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The green code is the device designer’s secret weapon – design perfects energy efficiency

Green design is increasingly visible in today’s appliance design. In practice, it means making sustainable choices such as more wear-resistant components, greener packaging, and anticipating the availability of spare parts. Even a small design decision can have a tenfold impact when it is finally put into production. 

The software side plays a crucial role in green design. The code determines how much energy a device needs and how efficiently it works in the first place. Green code can, therefore, significantly reduce the electricity consumption of a device and extend its life cycle.  

"For many people, the most common reason for prematurely replacing an old device is its slow software and outdated user interface. To ensure that the device continues to meet the needs of users and remains safe to use, it is important to maintain and develop the software during its lifecycle. At the same time, new updates should not unnecessarily burden existing capacity, as this also slows down the functionality of the device," says Toni Rosendahl, Solution Architect at Etteplan. 

There are many concrete ways to save energy. The most power-consuming is usually the transmission of data. In this case, energy consumption can be reduced by, for example, reducing the number of data transfers and keeping data sets as small as possible by means of edge computing. In addition, sleep modes can be exploited and processors can be programmed to perform only critical functions during these periods. 

Data helps to track down problems

The overall carbon footprint of devices is also heavily influenced by how they are used, as incorrect usage patterns will cause the battery to run out more quickly. It is therefore important that active users of equipment, for example in factories, receive the necessary training. Proper user manuals are also always a good idea. 

Machine learning can also be used to identify potential problems by identifying different usage scenarios and bottlenecks in the equipment. This can also be done directly on the machine using edge computing, reducing the need for data transmission. 

"By analyzing the data, you can see if certain components are causing unnecessary stress, if the processor is running at the right speed or if the battery is heating up too quickly. All of these also have an impact on the durability of the device," Rosendahl lists. 

However, when a device reaches the end of its life, its components need to be efficiently recycled. At the same time, it should not be forgotten that, in addition to the components, the data accumulated during the lifecycle of the device also has value.  

Therefore, before the actual physical dismantling of the device, it is a good idea to ensure that the data accumulated on it is recovered. This data is valuable, for example, when designing the next generation of devices, as it can be used to make them even more efficient and durable.