Achieving net-zero CO2 emissions is a major goal across all industries, but for those sectors with products that have a long life, such as aviation, the window for designing products that meet this goal is very small indeed, and the design stage is dwarfed by the in-service time during which the actual environmental impact is realized. This is compounded by regulatory constraints that limit the extent to which changes in product specification can be made and largely prevent manufacturers from making significant innovations once the necessary approvals have been achieved.
Even if there was a way of improving the carbon emissions of a machine during its lifetime, current regulations prevent adaptations from being made to the design.
Designers and manufacturers are now looking at the possibility of fitting sensors to a product which could collect performance data and automatically send it to designers. Using an AI and digital twin system, modifications to improve performance could be designed, manufactured and then fitted during routine maintenance.
However, in order to make this model of ‘reflexive engineering design’ work, an entirely different governance and assurance system is required, in essence, a continuous model of assurance during the life of the product.
BSI Manufacturing Sector Lead Ben Sheridan sees such a system as bringing huge benefits to UK industry, developing our design and engineering capability and allowing improvements to be integrated without having to start from scratch with a new design.
“In the UK we have a very strong engineering design presence, especially in the automotive and aerospace industries. With companies such as Nissan, Rolls Royce, Jaguar Land Rover and Airbus all having strong design centers in the UK, and we want to develop that capability.”
“We are at early stage in investigations regarding a standards model for reflexive engineering design, but we are very excited by the possibilities,” said Ben.
To learn more about 'reflexive engineering design' we have created a webinar to discuss how this new approach to engineering design can help achieve the net-zero targets, and also how to create trusted and reliable collaborative tools to help bring this about. Join Martin Aston, Airbus and David Mudd, BSI who talk about how the use of digital innovation will drive future design and the key challenges facing assurance. Watch the on-demand webinar now: Moving towards Net Zero – engineering a sustainable and resilient world.