The European Powder Metallurgy Association (EPMA) and consultants, PM Solutions and PM Consulting, have released project proposals focused on the sustainability of Press & Sinter Powder Metallurgy: LCA-LAPS-POW (Life Cycle Assessment for Low Alloy PM Steel Powder Production) and LCA-LAPS-PAR (Life Cycle Assessment for Low Alloy PM Steel Parts Making). The announcement follows initial ideas discussed at meetings of the EPMA Working Group on Environment, Health, Quality and Safety (EHQS) and the EPMA Sectoral Group on Press & Sinter (EuroPress&Sinter).
For the LCA-LAPS-POW project to begin, a minimum consortium of three global powder producers is needed in order to evaluate the environmental impact of metal powders of low-alloy steels up to the exit gates of the powder producers. The powder producers will deliver data, on a site-by-site basis on their inputs of energy, raw materials and other supplies, and outputs in terms of low alloy steel powders, emissions and waste and scrap. The independent contractor Sphera, an LCA software solutions provider, will then calculate the LCA for each company (or site) and aggregate the various sustainability parameters for powders. Companies can also request an additional company-specific report for themselves.
Participation in the projects is open to full EPMA members that are powder producers of water atomised powders of low-alloy steels grades for Press & Sinter. Those who wish to participate can include their production sites without limitation on their localisation (Europe or outside Europe) and decide how many and which ones will be included in the analysis. Currently, costs have been calculated on the basis of three participant companies with one production site each. In the case of more participants, the costs per company will decrease.
Similar rules apply for the LCA-LAPS-PAR project, where a minimum of three parts makers will have to deliver data, on a site-by-site basis, on their inputs of powders, energy, raw materials and other supplies, and outputs in terms of low alloy steel parts, emissions and waste and scrap.
The cost per company (for one site) will be €12,990 for basic participation (data collection, data quality check, creation of model, bilateral kick-off meeting, assessment of average, averaged ISO report, three meetings (kick-off, intermediate and final meeting), project management and QA. Optionally, an additional €4,080 for a company-specific report (assessment per company, company-specific report). These costs include what is required by Sphera, and the costs for EPMA (10% of total), who will support in the coordination, and PM Solutions and PM Consulting (10% of total), who will liaise with companies and Sphera to clarify technical problems.
All participating companies will receive the aggregated ISO report for the projects (that will constitute the public part of the results) with the full LCA assessment of the environmental impact of low alloy steel powders produced by water as well as an optional confidential summary of their company. The data will be strictly confidential and no data from one partner will be given to other partners. Non-disclosure agreements can be signed between each consortium partner, EPMA, Sphera, PM Solutions and PM Consulting.
The duration of the projects is expected to be twelve months. Interested parties can email [email protected] for more information.