CAD software protecting the environment

With the Solidworks Sustainability software integrated in the CAD, designers and engineers can assess environmental compatibility in real time as part of the product design process, as Kilian Glockner of Dassault Systémes explains in an interview.

What is the current importance of sustainable construction processes for your customers?

In addition to established development goals such as cost, quality and time-to-market, sustainable construction is an extremely promising opportunity for companies to differentiate themselves and their products on the market. With the development of new, innovative and at the same time sustainable products, companies can gain competitive advantages, strengthen their market position and open up new business areas. Construction software helps construction companies to manage their projects/tasks in professional and right manner.

What exactly is sustainable design practices?

Sustainable design refers to a holistic approach to the production of environmentally friendly, socially acceptable and economical products and systems. Eco-friendly means that the design offers obvious or measurable environmental benefits. Socially acceptable means that the requirements of all parties involved in production, use and disposal as well as recycling are met. And economically, it says that the construction is competitive on the market.

What are the benefits of sustainable design?

By focusing on sustainability, you can improve your designs, reduce costs, and make your products more competitive. The software takes into account four key environmental indicators – CO2-Balance, total energy consumption, impact on air and water – to help you implement ecodesign procedures. This allows you to benefit from ‘green’ marketing opportunities by adapting existing designs and optimizing new products specifically for sustainability to produce next-generation environmentally friendly products for every industry.

Does sustainable construction start at the designer and end with the market launch?

Sustainable design requires life cycle assessment, a collection of scientific methods for measuring environmental impacts over the entire product life cycle, from raw material extraction to production, assembly, transport and product use to disposal and recycling. Previously, life cycle assessment was only carried out in the final stages of product development, solidworks Sustainability now integrates the life cycle assessment at the screening level into the design phase, where adjustments are still possible to create more sustainable designs.

How are sustainability data generated?

Thanks to a partnership with the groundbreaking LCA company PE International, Solidworks Sustainability uses the comprehensive Gabi lifecycle database. This database, based on scientific knowledge and empirical data collected over decades, is considered the global gold standard for environmental impact data. The information is therefore always updated.

What will change for the designer if he wants to use Sustainability anew?

In principle, nothing: Since Sustainability is an integral part of the Solidworks product development solution, environmental impact assessment becomes an effortless, self-evident part of the workflow. You can select different materials and manufacturing processes and then immediately analyze the environmental impact of materials, procurement, transportation, and manufacturing.

What about the documentation of sustainability?

You will receive meaningful environmental impact results that are created and visualized in real time. The sustainability information is stored in the model file so that it can be shared and used by other users in real time. Cooperation is encouraged and everyone is always up-to-date. In addition, automatically generated reports are available, which enable an effective comparison of variants and thus enable informed company decisions with regard to sustainable product development.