In this work a method for identifying the key points and supporting an eco-design activity for SMEs is presented. Amongst the different concurrent approaches in the literature, Active Innovation Management (AIM), is currently developing, jointly with the University of Bergamo, an integrated approach based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and TRIZ eco-guidelines. The main goal of this integration is to simplify the eco-design approach in order to make it accessible to European small medium enterprises (SMEs). All activities are part of a European Community (EC) project called REMake. The proposed method consists of a preliminary scan of a given product or process in order to disclose all involved flows of material and energy, and to assess its environmental impact by means of traditional LCA indexes. The hot points of the process are then identified adding to classical LCA criteria a brand new index, called the "IFR index", conceived from the TRIZ "Ideal System" concept. Once key points are identified, a set of 330 eco-design guidelines are introduced to develop alternatives and modifications to the given system with the aim of providing a lower global environmental impact. A first version of those guidelines [3, 8, and 9] was conceived starting from the eight natural Laws of Evolution of Technical System (LTSE) introduced by Altshuller . Here an extended version allows the user to work in each phase of the product life cycle, and integrates other TRIZ tools and best eco-practices. Preliminary results of the application in SMEs will be presented with a case study concerning a textile home-furnishings and bed linen painting company. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Russo, D., Bersano, G., Birolini, V., & Uhl, R. (2011). European testing of the efficiency of TRIZ in eco-innovation projects for manufacturing SMEs. In Procedia Engineering (Vol. 9, pp. 157–171). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2011.03.109