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Mobius - How to: Life cycle modules
Mobius - How to: Life cycle modules

Learn to use Life Cycle Modules to gain insight into your product's most impactful processes in Ecochain Mobius.

Emily Lalonde avatar
Written by Emily Lalonde
Updated over a week ago

This article explains how to divide your product model into different life cycle phases (according to EN15804 modules) using Mobius’ module feature. This functionality is incredibly useful as it allows you to gain quick insight into which phase of your product’s life cycle is causing the most impact. By splitting your model into phases, you can easily identify areas for improvement and optimize your processes accordingly. The article covers the following questions:

  • What are product life cycle modules or phases?

  • How to use the module feature?

Don't feel like reading an article? Watch a video tutorial on this topic instead!

What are product life cycle modules or phases?

Before you start splitting your product model, it's essential to understand the different life cycle modules involved in your product’s life cycle. These are predetermined phases prescribed by the EN15804 LCA framework. These modules are specifically created for the construction industry, however, they can be utilized for products within other sectors, using only the modules that apply to your case.

Typically, products are modeled from cradle-to-gate, which is divided into the following phases. The three bolded phases are most relevant to all manufactured products. The remaining phases are optional and can be included depending on the context:

  1. Raw Material Supply (A1): Includes the raw material extraction or production required for manufacturing your product. It can also include components, or semi-finished products that your company purchases.

  2. Transport (A2): Includes raw material (everything identified in A1) transportation to your facility.

  3. Manufacturing (A3): Comprises the actual production processes within your facility where the purchased Raw Materials (A1) are transformed into your end product.

  4. Transport to site (A4): Includes the transport to your building, or installation, site.

  5. Construction process (A5): Includes on-site activities related to installation, this includes any waste produced and the disposal of said waste.

    If you're building a cradle-to-grave model, the following modules may also be relevant. Module B represents everything related to the Use phase, while Module C contains everything related to the End-of-Life waste processing of your product:

  6. Use (B1)

  7. Maintenance (B2)

  8. Repair (B3)

  9. Replacement (B4)

  10. Refurbishment (B5)

  11. Operational energy use (B6)

  12. Operational water use (B7)

  13. Deconstruction, demolition on site (C1)

  14. Transport to waste processor (C2)

  15. Waste Processing (C3)

  16. Disposal (C4)

  17. Benefits and loads beyond the system boundaries (D): Covers the net benefits and loads arising from other phases of the product’s life cycle.

Note - Usefulness of modules in Mobius: Dividing your value chain into modules is useful because it shows you where your product’s impact lies. Whether it's within your factory or whether you need to switch suppliers because the bulk of the impact lies with them.

How to use the module feature?

It is possible to use the module feature proactively when creating a product model, or retroactively after you create and model a product. The steps below demonstrate the process of using modules after an object is created, but they are easily translatable to when you make a product from scratch.

1. Access an object’s Detail panel: Select the object within the Product inventory to which you want to assign a phase. Its Detail panel will appear on the right side of your screen (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Selecting an object’s Detail panel to access its module feature in Ecochain Mobius.

2. Use the module feature: Locate the module section within the Detail panel (Figure 1). Mobius utilizes modules to categorize different phases of the production process, the phases are described above. Assign a module to the object based on its role in the product’s life cycle (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Using the module feature in Ecochain Mobius.

Pro tip - Modules and hierarchy: The module assigned to the top-level object overrides the modules of all objects nested beneath it. Assigning a module to the top-level item ensures consistency throughout your product model. The ‘level’ in your product’s inventory to assign a module ultimately depends on the structure of your LCA.

3. Repeat this process: Repeat this process for each object in your product model based on their respective roles in the product’s life cycle.

Pro tip - Further analysis: Once relevant modules have been assigned to all objects within your product model, you can take further steps to gain insights into the impact of your product across its life cycle phases. For example, export your results to analyze data further or use Mobius’ views to help visualize your data (Figure 3).

Figure 1: Example of insights gained from exporting life cycle module results from Mobius into Excel. In this example, it is clear that Manufacturing (A3) has a greater environmental impact than Raw Material Supply (A1).

Based on the insights gained from the impact analysis, you can identify areas for improvement and take actionable steps to optimize your production processes. Focus on addressing issues within phases that contribute the most to environmental impacts.

Video tutorial

Watch Emma explain these concepts in our tutorial:

Next steps

Dividing your product model into different phases using Mobius' module functionality offers valuable insights into your product's environmental impact. By understanding which phases contribute the most to various impact categories, you can make informed decisions to minimize environmental harm and work towards sustainability goals.

Ready to explore more features within Mobius? Check out our other help center articles for comprehensive guidance on maximizing your ecodesign potential.

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