A major advantage of the G.EN.ESI system is the interoperability of the different tools of the G.EN.ESI platform. This inter-operability is based on the compatibility of all software tools with an XML file that represents an enhanced version of the product’s bill of materials. This file is known as DMS:XML and its main advantage is that it contains information on product material composition, but also contains relevant information on the product life cycle, such as processes for manufacturing or energy consumption in the ‘use’ phase. Storing this data within the DMS:XML file helps to reduce data collection and recording time and helps to avoid the introduction of errors into the product assessment process.
Software input to the DMS: XML.
The first version of the DMS: XML can be generated using two standard tools used in product design: a CAD system or PLM software. From both these software systems, the required information on product structure can be obtained.
The generation of the DMS: XML is undertaken using a plug-in to CAD or PLM software called GRANTA MI:Materials Gateway. This plug-in allows materials, shaping processes and surface treatment to be associated with each product part. When all product parts have associated materials and processes, then the DMS: XML can be generated. The DMS: XML can then be used to represent the material phase and the manufacturing phase of the life-cycle.
Alternatively the DMS: XML can be generated using the WEB interface of the platform, in cases where the compatibility with CAD or PLM systems cannot be ensured, or if no such tools are used.
To enrich the DMS: XML, information from the following tools is used to define the product lifecycle phases:
- Materials phase: Eco Audit, Eco Material, S-LCC,
- Manufacturing phase: Eco Audit, Eco Material, S-LCC
- Transportation phase: Eco Audit, S-LCC and 0km
- Use phase: Eco Audit, S-LCC and DfEE, in the DMS: XML2
- End of Life phase: Eco Audit, S-LCC and Lean DfD, in the DMS: XML2.
Using the DMS: XML as input to the G.EN.ESI platform
One of the advantages of the G.EN.ESI platform is to be able to use data from other software packages to perform a product assessment.
Hence, all assessment software within the platform can use the DMS: XML as input:
- Life Cycle Environmental Assessment: Eco Audit and eVerdEE
- Life Cycle Costing: S-LCC
- Transportation assessment: 0km
- Energy efficiency: DfEE
- Disassembly performance: LeanDfD
In addition, the tools within the G.EN.ESI platform which assist the designer in making design improvements (Eco Material and CBR) can also retrieve information from the DMS: XML, directing designers toward the most relevant guidance on product modification.