Brief Analysis No. 20: Resource Efficiency through Product Development Measures

Product development has a fundamental influence on the resource efficiency of a product. Resource-conscious and forward-looking product development can significantly influence the use of materials and consequently the cost expenditure along the entire product life cycle. With regard to finite re-sources, it should be a pillar of the strategic orientation of the business.

  • Brief Analysis
The picture shows a metal component lying on a sketch of itself.© Jennewein Photo/

Brief Analysis No. 19: Resource efficiency through biomimetics

Biomimetics combines biology and technology in an interdisciplinary collaboration. It is an interdisciplinary field that is not limited to a research or industrial sector. The aim of biomimetics is to solve technical problems by abstraction, transfer and application of knowledge gained from biological models. Their application in the product development process as innovation method enables innovative technical solutions. These can give companies competitive advantages.

  • Brief Analysis
The image is divided into two parts. The left half shows the close-up of the vein structure of a leaf and the right half shows a structure similar to it, embossed in metal.© Ulrich Grunewald

Brief Analysis No. 18: Resource Efficiency through Remanufacturing

Remanufacturing is a central measure for increasing resource efficiency. The material and energy expenditure for the manufacture of a product and the associated costs are lowered. Through remanufacturing the original high level of value added is retained and the dependence on import of critical raw materials is reduced. Remanufacturing as a key component of a circular economy is viewed as being the preferred option for closing material loops, particularly compared with recycling, and possesses a high resource efficiency potential.

  • Brief Analysis
The picture shows a close-up of a mechanism with a belt. Different gears mesh with each other.© Tomasz Zajda/

Ecological and economic Assessment of Resource Use: Water-miscible cooling Lubricants

Cooling lubricants (coolants) are of great importance in metal cutting and forming. They increase the productivity and cost-effectiveness of the processes. In companies in the metalworking industry, water-miscible cooling lubricants are used in around 90 % of machining processes. They consist of a mostly mineral oil-based base oil and an additive package.

  • Studies
Das Bild zeigt die Anwendung eines Kühlschmierstoffs an einer Produktionsmaschine.© Kadmy/

Resource Efficiency through Industry 4.0 – Potential for SMEs in the Manufacturing Sector

The digital transformation in industrial production offers considerable potential for increasing material and energy efficiency in companies. At the same time, the digitisation technologies used also require resources themselves: materials, including critical raw material, are used in the production of ICT components. Furthermore, the digital transformation can lead to higher energy consumption. The study "Resource efficiency through industry 4.0 - Potentials for SMEs in the manufacturing sector" focuses on this conflict between opportunities and challenges.

  • Studies
Das Bild zeigt eine Mindmap, in deren Mitte 4.0 zu lesen ist. An den Enden der Arme sind verschiedene Icons zu sehen, die für industrielle Produktion stehen.© VDI ZRE

Brief Analysis No. 17: Resource Efficiency in Lightweight Engineering

Lightweight construction is a prime example of demonstrating the potential of resource efficiency. Resource efficiency potentials in the utilisation phase of mobile products have already been investigated frequently and are widely known. In addition, the various lightweight engineering strategies and materials also offer opportunities for increasing resource efficiency in the production phase and in recycling and disposal.

  • Brief Analysis
Das Bild zeigt den Rohbau eines Autos vor einem weißen Hintergrund.© Alfred-Wegener-Institut

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