Publications in Scientific Journals:

H. Ostad Ahmad Ghorabi, D. Collado-Ruiz:
"Tool for the Environmental Assessment of Cranes Based on Parameterization";
International Journal Of Life Cycle Assessment, 16 (2011), 5; 392 - 400.

English abstract:
Abstract Background, aim and scope: Information constitutes one of the main barriers for applying LCA, due to complexity and need for great amounts of it. However, most of the parameters that determine the data are defined early in the product development process. Knuckle-boom-cranes constitute a complex product, which poses a particularly pressing need for simplification. This paper models the LCA inventory information out of design parameters. The paper also presents a tool implementing this.

Materials and methods: To develop the parametric model, a three step approach is followed. In the first step, knuckleboom crane designers of an international manufacturer are asked to point out key design parameters. An LCA is then conducted for a representative crane of the same manufacturer. Interdependencies between design parameters and inventories are analyzed. Design parameters influencing the LCA results are defined as primary parameters. Parameters through which it is possible to calculate the LCA inventory are defined as secondary parameters. The relation between primary and secondary parameters is analyzed. Indicators are developed for comparison, and the validity of this parametric model is checked by analyzing six more cranes, different in size and performance.

Results: The parametric model presented in this paper contains 13 primary parameters. Their link to secondary parameters and inventory data is through formulas derived from existing documentation, physical interdependencies or statistical data. To integrate this model in the design workflow, it is embedded into a software tool. Designers input the primary parameters, and the tool allows a visualization and benchmarking of environmental impact results. Three indicators related to weight and environmental performance are defined, as well as the means to benchmark in relative terms. The model diverges in never more than 4% for 6 additional cranes analyzed.

Discussion: Through the parametric model, a rigorous estimation of the environmental profile of a crane can already be assessed in an early point of the product development process. Results can be used to define targets for design decisions, based on the best-performing products. Recommendations and perspectives: The statistics-based estimations carried out by the tool can be further improved getting a wider range of cranes involved. Differences between these products can increase the understanding of the effect of technology-choices in the final environmental impact of the product. This may become particularly useful in early design decisions. The potentials of this parametric approach can also be extended to other types of products.

Simplified LCA, Product modeling, Engineering Design, Ecodesign, Result visualization, Environmental performance indicator, Cranes

"Official" electronic version of the publication (accessed through its Digital Object Identifier - DOI)

Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.