Energy consumption during the use phase often contributes significantly to the overall energy demand and to the environmental impacts of an elect(on)ic product’s lifecycle. Therefore, regulations, standards, and customers tend to demand that the electronic industry supplies products with lesser consumption. However, manufacturers lack of systematic methods and tools to integrate energy consumption into their design projects from the early design phases.
This paper presents the Synergico method which is meant to be incorporated in the current design practices of manufacturing companies, therefore helping design more energetically efficient electr(on)ic products without compromising the other design criteria (ergonomics, performances, usage value, quality, cost, delay, etc.). This method is based on three tools to use from the earliest design phases.
Firstly, an In-Use Energy consumption indicator providing an assessment of the energy consumption during the use phase during each design phase. Thanks to the consideration of several use scenarios, it calculates values of the product’s energy consumption for each product sub-assembly, and each operating mode, thus monitoring the consumption and compliance of a product with design objectives. Secondly, a Guideline-based tool adapted to electronic products. These guidelines can easily be filtered to consider only the most relevant ones according to the context (design phase, expert concerned, scope of the guideline, etc.). Thirdly, a Lifecycle Check tool to verify that no pollution trade-offs, between life cycle phases, would hinder the design of an energy efficient product with good overall environmental performances. A case study illustrates the use and integration of the Synergico method and the way it coordinates the tools.