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PLM’s Role in Enabling Design for Environment

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DFE-PLM-ThumbTech-Clarity Insight – PLM’s Role in Enabling Design for Environment discusses the tremendous challenges manufacturers face from sustainability demands and regulations. The report discusses how companies can adopt a strategy and culture that helps them address sustainability and compliance needs early in design and how PLM software provides a platform of capabilities that can be applied to today’s – and tomorrow’s – DFE needs. The report also introduces the Tech-Clarity Sustainability Maturity Framework to help companies determine how advanced their processes are and how they can be improved.

Please enjoy the summary below, or click the report to download a PDF overview (free of charge, no registration required).

For the full report, please visit the Teamcenter Sustainability and Environmental Compliance page on the Siemens PLM website (free of charge, registration required).

Table of Contents

  • Executive Overview
  • Understand the Sustainability Imperative
  • Address Today’s Reality of Regulation
  • Recognize the Breadth of Regulatory Demands
  • Assess Your Sustainability Maturity
  • Target a Level of Maturity Appropriate for your Industry
  • Develop a Design for the Environment Strategy and Culture
  • Understand Barriers to the Design for the Environment Process
  • Adopt a Proven DFE Process
  • Enable Design for the Environment with a Platform Approach
  • Extend the Value of the Platform
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • About the Author

Executive Overview

Today’s manufacturers face severe social and business sustainability pressure as the environmental impacts of industry become more visible and concerning to customers and investors. The spectrum of sustainability challenges is extensive, although manufacturers typically prioritize compliance with regulations focused on eliminating hazardous and restricted substances in products. These regulations put the business at tangible risk today, carrying the potential for market exclusion, fines, and brand damage.

Addressing environmental compliance regulations is now a critical capability to maintain profitability in the manufacturing industry. “Environmental compliance is just good business,” explains Brian Martin, Senior Director of Corporate Product Environmental Compliance for electronics company Seagate. “It’s about making sure we can sell our products across the world without any impediments.” Despite the potential impacts to top and bottom line performance, today’s manufacturing companies are at very different levels of maturity with their sustainability practices. At a minimum, however, they must comply with a myriad of complex regulations including RoHS, REACH, and the Dodd-Frank Act governing conflict minerals.

Addressing current environmental compliance regulations can be a time-consuming and expensive undertaking. Manufacturers need to approach sustainability with a proactive, holistic approach to get products right the first time if they hope to address compliance efficiently. This “design for the environment” (DFE) approach addresses product-oriented requirements early in design. It allows engineers to make sustainable choices based on timely feedback as the design evolves. This allows them to make optimal choices at the time materials and components are selected, before windows of opportunity close and make these decisions more costly and disruptive

Better practices and enabling technology are the keys to effective and affordable DFE. An integrated, platform approach based on Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) meets sustainability demands at much lower cost. In fact, Tech-Clarity and Aberdeen research indicate that better compliance practices yield better results, yet actually cost less. The capabilities, data, and processes put in place for environmental regulatory compliance can also serve as the foundation for manufacturers to extend up the sustainability maturity curve by adding additional requirements including improved recyclability and reduced energy consumption. They can even go beyond sustainability to improve their ability to design for optimal cost, quality, supply chain risk, and more as the world economy and the business strategy dictate.

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