Our subsidiary Verhoeven Ontwerpburo designs various plastic products and packaging materials with a strong focus on sustainability. How does a sustainable design process actually work? Director Peter Kuhn explains: “When we accept a project, we always start by discussing the sustainability requirements with the customer. We also explain the steps we can take to make the product more sustainable. Next, we conduct a functional analysis. It specifies the requirements a product has to meet and the functionalities it must offer. Then it is time for the sustainability study. For this, we look for ways to reduce the number of components and types of material as much as possible to improve the sustainability of the production process and make the product easier to recycle later on.”
Such studies are costly, of course, but our experience shows that customers generally earn back those costs once the production process has been up and running for a few months. Peter: “Generally speaking, a sustainable design always creates a win-win situation. On the one hand, you reduce your product’s environmental impact. On the other hand, your product consists of fewer components or materials, which improves its manufacturability.” Due to the close collaboration between Rompa Group and Verhoeven, manufacturability factors into a product’s design process at a very early stage, which makes it easier to start the production process later on.
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