1997-04-08

Life Cycle Inventories - New Experiences to Save Environmental Loads and Costs 971171

The Institute for Polymer Testing and Polymer Science (IKP) is an independent institute of the University of Stuttgart. For approximately 8 years work is done on the field of Life Cycle Engineering. The first couple of years knowledge about the production of materials was collected within plenty industrial cooperation. Parallel to this a methodology for the Life Cycle Engineering approach and a software system (GaBi 1.0-2.0) were developed.
Based on these information, projects for balancing single parts like bumpers, fender, air intake manifolds and oil filters followed by projects handling more complex parts or processes like several body in white, headlights, fuel tanks, green tire or coating processes were done to establish the methodology of Life Cycle Engineering as a tool for decision makers and weak point analysis. Parallel to this a methodology for an Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) for the system automobile was developed in cooperation with the Volkswagen AG in 1993. Finally complex systems like paint shops or whole automobiles (Golf) were investigated.
This paper will demonstrate what is included in the methodology mentioned above (chapter 2) and furthermore results of the first complete LCI for an Golf (Volkswagen AG) /1, 2/ will be shown (chapter 3/4). A discussion of the experiences and consequent development of the methodology of Life Cycle Engineering is given (chapter 4).
For future projects in the automotive industry the relation between environmental aspects and the economics will have great influence on an effective usage of Life Cycle Engineering as a tool for optimizing environmental loads and costs of products and processes.

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