Life cycle thinking in the design for environment aware work machines

Hannele Tonteri, Saija Vatanen, Reima Lahtinen, Markku Kuuva

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    The report was prepared in the Design for Environment of Work Machines project. The following companies formed the project management group: Valtra Inc., Timberjack Oy, Ponsse Oyj, Rautaruukki Oyj, Sandvik Tamrock Corp., Kalmar Industries Oy Ab, Oy M-Filter Ab, Junkkari Muovi Oy and Kuusakoski Oy. The main objectives of Design for Environment (DFE) are to reduce negative environmental impacts during a product's life cycle, to save natural resources and to cut the amount of non-recyclable non-reusable waste. Achieving these targets calls for a variety of development actions which complement each other and cover the entire life cycle of a product. This report includes DFE solutions presented in literature and implemented by the companies taking part in the project. The project developed the idea of assessing different the recyclability of different materials during product design. More advanced knowledge of recyclability was achieved during the development of recyclability instructions by examining the most common materials found in work machines instead of different material groups. Existing information about the recyclability of materials was defined e.g. with the companies using scrap as raw material. Information about the mechanical properties of materials was included in the instructions in a bid to improve usability levels. The findings show that environmental declarations are little used and differ from each other. Environmental declarations are based on life cycle assessment and additional environmental information, which includes e.g. the amount of recycled material found in a product and information about poisonous substances such as pesticides found in textiles. Lately, also work machine manufacturers have published environmental declarations. Improving the usability of environmental information requires establishing comprehensive principles both for the production and presentation of such information. A more uniform way of presenting environmental factors also helps to make company to company questionnaires, e.g. supplier questionnaires, and to answer them. The need to present data for life cycle inventory analysis, in line with life cycle assessment and taking into consideration the wider environmental impacts, will arise in the near future. Owing to the particular nature of the method concerned, it seems likely that life cycle assessment will continue to be conducted by specialists.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages32
    ISBN (Print)951-38-6130-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2003
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Research Notes


    • life cycle thinking
    • life cycle assessment
    • LCA
    • work machines
    • environmental impacts
    • design for environment
    • recyclability


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