LIMAS - evaluation

LiMaS project has developed of a software tool that promotes environment-friendly innovation in the electronics industry. Benchmarking is a common technique used to assess the potential of new products. The evaluation of potential competitors adopts the following structure: first, a general review of the existing tools has been conducted. Second, four case studies dealing with the four tools which are considered to be the most relevant, were carried out. Third, an extensive review of 3 types of tools has been provided: Environmental Assessment Tools, Eco-design Tools, and Compliance Management Tools.

Environmental Assessment Tools cover basically LCA. They are typically licensed to companies and most of the well-known manufacturers use them, but this kind of software is rarely used within small and medium size companies. The leading LCA software are GaBi from PE International and SimaPro from PRé. Other major best-sellers are Umberto from ifeu and, specifically for the French market, EIME from CODDE, now part of Bureau Veritas. There are also web-based LCA tools. The most sophisticated tool is by many considered to be Greenfly, from Australia, which has a very straight-forward user interface. As Greenfly contains only very few specific databases with regard to electronics, it is not suitable to this sector; however, its characteristics make it a reference in LCA softwares.

The second set of tools gathers eco-designing applications which incorporate some LCA know-how to guide the user directly to the most relevant environmental aspects. These tools provide some features which allow an efficient integration in the business environment, such as interface with usual CAD, PDM, ERP systems, direct import of parts/suppliers data and traceability (part number, suppliers contact etc.). In some cases, a modulus that allow the end user to carry out an approach compliant with regulations such as RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) and REACh (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) ,is implemented. TheThese are: EcoDesign Pilot, TESPI, Eco-Efficiency Analysis, and ECODESIGN X-Pro. Another eco-design tool is SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress which instantly displays the impact results of design decisions, as Greenfly does. Furthermore, as SolidWorks is a market leader in 3D mechanical CAD software, it provides a familiar working environment for product designers.

The third set of tools is dedicated to compliance management. Regulation is an important driver for innovation in SMEs as it sets the environmental requirements for products. The monitoring of legal requirements is essential also for SMEs. The most prominent solutions for the electrical and electronics sector are C2P Navigator , C2P Enterprise and EIAtrack. The latter targets the electrical and electronics sector, tackling product and material requirements. These platforms are considered to be the most efficient tools to comply with the essential requirement for managing environmental issues.  TechniData’s Environmental Performance Solutions are designed for SAP systems. It is capable of supporting any standard business processes, ranging from plant permits to calculation and documentation of emissions, compliance management, etc. Other tools dealing with compliance management are Compliance Agent from iPoint Systems and Eco-Compliance Solution from E2open. ARAS Innovator is a web-based supply-chain management tool for dealing with RoHS status and the Material Compliance Declaration documents of each resource. It has been selected for further study with C2P Enterprise.

The review of the four selected tools is summarized as follows. GREENFLY is an easy to use, web-based and well-designed tool abridged for LCA. SOLIDWORKS SUSTAINABILITY is standard 3D CAD software containing an LCA tool which can be perfectly integrated in mechanical design processes. ECODESIGN X-Pro is dedicated to SMEs in the framework Ecodis, funded under FP6. Electronic, electric and consumer electronics was one of targeted sectors. C2P ENTERPRISE is able to track the legal compliance including related document management. Finally, ARAS INNOVATOR is a comprehensive, web-based RoHS compliance / supply chain management tool. The same approach might be suitable also for other legal requirements, such as REACh.

As a result, a major gap between electric design and environmentally-friendly design is highlighted, provided there is currently no interface displaying an environmental tool consistent with relevant electrical circuitry design features.


LiMaS. D3.1 Tools Analysis