Expect Dassault to flesh out its story around designing for compliance and sustainability over the next few months. At least that’s according to Mike Zepp, the company’s director of product strategy for material compliance, part of the Envoia team, who had previously come from Johnson Controls.
On the heels of dozens of new environmental directives–from Europe and Asia, and increasingly in the United States–Zepp says design engineers are faced with a whole new set of challenges and design choices, which in many cases, are out of their sphere of knowledge and expertise. Design engineers may have familiarity with materials’ properties as they relate to functionality or durability, yet they don’t necessarily have the same knowledgebase about the properties as they pertain to sustainability and designing products with an eye towards recyclability and end of life. “Engineers are being asked to do more and bring more [knowledge] into their design choices, and I don’t think that’s going to stop,” Zepp said, in an interview with Design News. “The best way to do that is not to burden them to look in another database, but to make that information accessible in the world in which they work today.”
With that caveat, Zepp threw out some hints about what Dassault has on tap to merge that world with its Enovia Product Data Management platform. He pointed to sister company SolidWorks announcement earlier this year of Sage as an example of what Dassault envisioned for its PLM line. Sage is an extension to the SolidWorks CAD environment that allows engineers to examine the impact of their design choices on such environmental factors as carbon footprint, air and water consumption along with the transportation impact. Making that information available to engineers early on in the design process and within the tool they’re accustomed to will facilitate time to design, not to mention, reduce expensive design changes late in the development process.
In addition, Zepp talked about building dashboards and analysis tools that would help rate suppliers’ materials choices as they built individual components. Such a supplier rating system would help suppliers focus on optimal designs, while arming design engineers with that added level of information to make the best materials choices, he said.