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Overview of the Eco-Audit Tool in CES
Overview of the Eco Audit Tool
The Eco Audit Tool assists in the teaching of key concepts of the eco-design, and it helps in project work in terms of analyzing the environmental impacts of the products. With this tool, the users input information concerning the transportation, composition and usage of a product. This information is combined with the data on eco property on the processes and materials used in the making of a given product to estimate the carbon (IV) oxide output as well as the energy usage at every stage in the lifecycle of a product. Reports can also be reported in a wide range of applications for analysis (Ashby, Ball, & Bream).
The Eco Audit tool allows the users to identify which life phases dominate the environmental impact of the product. This aspect is an essential initiatory step in the consideration of the methods of reducing that impact (Benedetti, Toso, Baldo, & Rollino, 2010). The Tool gives a quick way of investigating different scenarios in the manufacturing process. For instance, it assists in the investigation of how environmental impacts would change if a given component were manufactured from different materials. This tool is of great significance in the fields of manufacturing and design.
Application of the Eco Audit Tool in the Context of Manufacturing Process Selection
Environmental objectives are becoming increasingly important in the manufacturing process. Manufacturers often wish to limit the carbon footprints in their products, cut emissions and wastes, specify the disposal manner and reduce the energy usage of these products. In order to achieve these factors, the manufacturers need to estimate rapidly the emissions of the carbon (IV) oxide and the energy uses for every life-phase of their products. As such, the Eco Audit Tool becomes of significance at this stage. The tool enables the manufacturers or the users to perform quick audits during the early-stage designs ("Eco Audit Tool," n.d.). They do not need to look for the individual environmental data or track each detail. As such, it enables them to focus on the environmental requirements and meet them. The tool enables users such as the manufacturers to demonstrate compliance with the manufacturing selection process through simple and quantitative reports.
In the selection of the manufacturing process, the Eco Audit Tool provides the manufacturers with various designs, which include then materials, the manufacturing process itself, the transport, the use and the disposal. For each of these aspects, the Tool provides possible aspects of minimization. For the materials, the minimization involves the mass of parts, the embodied energy and the virgin content. For the manufacturing process, the aspects include the process energy and the process carbon (IV) oxide. For transport, the aspects include the distances moved, the energy mode of transport and the mass of parts ("Granta's CES EduPack: Teaching resources for materials and process education," n.d.).
The enhanced Eco Audit Tool is also significant in the manufacturing process selection. This enhanced tool consists of various options including the secondary processes of machining, the processes of joining and finishing, the manufacturing waste and the probability of the end-of-life recovery of material. These options enable the manufacturers to select the type of the manufacturing process to employ. This tool is important because it provides the required information and acts as a tool for identifying alternatives to manufacturing processes. With the tool, users can evaluate the environmental impact of the manufacturing process or product in each life phase using the detailed reports and the charts produced by the Eco Audit Tool.
Ashby, M., Ball, N., & Bream, C, (n.d.), The CES EduPack Eco Audit Tool – A White Paper.
Benedetti, B. D., Toso, D., Baldo, G, L., & Rollino, S, (2010), EcoAudit: a Renewed Simplified Procedure to Facilitate the Environmentally Informed Material Choice Orienting the Further Life Cycle Analysis for Ecodesigners. Materials Transactions. doi:10.2320/matertrans.MH200918
The Eco Audit Tool, (n.d.), Retrieved from http://www.grantadesign.com/products/ecoaudit/
Granta's CES EduPack: Teaching resources for materials and process education, (n.d.), Retrieved from http://www.grantadesign.com/Education/eco/index.htm