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Integrating CAD, PLM and LCA: new concepts, data model, architecture & integration proposals

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Shaker Verlag


Current acute environmental challenges require that preventative approaches (e.g. product stewardship) to environmental pollution be urgently deployed into day-to-day practices within manufacturing industries. Interconnecting Environmental Assessment tools with design tools, such as Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) tools, used for designing products based on “Life Cycle Thinking” is one of the emerging challenges that design software companies like Dassault Systèmes have to face. The goal is to provide their Manufacturer Customers with the means to deliver Products and Services requiring fewer resources and having less impact on ecosystem and human health through their life cycle. The crux of this problem is not as simple as extracting the product CAD digital structure from a CAD Tool, i.e. the product “Bill of Materials” with all the Materials of the Parts, the corresponding weights, and other properties like Surface (for coating treatment) or the associated packaging, in order to send them as inputs into environmental assessment tools. Efficient product stewardship requires that product and environmental information is shared within the design stakeholders and along the product design process. Based on the analysis of the practices in the industry, different business scenarios to be implemented by the Manufacturers and their Suppliers to enhance efficient product stewardship activities along the Supply Chain are studied in this paper: Compliance scenario, Declaration scenario, Ecodesign scenario. To address these three business scenarios, new concepts for design tools have been defined. A new product data model based on the triplet Product-Process-Resource (PPR) linked to the Product Lifecycle Phases and the Development Project Steps to ensure the Data Quality and Data Traceability is proposed. A new global software architecture is proposed to interface environmental assessment third-party tools, like Design For Compliance, Design for Recycling and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), to the design tools (e.g. CAD and PLM software tools). Different levels of ICT interconnections between design tools and environmental assessment tools ought to be considered to support the various business scenarios and tool capabilities.


Theret, Jean-Pierre; Evrard, Damien; Mathieux, Fabrice; Le Guern, Yannick; Chemla, Patrick (2011): Integrating CAD, PLM and LCA: new concepts, data model, architecture & integration proposals. Innovations in Sharing Environmental Observations and Information. Aachen: Shaker Verlag. Information Technology for Life Cycle Analysis. Ispra. 2011