British Standards of Sustainability

Abstract

The following report is based on the use of British Standards to look at the impact it has on a product development process from the beginning of its lifecycle to the end when it decomposes. With the world today at the state it is, the pollution and the resources are being used up at an un-regenerate able rate. It is more important than ever to recycle and perform our manufacturing processes in an environmentally sustainable manner. Hence, the modern environmental legislations have been designed and applied in manners as such to focus on not only manufacturing process but also the end of life cycle and the recycling and upcycle options. BS8887- 1:2006 (MADE) looks at design from Manufacture, Assembly, Disassembly and End of life, the key aspects this legislation will cover and target are at remanufacture, recycling and efficient and sustainable ways to proceed to the end of life of the product. The main aim of legislations as such is to become more environmentally friendly and to create a more sustainable environment for the generation of tomorrow.

However, there are many such legislations that every manufacturer in the region has to follow which covers areas not covered by the particular legislation mentioned above. There are many various other legislations and regulations which ensure that the rules and regulations are followed strictly and the quality of the production is maintained at an optimum with respect to production and environment.

Contents

Abstract ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..1

Glossary: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………3

Introduction: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………4

Research Methodology: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….4

Principle of MADE: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………4

Product Design Assessment: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………5

Manufacture of Design: (MADE): ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5

Assembly (MADE): ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6

Disassembly (MADE): ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

End of Life Processing (MADE): …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7

Benefits of MADE: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7

Design for the Environment (DFE): …………………………………………………………………………………………..9

BS887 – 1:………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

BS8900: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

ISO 14001: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9

ISO 14025: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10

Designing a product for the environment and how it is contributing to the sustainability: …………….10

4 Methods to assess a product for their impacts on the environment: ……………………………………….12

Reference and Bibliography …………………………………………………………………………………………………..13

Glossary:

PDS- Product Design specification

MADE- Manufacture, Assembly, Disassembly and End of life

BS- British Standard

PDA- Product Design Assessment

DFE: Design for Environment

FEA: Finite element analysis

EIA: Environmental impact assessment

LCA: Life cycle assessment

MET: Material energy toxicity matrix

EEA: Environmental performance indicator

WEEE: Waste electronic and electrical equipment

Introduction:

The report shows how the idea of sustainability is implemented through various steps of production and manufacture with the help of the guidelines put into place by the British Standards. The main purpose behind these legislation and guidelines is to make the companies and the manufacturers aware of the harmful impacts of the manufacturing process as well as the effect of bad material selection during production and end of life cycle. The use of strict guidelines and fines to put these legislations and rules in place helps by maintaining the sustainability process of our environment as well as by funding the awareness programs and the research on new concepts and technology regarding sustainable environment.

This report shows the impact of different legislations on the manufacturing process of the industrial fans and the different steps taken to make sure the process is environmentally friendly and supports the sustainability of the environment even during disassembly and end of life cycle. Another form of legislation which provides guidance for the company to perform their operation in a sustainable manner with respect to environment is ISO 14001, ISO 14001 however focuses more on efficient utilisation of water and energy usage with minimum wastage. Together these legislations and laws promotes the idea of sustainable environment and aids for its further research on sustainability and new technology to make the manufacturing process more efficient and environmentally conservative.

Research Methodology:

To gather the information and data required for the report two major types of sources were used: Research on the internet and through the British standard articles and awareness packets. The manufacturing process of the product is analysed and reviewed under the legislations and rules BS887 and MADE to find out the changes the law has made on the manufacturing process to adapt the process and make it more eco-friendly and sustainable. The legislations and sources for the research are mentioned in the bibliography and on appropriate sections. The company has also done various eco-friendly tests and published articles on its results which can and have been sourced and used as a part of research for the report.

Principle of MADE:

MADE: Manufacture, Assembly, Disassembly and End of life. The principle objective of the MADE standard is to make sure the product is able to be either decomposed in an eco-friendly manner or recycled after the end of its life cycle to make sure the environment is not affected by the product. The use of MADE ensures the correct materials are selected for manufacture and the idea of eco-friendly and sustainable environment is kept in mind when choosing the material for the product with respect to the impact the use of the material will have on the environment during the its life cycle and after the end of the life cycle. As of today the materials chosen in the product we see are still not very focused on making the environment clean and conservative for the future, more than half of the product we use today are still dumped in landfills after the end of its life cycle which is harming and degrading the environment. Hence the main purpose of the MADE standard is to make the company’s and the manufacturers aware of the needs of our environment and to make sure appropriate materials are chosen for the products which can be either recycled or de-composed in a conservative manner after end of its life cycle.

Product Design Assessment:

The product being chosen to perform the analysis on is a normal house hold blender. The theory of MADE principles is going to be used for the analysis and to find out the effects a normal house blender has on our environment. The analysis helps us find solutions and improvements for the product to be better suited for the environment and to help maintain the sustainability of environment.

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The image above shows example of a common house hold blender.

Manufacture of Design: (MADE):

The manufacturing process of the blender consist of multiple pieces being moulded and shaped and then joined together to make the blender functional and operational. The materials in use for the manufacturing of the blender are also of various combination. However, the blender is shaped in a very simple shape which makes it fairly easier to manufacture the common house hold blender.

The plastic jar of the blender is composed of a material called PP (Polypropylene Plastic) shaped and moulded through a process called injection moulding process. The moulding process is performed by heating up the material to its melting point and injecting it to a cooled die where it is cooled down and moulded to its shape. The process is a very cheap method of manufacturing which also requires very low level of energy usage.

The blade of the blender on the other hand is stainless steel shaped into small sharp blade like structure which cut and blend the fruits/vegetables/ spices inserted into the jar of the blender. It is essential that the blade is made of stainless steel which has no chances of forming rust in the environment where it operates since food that we eat is being blended in the machine and hence could cause potentially illness for the user. To make sure the steel being used is stainless there should be at least 10.5% chromium in the steel, the presence of the protective iron chromium oxide allows the steel to avoid corrosions and rust. In order for the blender to be considered safe for daily house hold purposes and for it to pass the British safety standard it is vital that the blade for the blenders are of stainless steel.

The manufacturing method used to produce the blades for the blenders is the ‘Spinning’ method. The method is performed by using machinery which is mounted on a forming block against the stainless steel which is pressed on a forming block to rotate. The process in itself is not really expensive or energy consuming but it will be more economical and financially benefitting to produce at bulk with big batches.

The graph above shows how the price is affected with the batch size and shows how ordering at bulk with big numbers is more economical.

Assembly (MADE):

The design of the blender is pretty simple for assembly which requires very little time and knowledge to assemble and use. After the assembly of the blade in the jar all the parts are easily accessible and well fitted to make sure the blender is accessible and easy to use able to be cleaned fitted and opened making it easier to use and clean for household use. The design and the mechanism of the parts are very simple making the parts easy to access worldwide in case it needs repair or fixing. The source of the materials are all minimalistic and easy to access making it easier to be sourced locally making it easier and cheaper to manufacture. The cardboard of the packaging is also recyclable and eco-friendly making it more sustainable friendly for the environment.

Disassembly (MADE):

The blender consists of various different parts, which are easily constructed and assembled. The use of simple parts makes it easy to operate and assemble the blender along its life cycle. Not only that the use of simple and easy parts makes it easy to disassemble as well helps in the end of life cycle for recycle or upcycle. The use of basic and fairly simple materials for manufacturing and assembly makes it easy to disassemble and end the life cycle in a conservative manner.

End of Life Processing (MADE):

Due to the presence of heavy carbon emissions and the state that our environment is in it is essential that all the manufacturers have a plan for the end of life cycle to deal with the product in an eco-friendly and conservative manner. The company and the manufacturers need to have a plan for the management of the product even after the items have been sold and passed on to the customers. It is essential for the product to be able to keep up with the customer demand and meet the standards that have been placed for the products hence the End of the life processing is one of the most important steps as well.

Preserving our environment and keeping it alive for the future is one of the main issues and things we deal with today in our daily life and it is essential that we respect it in order to maintain the balance in our food chain and the environment. The use of stainless steel hence makes perfect sense as it is theoretically 100 % recyclable. Another key features which promotes the use of stainless steel is that it is very durable and has a long life of several decades. However, if the product has reached its end of lifecycle or has damages in it then it can easily be replaced and separated from its housing and framework. As stainless steel has no damaging effect when in contact with soil or water it can be easily re-moulded in different kinds of moulds to reuse and recycle.

Polypropylene (PP) is another material not only being used in the manufacturing of the blender but also one of the most recycled and reused material around us today. With nearly everything around us being made of some kind of plastic it is essential we recycle these materials in order to help keep our environment clean and pollution free. All the different kinds of plastic being used in production today are numbered 1-7 depending on the type of plastic and their properties. However, the body of the blender is made up of quite tough PP, which will require a special technique to recycle called the quaternary recycling process. To perform the process on such plastics which are being recycled it is incinerated at temperature of up to 900 to 1000 Degree Celsius. The use of the method can cut the waste plastic by around 80% and completely prevent pollutant escaping to the atmosphere as well. Common examples of recycled PP can be Battery Cables, Brushes, Bins, signal lights, etc. Hence the recycling and re use of every kind of plastic including the PP helps to keep our environment clean and make a more of a sustainable approach.

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Benefits of MADE:

The use of the MADE theory of analysis help us to find out of the flaws present in the blender. Comparing the usage process to the manufacturing and the designing process there is lots of usage during the manufacturing phase comparatively to the very little usage of energy during the operational life of the blender.

The graph above shows how it requires an excessive amount of energy during its production phase but very little during its operational and usage life cycle.

By finding a more energy efficient method for production and design of the blender the company could be improving in its earning and the profit margin achieved through each sale. As mentioned above in the report the use of the recycling and upcycling process on the materials can be very helpful and cost effective when either purchasing or producing the blender. The use of recycling and eco-friendly components also help to create a good image with the customers and gain their trust. Also using less dense materials, recycle and remade parts for production may help to make a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach.

Design for the Environment (DFE):

Design for Environment (DFE) can be defined as process of designing to minimize the environmental impacts and ensuring products are sustainable and eco-friendly throughout the products life cycle. The main concepts and sections that are covered and assessed by the concept of DFE are:

  • Sustainability in relation to its influence on industry
  • Designing a product with respect to the environment and how it is contributing to the sustainability of the environment
  • 4 Methods to assess a product for their impacts on the environment

Sustainability in relation to its influence on industry:

According to ‘The Bruntland Commission’, sustainability is a “development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The BSI’s overarching sustainability standard BS 8900 Guidance for managing sustainable development defines sustainability as “an enduring, balanced approach to economic activity, environmental responsibility and social progress”.

The product life cycle of the company is assessed to find out the sustainability of a company and its products. With the help of these types of assessment performed by recognised bodies like the British Standard and other company’s it adds a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to its company and its products. The achievement of approval and recognition from organisations like BS8900 can lead to approval from other organisation as such which could give them further recognition and qualification in order to achieve greater vision and solidity as well as building trust and confidence for the company and its products. Having achieved the recognition from the organisations they can also benefit from less taxation, social and green branding and a higher level of understanding on recycling and the possible different ways possible to recycle.

There are also many other types of UK/EU legislation and standards that can have influence on the industries improvement towards more sustainable earth:

BS887 – 1:

The specific standard BS887 – 1 is different from other standards because it does not teach or give instruction to the designers on how to design or seek the manufacturing process. The standard rather provides methodology for ordering the output of the process and maximises the possibility of the most efficient ways to manufacture, assemble and solve the problem of end of life for the product. The standard also focuses on the most efficient and cost effective ways to produce the design and the products.

BS8900:

This standard and legislation is based on the guidance provided to manage sustainable development and to make sure sustainable practise are taking place in the industry. The standard helps the company to grow and cut out un-necessary actions taking place in the company like bribery, abuse, oppression and corruptions, enabling the company to stand on integrity.

ISO 14001:

ISO 14001 is an environmental management system standard which fully focuses on the environment. ISO 14001 helps to promote the effective and efficient environmental management from the company. It also controls the management of energy, consumables and waste; enabling strict energy management system. This will help the company benefit from appropriate amount of energy being used for the corresponding purposes and limiting the level of carbon emissions into the atmosphere making it a more eco-friendly and sustainable company.

ISO 14025:

This standard addresses the procedures for creating environmental declarations and labels. This helps to make sure there are standardised logos which represent how green and eco-friendly the company or the manufacturer is. The standardised logos indicate the level of carbon footprint in a product and can help either gain the company a good image or a bad one depending on their performance and the stickers in the packaging.

Designing a product for the environment and how it is contributing to the sustainability:

Designing a product for the environment (DFE) process provides huge contributions towards making a business or a product highly sustainable and environmentally friendly. The objective of DFE in simple words is to reduce or prevent various different kinds of pollutions and also highlight the risks to humans and environment. DFE aims to improve products, processes and life cycle by approaching the design of the product it is also aimed to reduce the potential impacts the environment and humans may have to face or come up against. DFE applies its principles throughout the stage of its product life cycle focusing on making the steps more environmentally friendly and loss polluting hence resulting in cleaner and sustainable products. The direct result from implementation of DFE in the products life cycle can lead to prevention of various different kinds of pollution as well as reduction on the amount of toxic/ hazardous waste and chemical in the landfills.

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The picture above shows an example of a product life cycle which when under DFE legislation is focused in making the steps and their results more environmentally friendly and conservative.

The extraction process of the raw materials is going to be the most energy consuming and time consuming process of all. This is where various sources are either dug or mined to retrieve the natural resources for the manufacturing process hence there is going to be large amount pollution and energy usage. However, this can be countered by making use of the recycling process heavily and by designing the product to be as recyclable as possible, hence less natural resources have to be destroyed for raw materials to make the products.

During the process of manufacturing the various different kinds of production methods and techniques use different levels of energy and produce different levels of waste output. With the varying level of waste and usage it is hard to maintain and control the level of wastage for the manufacturing process however if the techniques and methods of manufacturing are used at its highest efficiency level the wastage is controlled to a limit and everything is controllable and manageable to a limit. Also using less dense material and energy efficient machinery can be vital during manufacturing to control the level of pollutants produced and to conserve the environment.

Also by using local sourced raw material and making use of simple designs on the product it can help by a huge margin to control the level of carbon footprints produced and pollution being caused throughout the product life cycle. Making your sources locally based allows you to control the amount of pollutants emitted during the transportation phase the shorter the journey for the transportation the less the amount of carbon footprint emitted hence it helps a great deal to be able to source locally and produce your material from raw materials around you. Also choices can be made depending on the type of transportation chosen to export / transfer your product to the market, for e.g.: Transport through sea would probably cause less pollution than if chosen to transport through air or road.

The usage period of the life cycle is when the product is operational and in use by the customer or the user. This is when the actual product that has been designed and manufactured is at it life cycle in the hand of the customer. However, there are also various ways which can help to make the product more sustainable and environmentally friendly one of them being the product is designed in a manner where it can be used more than once after it life span runs out for e.g. rechargeable batteries.

Recycling is the step where the finished material at the end of their life cycle has an option to either become a useless waste / a pollutant to the environment or to be reused in either the same product or any other product being manufactured by the manufacturers. However, the step of recycling as well is affected with the mixture and materials being used in the product. A product with complex mixed materials would make it harder and the process of recycling longer to making it more harmful and un-sanitary for the environment. Also a simpler plain material would make it easier as well as less energy consuming to recycle the materials compared to a complex material which would have to be separated and grouped before the recycling process is applied to it.

However, there are some products which cannot be recycled and need to be buried in landfills. Unless and until the buried product fully di composes and breaks down which it take a long time to it is not a sustainable method of end of life. Therefore, especially with products which cannot be recycled and need to be buried in the ground it is essential that there is no toxic material in the product which can harm the environment and the ecosystem where they are buried.

4 Methods to assess a product for their impacts on the environment:

Method

Description

Advantage

Disadvantage

1

Environmental impact assessment (EIA)

Assess the possible impacts of a product towards the environmental, social and economic effects.

Clearly shows you the negative impact on environment and sustainable issues.

Only partial assessment is performed.

2

Environmental Impact of Products (EIPRO)

Very research based analytical approach. Extremely detailed in its finding.

Data received is accurate. Solutions for present and future problems can be accessed and planned. The impact the product has on the environment can be visualised before production.

Very time consuming and financially not efficient enough.

3

Life cycle assessment (LCA)

Assesses all the industrial system from acquiring raw materials right through to waste disposals. The environmental impact of the process can be measured at each stage of the cycle.

Excellent results of environmental impact.

Good comparison of results so that decision can be made to decide which method is best for the environment.

Supports business strategy and research development

Extremely costly.

Extremely time consuming.

4

Publicly Available Specification

PAS2050

Gives methodology to measure greenhouse gas emission throughout the products’ life cycle

Benchmark to compare it with suppliers.

Good image with the customer due to eco friendliness

Could have a negative affect with the customers if the product isn’t really eco-friendly.

Reference and Bibliography

http://www.bssa.org.uk/sectors.php?id=99. Last accessed 20 March 2015.

Wrap org. (May 2010). Environment assessment of consumer electronic products. Available: http://www2.wrap.org.uk/downloads/Environmental_assessment_of_consumer_electronic_products.3d08bcb8.10214.pdf. Last accessed 13 March 2015.

Standard Publications

BS8887-1 Design for Manufacture, Assembly, Disassembly and End of Life Processing

 ISO 14001 – Environmental Management Systems

 ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment Standard

 ISO 14025 -Procedure of creating environmental declarations

LFA. http://www.british-gypsum.com/about-us/sustainability/life-cycle-assessments

Christina Goodrick. (March 2006). Design for waste minimisation within a food blender. Available: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Science-Progress/159026488.html. Last accessed 13 March 2015.

JEM. (May 2009). Adaptable design: concepts, methods, and application. Available: http://www.sustainelectronics.illinois.edu/NSFworkshop/Reading/Adaptable%20Design%20Concepts,%20Methods,%20and%20Applications.pdf. Last accessed 20 March 2015.

Azom. (28 November 2012). Polypropylene (PP) (C3H6) Plastic Recycling. Available: http://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=7899. Last accessed 20 March 2015.

Unknown. (June 2011). Environmental aspects of stainless steel.Available:


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