Up to 70%-80% of vehicle downstream costs, use of resources, and sustainability is determined in the development and process planning phase. It is up to engineering teams to determine the sustainability of an automobile starting from its operational phase all the way to end-of-use/recycling. Now is the time for automotive manufacturers and suppliers to make the decision to improve their environmental performance.   

SICK is implementing an end-to-end PLM solution from development to production planning. The link between digitalization and sustainability is achieved via a Digital Thread/Twin of the product and production. What material is contained in a component? What is the sustainability footprint of the material, the production processes, and the supply chain for gas emission, consumed energy, air pollution, and water consumption? What is the most sustainable solution at the best available cost – and what is the cost of increased sustainability?  

Incorporating sustainability and cost into the early design process through a PLM system and integrated material databases, from IHS, GaBi and ecoinvent, and others provides advantages and visibility that automotive manufacturers should exploit. In addition, there are a large number of regulatory requirements, including those from customers who are increasingly focusing on sustainably and low-CO2 products.  

It is clear that automotive manufacturers who can make themselves less dependent on skyrocketing raw material prices and bottlenecks by using less or switching to recycled materials are set to have a significant advantage over the competition.  

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