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Inheritance / Reuse of processes

Posted: 12 May 2017 15:28
by SebaJeku
Hi all,

I'm about to model electronic devices composed of electronic components which themselves consist of various raw materials. I use manufacturer/country-specific as well as generally defined production/market processes. Since I want to model quite a few similar electronic components, I'd like to reduce work and facilitate reuse of process definitions as far as possible.

Conceptually, a kind of inheritance mechanism would be best: The composition of raw material in a component of type X (say, a multi-layer ceramic capacitor =MLCC) is equal for most of the vendors (say, MuRata, which don't provide specifications on their MLCCs), but the supply/provider of raw material (say, nickel within a MLCC) is different.

Therefore, using the examples given, I'd like to have 1) an openLCA Process for a general MLCC with raw material inputs, 2) a Process for a MuRata MLCC inheriting from 1) but with MuRata-specific provider for nickel. Currently, the only solution I can think of using openLCA is copying 1) to 2) and change the input providers. Doing it many times for different other vendors will result in quite a (errornous) maintenance effort in case 1) later changes. Using parameters may help a bit, but only for the input amounts, I guess.

As far as I understand, ecoinvent v3 has this kind of inheritance built-in, and since there's an openLCA port of ecoinvent database, I wonder how to realize an inheritance pattern using openLCA.

Do you have any suggestions, examples, or documentation on this?

Best,
Sebastian

Re: Inheritance / Reuse of processes

Posted: 12 May 2017 15:52
by aciroth
Hi Sebastian,
good question - the ecoinvent inheritance is, to my knowledge, not implemented in any LCA software. A workaround is to parameterise a process provider (implementing many providers and input products and setting only one of the flows to values different from 0) or to change the provider in the model graph in a product system.
Best wishes,
Andreas

Re: Inheritance / Reuse of processes

Posted: 29 May 2017 12:39
by SebaJeku
Hi Andreas,

thanks a lot for the quick reply. Maybe there's a chance with the promised "Create an aggregated (system) process out of a product system" feature with upcoming version 1.6.3?

Anyway, there's a question left: In case I don't choose a specific provider for an input product flow, which one of several available processes which have this flow as an output will be selected as default provider?

Sebastian

Re: Inheritance / Reuse of processes

Posted: 29 May 2017 19:58
by aciroth
Hi Sebastian,
Indeed we have now finally implemented, in 1.6.3, the 'save product system LCI result as system process' feature, see screenshots. openLCA 1.6.3 is already released btw. To your remaining question: You are right, openLCA takes one process as provider, the product name and unit needs to fit; if no 'default provider' is specified, just one that fits is selected. This can be changed in the model of course.
Best wishes
Andreas
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