Efficiency in any step of product development is the key to the future economy as our resources are limited as well as the impact on the ecosystem must be reduced in order to maintain an environment suitable for human beings as well as animals and nature. This article discusses how product development can be connected with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to not significantly improve the efficiencies but also have a tremendous positive environmental impact and reduce carbon footprint.

Ever since when something is designed or produced or developed the material or resource is a crucial factor as well as the process of manufacturing with the various steps. Efficiency plays an essential role in any kind of processing, production, or development; hence the latest technologies must be implemented in order to reach the best efficiency from the initial idea of a product or development.

Material Resource Management is the monitoring of each of the steps of the whole process chain functions and includes design, supply material and logistics, final product, execution performance, and remaining resources evaluation once the product is used as it contains still a value.

New AI-powered technology helps in any kind of work process for Material Resource Management. Starting from the optimization of the design of products digitally, the evaluation of the material used for the product up to the finished product, ensuring the value of the product and the remains of the used product is known at any stage, which leads to the fact that facilities like recycling plants intelligently categorize the different remains for future usage.

During times of crisis, usually, all resources are limited in availability or supplies get restricted; nevertheless, it is the aim for any production facility at any time to have efficient usage of material or resources in order not to waste valuable material, time, or men/machine power. Hence the efficiency of the usage of any kind of material, time, or men/machine power at any stage of the process up to the final step becomes mandatory and essential.  Material Resource Management must ensure complying with the frame conditions and restrictions during all times, but especially during times of crisis. 

Ensuring this efficiency can be achieved by using the latest Artificial Intelligence technology during the various processes of product development.  New AI-powered technology helps in any kind of work process.  It will help to bring the design to the optimum level, resource the right material with the best logistics, having the value recorded at any time as well the remaining value for recycling or other future usages after the product expiry date as a secondary used item or new raw material.

How would this monitoring and controlling work in the whole process?

 As we all know the barcode or QR code system gives the system various information on the ready product itself, the cost, volume etc.  This system needs to be expanded as well as started in the earliest stage of creating the idea of a product. This information needs to be stored with the blockchain technology as initial information. All ideas related to the product get a bar code or QR code are stored and then evaluated by AI, meaning the most efficient idea will be used for the next step, the design process. Based on the chosen most efficient idea by AI technology the design process by humans will commence. All designs will again be labeled with a bar or QR code stored in the blockchain and evaluated again by AI. With all further steps, the development of the product will be monitored, stored, and evaluated. 

For the process of choosing the material the initial information of the various materials will be already available within the database as a material will have a different place of origin, variety of cost of preparation or production etc. Here again, AI will provide the right analysis and evaluation in order to choose the most efficient material and its procurement as well. The efficiency is the key but in this step, it is combined with the carbon footprint of the required material so the environmental impact will also be considered for the efficiency factor.

Now once the idea, design, material, and procurement are done, the step of production is one of the most crucial processes as it might consist of combining and mixed materials, which cannot be separated after usage, hence might lose its value. The more pure or easy to segregate a material could be kept during the process of production and in the final product, the more value it will have for further use on recycling or creating new raw secondary materials to keep it in the circular economy. Again AI plays a big role in order to find the most efficient and adequate solution to produce the product and considering the dissembling or segregation of the various materials as well.

The final product with all its processes and materials will be having a lot of data registered within to track the previous steps and values of time, money, weight etc.

For the next steps, sale, and logistics the carbon footprint is again essential and must be monitored and evaluated in order to create with AI the most efficient means of sales and transport to the end customer. Data received through the customer experience and habits will have a significant influence on future trade and logistic performance. Based on the previous data and in combination with the one from the new product efficiency can be enhanced as e.g. packing is usually not considered but has an impact on the cost as well as on the environment and carbon footprint of a product as it is a product itself.

Within the last steps the customer with the help of the bar code or QR code can check the remaining value of a product after usage as well as they would know about the proper disposal process and what can be done after with the remains, e.g. reuse in another place, segregation for new secondary material.

If the whole development process of a product is connected with the latest technology of AI and every information recorded on Blockchain the efficiency of production, logistic, and further processing of this product with be enhanced significantly as well as the circular economy will profit from the information available to reduced the environmental impact of the product and the carbon footprint.

Efficiency in any step of product development is the key to the future economy as our resources are limited as well as the impact on the ecosystem must be reduced in order to maintain an environment suitable for human beings as well as animals and nature. 

Protection of Mother Earth, conscious living, caring about our environment, and mindful use of our resources can only be enhanced by connecting the available technologies to enhance any process and make it efficient.    

About the Author

 Kai Miethig is a Wastrepreneur and Founder of W-AI-STE. He is a German, born in 1971 in Siegen, graduated in architectural engineering in 2004

Certified Draftsman/CAD-Operator/Lecturer, Graduated Architect/Project

Manager, Waste Management Specialist, and lecturer

Intercultural/social competence and international relations, leadership skills

22 years national/15 years of international project experience in the fields of design, project management, and coordination, construction, site supervision, and team leadership.

17 years national/15 years of international expertise in business development

Fast comprehension of project status ― able to provide adequate solutions to enhance project quality and processes, providing accurate documentation.

Professional expertise and social competence in leading and guiding a team towards achieving project goals while motivating team members to improve the outcome and increase the quality and efficiency of projects.

Member of the environmental NGO’s Clean Up Bahrain (CUB) and Bahrain Diving Volunteer Team (BDVT) as well certified tourist guide and lifeguard for beaches and pools.

Career path:

Architectural Office Vogel, Draftsman/Coordinator in Germany

Mammut Technocrete (Zero steel waste factory), Head of Design/Office in Dubai, UAE

Project Management office Tilke & Partners in Manama, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, UAE

KACST – King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology, Project Director/Client representative in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Abdul Latif Jameel Landholding, Design Director, in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 

TFEngineering, General Manager in Juffair, Kingdom of Bahrain

UACC, Construction company,  General Manager, in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain.