Before you answer this question, let’s first consider what is involved.
Being “green” involves a complex set of business processes designed to ensure that your company’s environmental footprint is as small as possible, and also continuing to shrink. A key component of these “green” business processes is adhering to complex regulations on the chemical substance compliance of components and materials chosen for use in the product design, as well as the manufacturing processes involved in making it. It not only places general limits on what can be used in new product designs, but it also places guardrails on what is acceptable for use in individual regions. That is to say, one country’s interpretation of green may not be a universal interpretation. Oh, and the target moves on a regular basis as well. You may not be able to use a particular component beyond a certain date, for instance, due to changes in region-specific regulations.
Innovation, on the other hand, is a different mindset. Being innovative requires “breaking the rules” at times. It is a customer-focused design-oriented venture. Being creative, agile, and collaborative, while maintaining a keen sense for what a customer wants, are very desirable traits for an innovator.
So, getting back to my original question, it would appear that being “green” and being innovative are difficult to achieve concurrently.
However, what if you were able to have Product Compliance Engineers involved at the earliest possible stage in a product’s design? What if you were able to design for environmental compliance by having instantaneous awareness of the latest compliance status of materials and components, and with 3D dashboards, no less? What if suppliers were fully integrated and able to collaborate early on as well, lending their expertise and insight on potential issues in the product design and/or manufacturing process? Well, I’m happy to report that it is possible today, and companies are currently involved in designing environmental compliance into their products from Day One. It’s possible with ENOVIA Materials Compliance Central, ENOVIA Materials Compliance Experience, ENOVIA X-BoM for Materials Compliance, and ENOVIA 3DLive from Dassault Systèmes.
Let me give you a couple examples of how companies have built a Sustainable Innovation practice into their New Product Design (NPD) process. A leading Hi-Tech Electronics manufacturer has implemented the Materials Compliance solutions from ENOVIA into their PLM systems and business processes, and is therefore giving their designers seamless and effortless access to component compliance results throughout the entire NPD process. This company implemented the ENOVIA solutions because they had $1 Billion of annual revenue at risk if they didn’t comply with the European regulations, but now today they are reaping additional benefits from their Design for Environmental Compliance systems and processes. In the world of Automotive, a leading global Tier One supplier has seen a 50-90% reduction in manpower efforts from their implementation of the ENOVIA Materials Compliance solutions, and has additionally been able to use the data systems to quantify the year-over-year reduction in their use of Hazardous Substances.
I’d be very interested to hear how you are integrating material compliance into your innovation process.
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