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<p><b>Environmentally friendly manufacturing app development: your guide to features, prices, and more</b></p>
December 9, 2021#tech

Environmentally friendly manufacturing app development: your guide to features, prices, and more

One of the main tasks of applications within production ecology is to reduce the environmental impact of toxic emissions into the atmosphere. Of all industrial activities, it is manufacturing that must be environmentally responsible and innovative. Manufacturing is not extracting resources or processing materials to form the powders, crystals, or liquids that manufacturers need. And manufacturing is also not the marketers who provide customers with all the goods produced. While these sectors may have some impact on the environment as a whole, they do not have the freedom of the producer. The only difference is the production of the desired saleable product. In this regard, the manufacturer can choose to fabricate the car body from sheet steel, composites, aluminum or plastic. Cost, manufacturability, and consumer acceptability are limitations, of course, but the choice of materials alone is not. The telephone transmission system can be coaxial cable, fiber optic, microwave, submarine cable or satellite. Thus, the designer's role in industry is central to both the choice of materials and the choice of process. It is this problem that manufacturing ecology applications address.

Although there are significant commonalities between the manufacturing sectors, an important difference between the sectors is the lifespan of their products. Some are built to last a decade or more. Others have lives measured in months or weeks. Others are used only once. The industrial designer obviously has to take different approaches to these different types of products in terms of durability, material selection, and recyclability.

Usually in manufacturing, tradeoffs in materials and activities are evaluated on the basis of market value and regulatory requirements. Rarely is there a well-defined assessment based on factors that cause an environmental problem.

By 2024, the sales volume of Russian developers in the field of distributed ledger technology and IoT is expected to increase to 54.3 billion rubles and 230.9 billion rubles, respectively. The total share of Russian companies in the global market that will create digital products for end users based on IoT and distributed registry technologies will grow by more than 3 times (by March 2021 - 0.06% and 1.4% respectively). Thus, there will be a significant increase in the capitalization of companies. (link to source)

If these figures make you think of your own app, read our experience in developing a similar app. 

What is a production ecology application?

Production ecology is an emerging and challenging discipline for scientists, engineers, and policymakers. The modern origins of Production Ecology, often referred to as "sustainability science," are associated with the article "Production Strategies," written by Frosh and Gallopoulos and published in 1989 in Scientific American . Historically, however, indirect references to the concept of "Production Ecology" date back to the early 1970s. The interdisciplinary nature of Industrial Ecology makes it difficult to provide a consistent and generally accepted definition, but the following statement captures the essence of the topic:

Industrial ecology is the means by which humanity can consciously and rationally approach and maintain sustainability in the face of ongoing economic, cultural, and technological development. The concept requires that the industrial ecosystem be viewed not in isolation from the surrounding system, but in concert with them. It is a systemic view that seeks to optimize the full cycle of materials from virgin material to finished material, component, product, obsolete product and final disposal. The factors to be optimized are resources, energy and capital.

How much does it cost to develop a web application for an ecology of production?

While it is difficult to give an accurate estimate of this type of development work, it is important to understand the development requirements in order to assess the level of work. 

Reliable production ecology applications must:

- Have a proprietary database of all resources or CO

- Securely store resource, energy and capital data in accordance with any required regulations such as GDPR and data protection laws.

- Look attractive and be easy to use

- Be compatible with a variety of devices and operating systems.

Estimates can range from $10,000 to $450,000, so you need to talk to a reliable development company and discuss the results according to your goals. At this point, we are ready to help you with the analysis of the work ahead.Analysis and preparation

As we mentioned above, the first is to analyze the distribution area of the application, analyze the market and analyze the use of the application.

The next step is to discuss the technical task with the customer. You need to understand that, as a rule, programmers do not know all the subtleties of this area, so you definitely need a person who will have a complete understanding of the field and the ability, to advise the developers. After you have found a team of developers, the next step is to create integrated spaces and MVP (minimum viable product). Here you can see if you got what you imagined or if there are still things to work on. 

After you have used the mvp, you should start describing a new requirement, the creation of a flow in miro or figma. Let's imagine that you already have an mvp and a flow for your application. The next very important step is to design the structure of the application. Here you need to realize that you cannot use the current mvp because it is just a demo (i.e. a preliminary version) and you cannot just improve it. Imagine that your application is a game where you have to put bricks on top of each other. If those bricks are crooked (not matching the new product) at the beginning, you won't be able to build a tall tower even if all subsequent levels are done perfectly. That's why you have to build everything from scratch.

The next point, more understandable to the average layman, is to hire a development team (two frontend developers, two backend developers, a tester, a designer, a project manager, a business analyst). Then you can begin to build processes within the development team. Inside our team it was decided to use p3express framework. And the development process itself should be built in light scrum mode with two-week sprints. This combination allowed us to distribute the task backlog according to the MVP plan. Next we will list the terms strictly for programmers: building diagrams (use cases, classes and data types, sequence, component). And at the end of the analysis and preparation you need to fill out the design brief. Transferring the task to the design development. Creation of mocaps to test the design models on the focus group. Transfer of the design project for approval.

Technologies for solving the assigned tasks.

In this block, we will list the technologies that we used, and give an explanation of why we used these technologies.

  1. Creation of environments for development. It was decided to use a 4-tiered architecture, DTMP tier cascades.The environments were deployed to GitLab CI / CD + AWS ECS bundles

Everything is very simple here, GitLab is a more proprietary technology than GitHub, and more easily customizable than BitBucket. AWS is a great technology for collecting all the functionality of your application and tracking things like endpoints and mailings.

2. Backend part:

- Building a DTO Application

- Creating API documentation

- Creating a database and storing application data in it

- Service connection for storing statics

- Connecting Authentication Service

- Creation of a service for working with data on the enterprise and air emissions

- Stripe plan integration for in-app billing

- Balancer connection

- Writing Integration Tests

- Running load tests

- Technologies: AWS dynamodb, AWS App Sync, Node JS, Stripe billing

- AWS dynamodb is a very handy database as long as we are using AWS.

In fact, all these technologies are tied to AWS, as we said above - this is an opportunity to collect all the functionality of our application in one place.

3. Frontend:

- Creating a component library

- Building the application infrastructure

- Connection to identification service

- Development of the main dashboard, which indicates the emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere.

- Building graphs and charts

- Development of a map of enterprises, which indicates the main divisions where emissions occur.

- View emissions from a specific plant

- Development of recommendations for the regulation of plant emissions

- Implementation of payment systems for subscriptions for the use of an emission control system

- Writing unit tests for the front end

Technologies: React JS, React charts, Apollo client, Stripe billing, AWS Cognito

4. Writing auto tests for the application, testing tasks on time, and the risk of testing after the development phase.

Why did we choose to build our own library over the popular Material UI or AntD? In fact, it's very simple, almost all eco-applications have proprietary design. Users have already had enough of similar pictures, buttons, modalities, fonts, etc. So writing your own library is good way. We can make a slightly different design that differentiates the client from the competition, but at the same time leave the logic of action that everyone is already used to.

Multi-stage development

  1. Preparing the release version of the application, SEO audit, optimization, DNS connectivity. 

  2. Release of the production version of the project, an announcement in social networks and an advertising campaign. 

  3. Transfer of all keys and accounts from the production version to the customer.

  4. Support of the application

  5. Make a plan for further development of the project (upgrades, adding functionality, improving analytics).

This stage is more about marketing, but nevertheless competent SEO writing is very important, provided that we write the SPA on React. And in fact, all the incredibly long way that our application has gone - it's nothing compared to a competently configured SEO. No matter how usable and revolutionary our app is, we need to understand that marketing is what most apps are based on.

In the end I would like to summarize that the development of this type of software is possible only with the competent work of all specialists at each stage. Architecture building, design engineering, marketing and application support are probably the main stages, but we should also remember the peculiarities of the sphere in which we develop our application. Manufacturing ecology itself has a lot of legal pitfalls.

P.S here you can see our case on behance