Evaluation of a CAD-Integrated Life Cycle Assessment Software

While companies strive to be more environmentally sustainable, many tools and methods are complex and hard to adapt. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one of the more versatile tools, and what if it was possible to integrate it into early product development?

Since full scale LCAs require a lot of resources to perform, simplified versions have emerged that allows for easier adaptation for companies. One those tools is a CAD-integrated variant that utilises CAD models and a database to obtain LCA data. This greatly reduce the time needed for data collection and process complexity. When basing the LCA on previous data from a database, the assessment can be performed as soon as CAD models are available, which is usually during concept development. Thus, the ability to make changes to products that are environmentally beneficial becomes easier and less costly, compared to making them later during the product development process.

In this thesis the CAD-integrated tool “Sustainable Intelligence Innovations” was evaluated and compared to already existing barriers of implementing LCA. While there are many potential benefits of using the tool, the database is still somewhat limited, some key features are missing that would make the tool more useful overall, and it is not suitable for external communication. Therefore, the conclusion was that the tool is not currently mature enough to be fully implemented in a company, but the tool shows good potential for internal benchmarking.
Check out the video for a short demonstration of how it works. (Seamlessly with CAD)