Perspectives on greener product development and manufacturing from Sustainable Minds, our partners, customers and contributors.

Packaging

Available now – SM Release 2.0 is all about data!

By Sustainable Minds on April 26, 2011

Sustainable Minds enables product development teams to rapidly model the environmental performance of new product concepts in the earliest stages of design. Key to this process is to have access to a broad and deep set of current life cycle environmental impact data. Science improves and so does the data. Sustainable Minds’ SaaS delivery means data can continually be updated and new data added so product teams have what they need, when they need it.

1. Introducing the SM2011 Methodology – The science inside our software
2. Custom impact factor creation service
3. Sustainable Minds Private SaaS – for custom and proprietary datasets

New in SM r2.0:

fredsparks improves sales, sustainability, AND lowers costs

By Guest contributors on March 30, 2011

Guest contributor Ken Harris is one of the owners of fredsparks, a design consultancy that focuses on strategy, innovation and sustainability for its clients. Its use of Sustainable Minds regularly, helps them provide product and package solutions that speak to all of those business capabilities.

Challenge
Having learned after a few years of working with fredsparks to not be surprised at getting much more than expected, Schutt Sports presented the company with another challenge that brought out all three areas of success that fredsparks typically provides its clients: 1. Strategy, 2. Innovation, and 3. Sustainability.

Sustainable Minds and Eco Innovators Partner to Advance Greener Product Design for Australian Manufacturers

By Sustainable Minds on March 16, 2011

Sustainable Minds today announced a partnership with Melbourne-based environmental consultancy, Eco Innovators to bring Sustainable Minds Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) software to Australian product manufacturers, designers, educational institutes and sustainability consultancies to meet the growing demand for product environmental performance information.

With the impending tax on carbon and the increased authority of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to prosecute false environmental claims, Australian manufacturers are looking to credibly measure and manage the environmental performance of their products.

Director of Eco Innovators, Leyla Acaroglu, recent Melbourne Design Award recipient, was responsible for the development of one of the first simplified online LCA tools – Greenfly. “I have had a great deal of experience with designing tools and resources to assist designers in integrating sustainability into product development, and for me, Sustainable Minds LCA software is the best on the market for supporting designers, manufacturers and product developers in understanding and reducing the life cycle impacts of their products.”

Will Sustainability Usher In the Next “Golden Era of Design?”

By Guest contributors on March 14, 2011

Guest contributor Amy Rowell is the founder and principal analyst at Four Winds Research, an independent market research and analysis firm dedicated to sustainable product design and manufacturing. Four Winds’ research efforts are focused on identifying the key issues and challenges facing designers and engineers today as they attempt to create sustainable products; understanding how organizations can effectively apply sustainability principles in product design and development both internally and across the supply chain; and the critical role that sustainability metrics, tools, and technologies promise to play in product design and manufacturing in the coming decade. Amy also authors a blog on this topic, Sustainable Product Design Tools and Strategies.

Webcast #4: MCAD Smackdown! Going head to head: direct vs. parametric modeling (Replay)

By Sustainable Minds on February 28, 2011

Originally recorded on February 24, 2011, some of the mechanical CAD industry's most knowledgeable (and opinionated) voices assembled to debate one of today's existential technology questions: When, why and how do you use direct and/or parametric modeling to best support your business? And, is there too much emphasis on the tools and not enough on the resulting design, i.e., is it difficult and expensive to manufacture, service, repair, use, transport and recycle or reuse?

Moderated by Cadalyst contributing editor and CAD guru Bill Fane, an all-star panel began to cut through the marketing hype to deliver some practical, expert insight about these two very different approaches to 3D modeling. Attendees posed their own questions to the panel throughout the discussion. The panel includes avid users and proponents as well as creators of the technologies:

Consensus from Sustainable Plastics Packaging 2010 conference

By Sustainable Minds on January 27, 2011

sustainableplasticspackaging.com

Designers see total package
Designing a package to be sustainable and making one that consumers view as sustainable aren’t necessarily the same. “Why we buy things and why we make things are often completely opposite,” said Mark Dziersk, vice president of industrial design in Chicago for global brand design firm Brandimage-Desgrippes & Laga.

“Ninety-five percent of what we work on [in design] is based on a rational process. But why consumers buy things is exactly the opposite” with emotions often accounting for 95 percent of the decision. “All that speaks to the importance of the front-end of the process,” Dziersk said at the Sustainable Plastics Packaging 2010 conference in Atlanta.

Autodesk's Sustainability Workshop for engineering faculty and students

By Guest contributors on December 3, 2010

Guest contributor Jeremy Faludi (LEED AP) is a sustainable design strategist and researcher. He teaches green design at Stanford University, where he created the graduate/undergraduate class ME221: Green Design Tools and Metrics, and at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

I recently had the pleasure of helping Autodesk develop some sustainable design tutorials. It's called the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop, and is aimed at college engineering students and teachers. Along with Autodesk's fantastic Sustainability Initiative team members Dawn Danby and Adam Menter, and the video production wizards at Free Range Studios, we launched a set of five short videos on sustainable design theory that introduce essential concepts of sustainable design, such as whole systems thinking, life-cycle thinking, and lightweighting. The Autodesk folks also put together twenty tutorial videos on how to implement the concepts in Autodesk software, along with datasheets and other resources. More great content is in the works, on other topics.

Webcast #3: The Truth About Environmental Performance Software (Replay)

By Sustainable Minds on November 24, 2010

Originally recorded on November 18, 2010, this webcast features Nancy Johnson, editor-in-chief, Cadalyst magazine as moderator, with key representatives from the LCA and PLM worlds discussing the issues honestly and openly:

  • Terry Swack, CEO & Founder, Sustainable Minds
  • Jørgen Vos, Product Management Director, Life Cycle Analytics, PTC InSight Product Analytics
  • Lise Laurin, founder, EarthShift
  • Amy A. Rowell, founder and principal analyst, Four Winds Research

In the effort to create greener products, environmental performance software is but one piece of the puzzle. Sustainable product development requires new knowledge, skills, and processes - supported by technology and applied across the product lifecycle.

Webcast #2: Why Hasn't PLM Taken Over the World? (Replay)

By Sustainable Minds on November 16, 2010

This discussion, originally recorded on November 4, 2010 is everything we hoped to create in this new podcast series: intelligent, challenging, fun…and utterly devoid of marketing hype. Listen in as Nancy Johnson of Cadalyst moderates a panel including Ben Eadie, Chad Jackson, Oleg Shilovitsky and Chris Williams discuss PLM as you have never heard it discussed before.
We hope you enjoy the replay >

Autodesk Webcast Replay: Lifecycle Assessment and BIM for Sustainability

By Sustainable Minds on October 20, 2010

Download the webcast >

Robert E. Middlebrooks AIA, Industry Strategy and Relations Manager from Autodesk's AEC Solutions, gave a compelling talk on BIM & LCA. More than 1200 people attended! He demonstrates a great project he built in Sustainable Minds showing how he evaluated the impacts from a flooring system.

AEC professionals are well aware that designing sustainably is key to achieving environmental goals. Architects, engineers, construction professionals and building owners must focus on the best decisions during conception, design, construction and operations in order to support sustainability objectives. Since new buildings and renovation projects will serve their occupants for decades, the overall cost in resources and the environmental impact of operations and maintenance must outweigh the initial costs of construction.