Makersite, a groundbreaking open data platform created by Everycs that aims to make better products faster, has developed a first-of-its-kind modeling app that simultaneously calculates a product’s production costs, its compliance and its effect on environment and health across the whole value chain, from manufacturing to supply chain and disposal
Price: free trial (30 days) / Free Academic version / Analyst (€99 + VAT / month – 30 days trial) / Business (contact)
Runs offline: yes, via an specific plugin for Excel
Website of the developer: Everycs
Makersite is more than a LCA database. It is is a data fusion platform that allows you to easily calculate the environmental impact, costs and risks of your products. Contains information from more than 20 national and international databases, some of which are as well known as ecoinvent.
According to a recent interview with one of its founders, Christoph Wilfert, published by Sustainable Brands, Makersite includes natively «over 10,000 product models including their costs, 36,000 industrial processes, 80 million chemical substances and their properties, 70,000 materials, 600,000 environmental impacts and over 9,000 product regulations».
The main objective of Makersite, unlike other LCA tools, is to facilitate product management and life cycle analysis by providing transparent supply chain information that can be shared with colleagues, partners and customers. The data is constantly updated to include new regulations or variations in products, which allows you to update products and design goods with the best cost-benefit ratio and the lowest environmental and health impact.
This tool, in addition to including a design option from scratch, offers advice on how to improve existing products. This is done through a search engine that offers alternative materials, suppliers and manufacturing processes.
Makersite offers multiple interaction options according to the needs of each user. The web app includes three main start points:
- Setup, to create your design from scratch.
- Examples, with several examples that you can use as a starting point.
- Tour, which includes several step by step tutorials that guide you through the different options of the tool.
The different applications available are sorted according to the area they are aimed at:
- Tools incorporate utilities such as a product comparator that allows to compare the different production cycles.
- Business includes options such as a supplier search engine. It also provides access to files containing the raw materials or processes required for the manufacture of different products as well as costing tools.
- Environment integrates tools to explore and reduce supply chain emissions, analyze ecotoxicity or eutrophication.
- Health assesses chemical risks or the presence of carcinogenic substances.
- Regulations includes the regulations that affect your supply chain.
For each of these, you also have several types of visualization of the production process: Sankey diagrams, choroplast maps, heat maps, tables, etc.
The screenshots correspond to the web application.
Images: screenshots 20/06/2018. © Makersite
Taking into account the multiple options offered by Makersite, it has been decided to record the video following one of the tutorials included in the platform related to the manufacturing process of a photovoltaic panel (4 min 07 sec).
According to the Directive 2009/125/EC, eco-design is defined as «integration of environmental aspects into product design with the aim of improving the environmental performance of the product throughout its whole life cycle». In other words, the adoption of a series of good practices in the life cycle analysis of a product reduces possible environmental impacts and costs. At the same time, it responds to the demands of the market, which demands increasingly efficient products in terms of energy consumption and resources and a clear commitment to the circular economy.
But how can all these aspects be taken into account? The software programs created for this purpose can be an interesting ally. I acknowledge that I am not an expert in ecodesign and therefore I will not make a comparison between Makersite and other similar programs (SimaPro, GaBi, etc.), but if you are a design professional, I think it’s worth taking a look at Makersite and, if you like, count your impressions in the comments section.