Autodesk software to integrate Granta technology

Paul Boughton
Autodesk and Granta Design have announced a new strategic partnership, combining Autodesk's Digital Prototyping vision with Granta's materials information and eco design technology to help enable sustainable product design.
Granta and Autodesk are co-developing software that will add new sustainable design capabilities to Autodesk software, helping designers to estimate the environmental impact of a product and make more sustainable design decisions. The new tools will access and use data from Granta's materials information database. As nearly 80 per cent of a product's environmental footprint is determined during the design phase, the combination of the companies' technologies stands to impact on manufacturers of all sizes seeking to optimise product sustainability.
Robert 'Buzz' Kross, senior vice president of the Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk, comments: "The ability to optimise material selection based on environmental impact, in addition to cost and performance, is crucial to today's manufacturers. We believe that companies of all sizes - not just large enterprises - deserve ready access to this information, and our partnership with Granta will help deliver that capability to Autodesk customers worldwide."
Materials analysis and selection is increasingly important for companies to control a product design's environmental impact, both to respond to customer demand and to comply with regulation. For example, the US Federal Trade Commission is in the process of updating its 'Green Guides', requiring manufacturers that claim their products are made with renewable materials to say how much of the product is manufactured with those materials, what those materials are, how they are sourced and why they are considered renewable. In Europe, the European Union's recent Eco-design of Energy-Related Products Directive requires companies to use best practice in design for the environment to minimise the environmental impact of energy-using products and energy-related products.
Dr David Cebon, managing director of Granta Design, says: "The market must consider sustainability for myriad reasons. Granta is a leading innovator in data and tools for practical eco design. By partnering with Autodesk, with their breadth of industry-leading manufacturing solutions, we hope to make it easy for companies to adopt sustainable design practices into their processes."
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