Sustainable household appliances the focus for the G.EN.ESI project


Cambridge, UK—May 1, 2012 Granta participates in a number of collaborative R&D projects that bring together governmental organizations and funding bodies, industry, and academia. These projects are in diverse areas of materials science and engineering, but include design for the environment, nanotechnology, and composite modeling.

The latest project, supported by the European Union, is focused on the sustainability of industrial products, particularly household appliances. The partners are Università Politecnica delle Marche (UNIVPM), FABER s.p.a., Sibuet Environnement, Bonfiglioli Vectron Gmbh, ENEA, University of Bath, Grenoble Institute of Technology, and Granta.

Launched in February 2012, the project seeks to develop an eco-design methodology and a related software design tool to help product designers make ecological design choices, without losing sight of cost and typical practicalities of industry. Within this methodology, designers' environmental decisions will be supported by a CBR (Case Based Reasoning tool) which will suggest possible environmental improvements by using knowledge stored from previous successful cases.

The software will make it possible to access crucial information from within the CAD or PLM environment. Designers will be able to consider several design choices based on different scenarios for the product lifecycle. The software will inform on material properties and indicators such as cost, environmental impact, water used in production of raw materials, and the presence of substances impacted by legislation such as RoHS or REACH. Further tools will assess materials extraction and manufacturing issues, as well as looking at the sustainability of a product during the use phases.

Funding has been granted specifically to tackle the challenges of making household appliances more sustainable, but there are obviously applications to a broader range of industrial appliances. The project, which will run until 2015, is co-financed by the European Commission and made possible within the 7th Framework Programme.

  7th Framework Program
  European Commision

"Collaborations such as G.EN.ESI enable us to accelerate development and work extensively with industrial end users, academics, and research organizations," says James Goddin, Project Manager—Collaborative R&D at Granta. "G.EN.ESI is a particularly exciting project as it focuses on the development of our Eco Audit Tool and its effective deployment within the household appliances sector."  Further details on Granta's other R&D collaborations, and how to to get involved in such projects, are available on our website.


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