Determination of the carbon footprint of different drive types of production plants

  Process chain Production Operation End-of-Life

It is currently not possible for SMEs to calculate the Product Carbon Footprint of their products because the necessary resources are lacking.
In the field of fluid-technical and electromechanical linear drives, as they are the subject of the proposed project, there are so far no applications for SMEs to estimate the environmental and climate impacts.
The aim of the project is the development of a concrete determination procedure with integrated calculation method, which is based on the approaches of the standard DIN EN ISO 14067 and which presents these in a user-friendly way to a manufacturer or user of linear actuators.

Benefit Procedure
Assessment of the climate impact of the planned production facilities Systematization of the drives and composition of the application functions
Transferability to less standardized drives Creation of a database of environmental impacts
The PCF represents the base for a systematic CO2 reduction Conception of a calculation method



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Product Carbon Footprint for linear drives

The research project focuses on the systematic determination of the Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) of fluidic and electromechanical linear drives in production plants, which account for a very large part of the drive technology of production plants. The method is implemented in a practical calculation tool, which enables SMEs to estimate the climate impact of a planned production plant with little effort.

  Life cycle analysis Life cycle analysis

Especially in automation applications, the various linear drive technologies are in direct competition with each other, which is why the PCF is an important criterion for a sustainable investment decision. The widespread use of linear drives is exemplified by the turnover of the German pneumatics industry, which amounted to approximately 2.3 billion euros in 2014. Starting from the standardized linear drives, the calculation tool can be transferred to other, less standardized drives and successively expanded after the research project. One challenge is the determination of the PCF in accordance with the standards. The basis for this is the technical standard DIN EN ISO 14067, which defines the requirements, principles and guidelines for the quantification of the PCF based on international standards for life cycle assessment (ISO 14040 and ISO 14044). Additionally abstract general conditions like the obligatory use of the four phases of a life cycle assessment, the division of the process modules into life cycle stages, the allocation of emissions to corresponding life cycle stages, etc.are defined.


Graphical analysis of the CO2 - Analysis

Pie chart of the CO2-equivalent CO2-equivalent throughout the product life cycle

The findings resulting from the calculation can be displayed graphically and help assigning the CO2 equivalent to the respective life cycle stages. From this, optimization potentials can be derived, in order for parameter studies to be carried out to determine whether alternative materials, processes or transport routes are worthwhile for reducing environmental impacts.



The research project Carbon Footprint in Fluid Technology is funded by the AiF Research Association. The ifas would like to thank all participants who contributed to the success of the study during the expert interviews and during the project-accompanying committees.

  Copyright: AIF  


Rückert, Marcel, et al.: "Online Life Cycle Assessment for Fluid Power Manufacturing Systems–Challenges and Opportunities." IFIP International Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems. Springer, Cham, 2018.