By integrating consideration of engineering, economic, and environmental properties into the specification of materials and the design of products, Granta can help manufacturers to make products that are a better fit to the ‘circular economy’ model by prolonging product life, minimising energy use and CO2 footprint, reducing use of critical materials and restricted substances, and designing for re-use or re-manufacture. The aim is to embed such considerations early in product development cycles, when material and process choices have maximum impact for minimum cost.
New MI:Product Intelligence software provides innovative tools to help make material and process choices that maximise engineering performance while minimising environmental impact and regulatory and supply risks. Such tools are a significant practical step towards embedding circular economy thinking into product development. Granta is also involved in a number of collaborative projects with a circular economy focus, including the Life+ Circular Economy Metrics Project, which is developing metrics for quantifying circularity at the product and business levels. Such metrics could be embedded into Granta design tools, alongside existing metrics for environmental impact, cost, and regulatory compliance.
Granta is interested in supporting engineering enterprises that wish to integrate circular economy thinking into real-world product design and development.
Granta can do this by building innovative tools upon its existing strong base of established software technology. This ‘materials information technology’ manages and applies materials and process information and is widely used in industries including aerospace, automotive, consumer products, industrial equipment, and medical devices.
Granta has a long history of collaborative partnership with industry in developing and applying its software for emerging areas of industrial interest (e.g., via the Environmental Materials Information Technology Consortium, www.grantadesign. com/emit/). Granta is interested to extend such collaboration around the theme of the circular economy, working with businesses to apply practical software tools and information resources that will enable this process.