With the aim of optimizing the environmental footprint of its products and designing them CO2-neutral in the long term throughout their life cycle, Vitesco Technologies, a leading supplier of advanced drive technologies and electrification solutions, is intensively researching so-called Life Cycle Engineering (LCE).
Life cycle engineering (LCE) means that when designing and developing a product, the environmental footprint of the entire value chain is taken into account – from the extraction of raw materials for delivered parts, through their production and transportation to the use of the finished product. and its recycling at the end of its life – to optimize these aspects using scientific methods.
As a provider of climate-friendly mobility solutions, we are committed to meeting high sustainability requirements. Our business model is based on the understanding that our products significantly reduce CO2 emissions from vehicles. Our goal is to make our production activities 100 percent neutral by 2040 at the latest and to make all our business processes in the value chain completely CO2 neutral. To do this, we want to create a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for all new product groups – which our customers, OEMs from all over the world, are increasingly requesting.
Anja Rivera de la Cruz, Head of Sustainability at Vitesco Technologies
This allows the company to analyze and make transparent how its products affect the climate throughout their life cycle.
Vitesco Technologies also contributes its expertise to the “Umwelt Produkt” working group of the Verband der Deutschen Automobilindustrie (Association of the German Automotive Industry) and to several CLEPA initiatives related to life cycle assessments. The company’s expertise is in high demand with automakers and suppliers who also want to introduce life cycle assessments into their businesses. “Only when you know the CO2 footprint of your own actions or a product, you can also take appropriate measures or select materials to reduce the impact on the environment. We can benefit from years of experience, extensive databases and highly specialized tools,” explains Khosrau Heidary, Head of Life Cycle Engineering at Vitesco Technologies.
Prof. dr. dr. Alexander Martin from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the Fraunhofer IIS, a proven expert in life cycle engineering, considers the company a pioneer when it comes to automating life cycle assessments: “Vitesco Technologies has developed highly innovative, scientifically sound concepts in many areas that are unmatched in the industry. Virtually all major companies are working on this topic and are currently in the analysis phase. Vitesco Technologies has already completed that phase and is taking a leading role in the supply industry by implementing life cycle engineering in its business processes.”
As long as a product consists of several components, countless possibilities arise for its development and assembly. These include different design methods, materials, suppliers, supply routes and production methods, as Heidary explains: “We use mathematical methods to determine which combination can optimize a product’s environmental footprint. On this basis, we in the Life Cycle Engineering team develop an environmentally friendly product – with consistently high quality and the lowest possible costs.”
The pilot project for this initiative at Vitesco Technologies was the life cycle assessment of a high voltage converter – a very complex product with many components that are also used in other areas of electric vehicles. For this alone, approximately 400 individual components and all steps in the value chain were collected and analyzed. The method, with which life cycle analyzes can be automatically optimized, was developed in collaboration with the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. After the successful pilot phase, this method is now being introduced in development, production and business processes as part of the life cycle engineering program.
SOURCE: Vitesco Technologies