Young eco-designer gives second birth to furniture with 3DEXPERIENCE

By Zoe

Welcome back! :-) This is our third installment in the Leapfrog Project series.  Today, we’ll take a look at a project called “Reborn” and its main lead designer, Hong.

The Reborn Project is a collection of living-room furniture created with up-cycled materials, and produced by Beautiful Company. The Reborn Project has been led by Hoang Thu Hong, one of the Sustainable Product Innovation (SPIN) project designers (you could see her being interviewed as part of the video in the previous post).

The Company

Beautiful Company is a small Vietnamese wood company making products for domestic market. To differentiate themselves, they wanted to make sustainable products out of up-cycled products. The challenge is as big as, culturally in Vietnam using brand new products is better seen than recycling, as it is a sign of wealth and prosperity.

The Reborn Collection

Hoang Thu Hong, Designer of the Reborn Collection

The Reborn collection aims on balancing aesthetic and function, creating beautiful furniture out of upcycled and recycled material.

Firstly, the concept is based on customers’ need to create functional and time-saving products. As Hong explained:

They want products to organize their place in a smart way, with a good atmosphere, relax and easy-clean. Besides, they tend to choose objects with multiple functions.

Secondly, the designs are based on up-cycling principle which is to reuse object or material in a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original. Hong used secondhand discarded furniture and collected pallet wood from import/export industry to recreate innovative and modular designs.

Sustainable Design Methodology

Based on Design for Sustainability (D4S) methodology of the SPIN project, Hong, and Beautiful Company worked with 3 sustainable design dimensions:

  • Recycled material
  • Local material
  • Longer Lifetime of the products

Local material

“There are variety local materials which could create better quality products using good skilled Vietnamese craftsman.” Hong said. Furthermore, using local materials reduces the environmental impact of transportation and preserving the local eco-system.

As an example, using pine wood from pallet wood in Vietnam instead of wood imported from South America (which is often the case in Vietnamese furniture production), we estimated a reduction of the environmental footprint from 6 to 12%, depending on the indicator.

SOLIDWORKS Sustainability results on localizing material

Recycled material

On the first hand, Hong used pallet wood from the import/export industry in which she chose the most adapted to re-design.

Different types of Palette wood

On the other hand, Hong went hunting for old furniture to recover some useful parts of them, such as these bed heads.

Bed heads before up-cycling

Hong used SOLIDWORKS apps to design the new products based on the second-hand product design, on which she design the new parts, such as making a sofa with storage units.

Redesign of the Bed head in SOLIDWORKSRedesign of the Bed head in SOLIDWORKS

We estimated that using 100% recycled material, like pallet wood reduce the environmental footprint from 48 to 76%, depending on the indicator!

SOLIDWORKS Sustainability results after choosing recycled material

Longer Lifetime of the products

Finally, by creating products that up-cycled instead of thrown away, their lifetime is extended. With a longer lifetime, we consume fewer products and reduce the environmental impacts.

The reborn sofa during manufacturing phaseThe reborn sofa during manufacturing phase

 

Results

Finally Hong and the Beautiful Company created a collection that has an average of 40 to 90% of carbon footprint cut-off, depending on the products. “Now the collection is displayed in Hang Xanh (Green Street) showroom where awareness and education is provided about how to up-cycle old products to give a longer life-time”, Hong said.

The Reborn SofaReborn sofas in Green Street

Inspired by the Reborn Project, Hong continues to create innovative designs out of pallet wood, hoping to produce them soon.

Palette Wood Collection SOLIDWORKS ModelPalet Wood Modular Chair & Bed SOLIDWORKS Models

If you are interested by other use cases, educational materials, and news about the Leapfrog Project, stay tuned and follow the frog

Leapfrog Project series

Zoe BEZPALKOZoé BEZPALKO is an Eco-Design Specialist at Dassault Systèmes

Reveal, Reuse, Reduce – Part 2: Reusing Existing Parts

By Karin

Hi—It’s Karin from EXALEAD again! This post is the second installment of a three-part series about product parts management that we call “Reveal, Reuse, Reduce”. Let’s continue with “Reusing Existing Parts”! (see Part 1: Revealing Existing Parts if you missed it)

The Cost of Creating New Parts

Confronted with the need for a specific part to meet form, fit, and function requirements for a new product design, engineers currently face two undesirable choices: they can waste valuable time manually trying to find a suitable part—frequently a daunting task that just takes too long—or they can give up on the search and create a new part.

EXALEAD OnePart

While the decision to design a new part may be the most convenient and fastest course of action for the individual engineer, he or she may not be aware that its impact trickles down throughout the entire product development and manufacturing organization—unnecessarily increasing part counts and slowing time-to-market. In product development alone, new part designs have to be analyzed, validated, and prototyped, steps that can consume valuable R&D resources. Moreover, by making something new instead of utilizing tried-and-tested designs, new part development can increase the risk of problems related to quality and manufacturability.

After a new part leaves product development, it creates additional work and costs for every downstream department, from sourcing, production, inventory, and distribution to sales, marketing, and support. New tool paths will have to be created, materials will need to be procured, and new part numbers will have to be added to user, service, and ordering publications, actions that are best avoided if possible.

The Value of Existing Parts

Instead of creating a new part, designers and engineers can look for a similar one amongst legacy parts. Because of the advantages surrounding the use of existing designs, every aspect of a manufacturing enterprise and extended supply chain—including product design, engineering, documentation, procurement, purchasing, manufacturing, inventory, distribution, service, sales, marketing, and management—will become more efficient, ensuring high levels of quality while accelerating time-to-market.

In fact, a wealth of value is lying dormant in the form of existing parts and assemblies, which designers and engineers can often incorporate into new product innovations. According to The Aberdeen Group, a leading information technology and business intelligence research analyst, the annual carrying costs of introducing a new part number range between $4,500 and $23,000 per item, making duplicate part proliferation a known source of cost exposure. These costs represent the hidden treasure buried beneath an enterprise’s voluminous data infrastructure—costs that directly impact throughput, productivity and, ultimately, profit margins.

EXALEAD OnePart

This unwieldy mass of data contains not only 2D and 3D product designs—in the form of CAD models and engineering drawings—but also a cornucopia of associated information, ranging from analysis reports, tool paths, and bills of materials (BOMs) to assembly and user documentation, quotes and orders, inventory and service reports, and other design and production information. However, extracting the potential value hidden within this mountain of data requires an efficient and cost-effective means for finding, accessing, and leveraging existing design assets to facilitate future product development through design reuse.

Reveal Hidden Assets & Reuse Legacy Parts

As we saw in the previous post, before existing parts can be reused, all potential parts that might satisfy a specific set of requirements need to be located, sorted, and evaluated. With an integrated search experience, a variety of search terms and approaches are leveraged to locate not only design models with suitable geometries but also any and all related metadata. Beginning with a search using descriptors of the part, such as part number or color, project name, file type, the original designer’s name, and more, the search is refined according to its features. From there, the user can compare similar parts and find linked content to make the right, informed, documented reuse decision in less than two minutes.

Once a set of existing parts that might fit the need is found, the user further interrogates information about possible candidates in order to identify the most suitable part for the job. For example, a part with a specific load rating, that’s available in inventory, or manufactured in a certain geographic location, may be required. Because an integrated search experience gives one the ability to find and access all metadata related to a part, the user will be in a much better position to determine and select the part that best satisfies the particular situation.

Who Benefits from an Integrated Search Experience

By utilizing the EXALEAD OnePart web-inspired, easy-to-use search system that extends beyond traditional shape search and does not require knowledge of CAD, every interested member of the organization will have access to in-context product design information and can thus contribute to cost reductions and productivity gains related to design reuse. The wide range of users ensures rapid and dramatic ROI in a matter of months, recuperating software, maintenance, services, and hardware investments throughout the enterprise.

Each time a part gets reused, savings of $1,000 to $14,000 per year are realized, depending on the industry. Productivity gains are found throughout the following departments:

Engineering

Designers and engineers will be more productive devoting more time to high-value new projects, delivering them faster. These productivity improvements will extend beyond product development while alleviating the informational demands on designers and engineers.

Quality

As there are few risks associated with using existing, proven parts that have already been tested, quality improvements are inevitable.

Manufacturing

Incorporating an existing part into a new product is a “known quantity” for the manufacturing team. Personnel and manufacturing time are saved, as are time and costs incurred by tooling.

Bidding & Procurement

Reusing parts decreases stocking costs, leading to savings without damaging important relations with suppliers. The purchasing organization will identify and analyze the right parts more efficiently, making more informed decisions about producing or buying parts.

Sales

Streamlining the product catalog lets sales associates better focus their pre-sales and support efforts.

Most importantly, the above productivity gains impact the bottom line:

Management

The time saved by engineers and others leads to cost savings that can be reallocated to other programs, potentially to launching new products. Lowering the number of assets decreases working capital, so more cash is available to devote to other projects.

The value created by an integrated search experience is clear. Ultimately, customer satisfaction and loyalty improve thanks to faster time-to-market and higher quality, so the investment is easily justified.

In Part 3, “Reduce”, we’ll explore how an integrated search experience can reduce duplicate parts.

In the meantime, to see how much your company could save with parts reuse, check out our personalized interactive simulation app!

EXALEAD OnePart

Introducing the Leapfrog Project: Building Next-Generation Eco-Imagineers in Emerging Countries

By Zoe

In a previous post, we introduced the concept of Leapfrogging for Sustainability as the ability of emerging countries to skip less-efficient and more-polluting practices to directly jump to the most advanced green technologies. With these concepts in mind, we came up with an innovative initiative in Vietnam named the Leapfrog Project.

Leapfrog Project

Why Vietnam?

Today many emerging countries are among the most vulnerable countries to climate change, and Vietnam has recently being ranked the 13th country as “extreme risk” in a recent study, with dramatic effects on the people and the environment.

Maplecroft's Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2013

Furthermore, Vietnam has a big industry of textile and garments (40% of its GDP) which supplies and exports to western countries: from bamboo lamps to soft toys , and as companies and customers are more demanding for better products and cleaner supply chains, it is becoming necessary for Vietnam to lead sustainable innovation.

Sewing Room in Softtoy factory in HCMC

Finally, with a GDP growth at an average of over 7% annually during the past 10 years, and a highly educated and motivated population, Vietnam is part of the “innovation learner” countries ranked by the Global Innovation Index (GII), among the most efficient global innovators, demonstrating rising level of innovation results.

The Leapfrog Project

In 2010, we connected with one of these innovative projects funded by SWITCH-ASIA European program, called SPIN which stands for Sustainable Product INnovation. Their objective is to increase the social and environmental quality of the products made in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia by deploying eco-design methodologies and clean technologies in local businesses. Watch the video below to learn more about SPIN and examples of sustainable products they are working on:

YouTube Preview Image

In 2012, we asked ourselves the question whether the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform from Dassault Systèmes could accelerate the leap, for this upcoming generation of designers and engineers, to sustainable innovation practices.  And that is how we build together a partnership with SPIN stakeholders called the Leapfrog Project.

A Jump ahead in Sustainable Innovation

At the beginning of the project, we provided Dassault Systèmes’ solutions to the SPIN designers and engineers, in order to help them taking the right decisions at the right time, and improving their design processes: selecting the right material, simulate while maintaining the mechanical properties and protecting the environment. We supported them with local partners and trainings, as well as specific materials that were adequate to their needs and methodologies, to bring their ideas to life.

YouTube Preview Image
By connecting the SPIN team, to experts, designers, and sustainability passionate worldwide, we created a community in which we can all share ideas and 3D models to collaborate and foster sustainable innovation.

Local support of the Leapfrog Project - SPIN training

Finally, with local companies’ capacities, and the SPIN designers supported by the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, we designed and re-designed more than 40 different products, manufactured in Vietnam, and reduced their environmental impacts from 10 to 80% off their initial carbon footprint!

The Cabinet - Leapfrog Design from 3D to real

In the upcoming weeks, we will post more information, use cases and educational materials about the Leapfrog Project and sustainable innovation, so follow the frog

IF WE leap to collaborative eco-design, we can live in a cleaner world… Take the leap with us! :-)

Zoe BEZPALKO

Zoé BEZPALKO is an Eco-Design Specialist at Dassault Systèmes



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