The aim of the project which was conducted for the company Palfinger Crane, was to develop a supporting tool for ecodesign in the early design stages of knuckle boom cranes. In fact, this project was my first attempt to integrate LCA based on ISO standards into early design stages. Since LCA needs a huge amout of data to be managed in an appropriate way, the challenge in this project was given by the head of design of Palfinger crane: not more than seven parameters to be dealt with in the early design stage for LCA!

This challenge lead me to the development of a parametric approach for conducting environmental evaluations. Furthermore, first ideas of comparing similar products – in other words benchmarking environmental profiles –  with the help of limited parameters, were born. Some years later, these ideas were further developed in Fuon theory and LCP families (see publications sector for further information).

The result of this project was a software tool to be used in early design processes at Palfinger. The tool allowed evaluating the environmental performance of knuckle boom cranes and comparing the performances with similar cranes; those having similar sizes and technical performances. Furthermore, with the help of the tool it was possible to indicate which particular part or component accounted for how much of the environmental performance.


The project was funded by Palfinger Crane situated in Salzburg, Austria.

Further information

You can read more about the theoretical background and results of this project in the following papers and publications:

 External websites