based on your preferred search criteria of property values.
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You can select materials from the list to compare the selected material’s environmental impact with that of the original material. The Environmental Impact section updates to show the comparison of environmental and financial impacts of your initial choice and your new selection of similar material.
2. Set Baseline
You can define the manufacturing process, the region of manufacturing and usage of the product, transportation and end of life. These parameters, along with the material and manufacturing process defined, will be used to evaluate environmental impact. All the selections can be set as a baseline scenario to be compared against future choices. Any changes in the selection will generate a new scenario that is compared to the pre-set baseline.
3. Environmental Impact Dashboard
Based on the user-defined settings, the product design’s evaluated environmental impact is displayed in the Environmental Impact Dashboard. The level of impact of each parameter on the four environmental impact areas is shown in a pie graph. This includes carbon footprint, energy consumed, air acidification and water eutrophication.
The bars below each pie chart compare the effect of the current impact parameters to the effect of previous or baseline parameters.
The green bars indicate that the current parameters have a lower environmental impact, whereas the red bars indicate the current parameters have a higher environmental impact than the previous parameters.
Based on the financial impact property defined for material and the mass of material required for the design, a material’s economic impact comparison plot can be generated for the current selection versus the baseline or previous selection.
4. Choice of Methodologies for Impact Assessment
To evaluate the environmental impact, users have a choice of either ‘CML’ or ‘TRACI‘ as the impact assessment methodology. The TRACI method developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency is based on the United States’ regional conditions. It can be used to accurately model North American Life Cycle Assessment/Environmental Impact studies. CML is based on European regional conditions.
5. Report Generation
You can automatically generate a Word document report that provides details about your design’s environmental impact, including comparisons between the final material and the baseline material.
Using SOLIDWORKS SustainabilityXpress, you can accurately estimate your design’s environmental impact to develop innovative ‘green’ products.
Are you interested in learning more about other simulation add-ons included with SOLIDWORKS? Check our our article, Top 5 FloXpress Features You Already Have.
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