PA’s Mike Paton, a manufacturing expert, is quoted in the Financial Times Sustainable Business special report. Mike comments on how manufacturers, especially in mature economies, are becoming smarter in the way they make and design products to cut waste and energy use.
Manufacturers are now also looking at improving a product’s environmental performance at the design stage, a process which is being helped along by IT. Computer-aided design (Cad) is a key element of this and the speed of development of modern Cad software and the fact designers can produce photo-realistic simulations, is helping with everything from building design to making electronic components. Mike comments: “Cad has come on … It allows you to do early assessments of ideas that have traditionally taken quite a long time to put in front of consumers.”
Commenting on the more sophisticated physical prototyping techniques, including 3D printing but also stereo lithography, SLS – or selective laser sintering – and wire erosion are helping to put computerised ideas into physical form, Mike says: “These allow prototypes to be built to very accurate tolerances.”
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