Consortium addresses eco regulations in meeting at Rolls-Royce

Derby, UK, April 20th-22nd, 2009 The second meeting of the Environmental Materials Information Technology (EMIT) Consortium was held at Rolls-Royce in Derby, UK, over three days in April. The meeting discussed members' priorities and challenges relating to eco design and environmental regulations, particularly those governing restricted substances. The similarity of interests across diverse organizations was striking—a fact that helped to provide clear guidance for development of the Granta software used by Consortium members.

All member organizations were represented at the meeting—EADS Astrium, Emerson Electric, Eurocopter, NASA, NPL, and Rolls-Royce. They were joined by observers from Raytheon and AWE. The aerospace and defense sectors are strongly represented in this group. Yet a presentation early in the meeting from the diversified manufacturing and technology company, Emerson Electric, struck a chord across industry boundaries. The subsequent discussion revealed that, although members bring different perspectives, they face common issues—notably, the risks associated with materials obsolescence and undocumented change caused by changing regulations. This was also true across the very different types of organization represented—from diverse, multinational companies making thousands of products, to government agencies with a quite specific focus.

The latest developments in software and information resources to meet these challenges were presented at the meeting. Developments included an updated Restricted Substances data module, which provides reference information on restricted substance legislation, connected to data about the substances covered by that legislation. This allows users to quickly establish which of their materials might be affected—now or in the future. Also demonstrated were prototype tools operating within the Siemens NX and TeamCenter software. Such tools will allow engineers, designers, or regulatory compliance staff working in CAD, CAE, PLM, or ERP systems to quickly establish the regulatory status of all materials in a product or product design.

  A compliance report generated within Teamcenter
A compliance report generated within Teamcenter—all materials within the product are identified and their regulatory status listed

The Consortium's goal is to develop quick, practical design tools that can embed consideration of environmental regulations, and of other eco-objectives such as minimizing carbon footprint, into the design process. At the meeting, members reviewed the current technology and provided input that will aid its further development and application.

An open seminar on the final day of the Consortium attracted attendees from additional sectors including energy, transportation, and materials production, with substantial interest in the Consortium's emerging solution.

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