Granta Design has announced a new release of the CES Selector software, helping manufacturing enterprises that must replace materials in their product portfolio for reasons of cost, performance, supply, or environmental impact. CES Selector 2012 also provides new capabilities for eco design and for users of composite materials and steels.
CES Selector is a PC-based software application that combines comprehensive data on materials properties with powerful graphical analysis tools developed at Cambridge University and Granta. A key focus for the latest annual release is on new features that make it quick and easy to compare the properties of multiple materials. Engineering, economic, and environmental properties can be reviewed relative to a user-defined reference material, with key differences highlighted. This makes it much simpler to identify and study candidates for replacing a material and to avoid potential pitfalls in materials substitution projects.
Manufacturing companies increasingly need to replace materials. The economic climate makes price a greater issue than ever. Environmental regulation is rendering materials obsolete. Geopolitical issues threaten security of supply. And globalized manufacturing can create less stable supply chains. Whatever drives the need for change, the best replacement is often a completely different type of material with which the company has little familiarity. Substitution projects can be lengthy and costly, both because it takes time to explore options and because of the unforeseen consequences of different properties or processing behavior. CES Selector now provides a very effective route to minimize this disruption.
The CES Selector Eco Audit Tool has also been extended in CES Selector 2012, based on user feedback. This addresses another strategic challenge facing manufacturers - the need to consider sustainability during product design. The Eco Audit Tool provides a fast method to estimate the environmental impact of a product early in the design process. Manufacturing waste and finishing processes are now included in its calculations, as are variations in materials recovery at the end of the product's life. This makes the tool better-aligned with real-world manufacturing scenarios and the PAS 2050 carbon footprinting standard, without sacrificing speed and ease-of-use in the practical application of the tool.
Data updates have been made across the full range of materials covered by CES Selector. These provide new engineering, cost, and environmental data on plastics, metals, and composite materials. Two highlights are the new Firehole Composites data module, which provides extensive data on continuous fiber-reinforced polymer composites, and StahlDat SX, which contains the complete Register of European Steels (known as the 'Stahl-Eisen-Liste' in German), their specification data, and temperature-dependent properties. These datasets are licensed from leaders in their respective fields, Firehole Technologies, Inc. and the German Steel Institute (Stahlinstitut VDEh).
CES Selector 2012 includes a number of additional productivity, user interface, graphical, and data enhancements - full details are available on the product website.
"CES Selector 2012 rounds out the materials decision support capabilities of CES Selector with tools that enable users to address some issues that are critical for our industrial customers in the current climate," says Dr Patrick Coulter, Chief Operating Officer at Granta. "We constantly hear that product development teams need the ability to make the right materials substitution decisions and to meet environmental objectives. CES Selector 2012 will help them to meet these challenges."