EcoDesign 2.0 - Quantitative EcoDesign within Drives and Automation Technologies

Johannes Auer

    Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

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    The PhD project has its research background mainly in the fields of product development & design, manufacturing systems and quantitative sustainability assessment, incl. environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Related organizational and management research is also drawn upon as well as systems engineering approaches. Research focus lies in areas where these fields overlap and complement each other in the development process of given applications, in particular the development and implementation of Drives and Automation Technologies. The evaluation of the research background, based on research projects [Thomas 2012; Meincke 2012; Röttjes 2012; Gama & Herrmann, 2013], scientific publications, e.g. [McAloone & Bey 2009; Wimmer et al., 2014] and practical experience (e.g. development of international standards, implementing ecodesign at Siemens) lead to the formulation of the corresponding challenges and a problem statement, which is followed up by the research objective of the development of an “Ecodesign 2.0” (ECD2.0) approach and the definition of key requirements for the approach in terms of underlying methods and supportive means.In the execution of the project, the research background and currently implemented state-of-the-art of ecodesign of drives and automation technologies in discreet and process industries was evaluated, putting it in context to the processes and portfolio of the Siemens AG, Process Industries & Drives Division (PD), as well as current sustainability challenges. This led to the formulation of the following research challenges:

    - Lack of methodological support to create insight regarding system-context-depending ecoperformance; i.e. lack of generic understanding of environmental performance of the stand-alone product vs. the environmental performance of theentire solution/application which the product is part of; 

    - During design, lack of guidance towards a structured balancing or combination of early-stage qualitative approaches (e.g. for idea/concept evaluation) and later-stage quantitative approaches (e.g. for product documentation); 

    - Lack of systematic approaches to design the above in a comprehensive and yet feasible way, applicable in industrial settings – and with regard to special conditions opposed by long application life times and high customer investments that may be involved. 

    This then led to the working hypothesis, that instead of dealing with single products, eco-design of industrial automation and drive technologies has to address the key issue of the solution’s usage stage in terms of system design corresponding to the application context, where several products work in conjunction with each other. Further, in response to the above challenges, the overall objective of the PhD project was set to create supportive means (tools, methods, models, etc.) which stimulate design of non-sub-optimised solutions through focussing on improving automation and drive technologies in an application context. Based upon this, the research was defined by evaluating and choosing appropriate underlying methods and reference applications for conducting the corresponding case studies.Appropriate methods were found by discussions and literature reviews, for conducting the case studies to elaborate on the hypothesis by applying LCA and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and displaying the results in an eco-efficiency tool, the Siemens EcoCare-Matrix (ECM). The hypothesis was then proven by investigating implemented full-scale reference applications considering environmental and economic facts evaluated over the whole product/application life cycle, which can be found in chapters 6 (reference applications), 7 and 8 (case study results). Further the ECD2.0 approach was outlined, based on the ecoefficiency tool ECM, supported by LCA and LCC as underlying methods, utilizing the newly developed ‘Extended Product Approach’ (EPA) for describing ‘functional unit’, as interfacedefinition between the application and the supporting system. Finally, the results are discussed and concluded upon, by picking up the topic of necessary enablers, such as a simplified LCA approach and robust characterisation methods, as well as application examples in sales and portfolio management context.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherDTU Management
    Number of pages487
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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