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Industrial manufacturing is coming full circle

4 минут на чтение Январь 22, 2023

With customers, partners and governments increasingly requiring industrial manufacturers to minimize their environmental impact, sustainability is becoming a matter of survival. But a commitment to science-based targets for reducing carbon emissions or, carbon neutral targets, must be backed by credible actions. The concept of eco-design offers industrial manufacturers a powerful opportunity to walk the talk.

According to The World Economic Forum, the industrial sector, which includes the manufacturing industry, consumes an estimated 50% of the world’s energy resources and accounts for approximately one fifth of the global greenhouse gas emissions. Specific to products and tools from Atlas Copco, more than 90% of these emissions are generated after the production stage, when the products are being used. If this number can be assumed to be valid in the overall industrial manufacturing market, then the concept of eco-design can make a real sustainable difference.

Sustainability starts on the drawing board

First introduced in 1996, ecological design, or eco-design, is an approach to designing products and services that gives special consideration to the environmental impacts of a product over its entire lifecycle. In other words, eco-design is the process of integrating environmental considerations into design and development with the goal of reducing the environmental impact of products throughout their lifecycle, from manufacturing, utilization to recycling or disposal.

Eco-design is the backbone of the circular economy and aside from creating benefits for the environment, it also offers substantial potential savings and operational efficiencies to manufacturers.

Zeba Usmani

“Eco-design is about designing and efficiently producing new or improved products that provide sustainable and tangible benefits for customers in terms of productivity, energy efficiency and reduced costs throughout the products entire lifecycle”

Zeba Usmani Eco-Design Engineer at the Atlas Copco MVI Industry Division

At the core of eco-design are a number of fundamental environmental considerations that range throughout the entire lifecycle of a product from production, utilization to recycling or disposal:


  • Use durable materials with less environmental impact
  • Use fewer materials in the manufacturing process
  • Use recycled and easily recyclable materials
  • Use fewer resources, whereas energy is an example, in the manufacturing process
  • Produce less pollution and waste


  • Reduce the environmental impacts of product distribution
  • Ensure that products use fewer resources when used by end-customers
  • Ensure that products cause less pollution and waste when used by end-customers
  • Optimize the function of products and ensure efficient and relevant service

Recycling or disposal

  • Enable and simplify reuse and recycling
  • Reduce the environmental impact of disposal
Eco-designed tool model

The Tensor ITB-A nutrunner

A real life example of an eco-designed manufacturing tool available in the market today is the Atlas Copco Tensor ITB-A Angle Cordless Nutrunner.

“The ambition of Atlas Copco is to lower the total footprint of for example a vehicle being manufactured. In doing this, the choice of materials, recyclability, lifetime and energy efficiency of our assembly solutions and tools make a difference. This is something we have focused on for a long time,” says Zeba Usmani.

The Tensor ITB-A is a range of handheld, cordless, battery tools that thanks to their energy efficiency and ease to dismantle and recycle have a 62% lower CO2 footprint in comparison to the previous model generation. The smart tool shares an integrated controller platform which manages the tool and real time integration to a production system. As such, it reduces the need for hardware and equipment in the factories, and the power consumption.

“The design with an integrated controller eliminates the environmental and climate impact in the supply chain from producing and transporting physical controllers. As the Tensor ITB-A consumes less power while in use, both the carbon footprint, and the cost for the customer, is reduced. The tool is also built using 34% recycled materials”, says Zeba Usmani.

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