Umberto logo.

Software tool for material and energy flow calculation and analysis based on graphical modelling of process systems. It has been developed by ifu (Institute for Environmental Informatics) in cooperation with ifeu (Institute for Energy and Environmental Resarch) since 1993.

Based on the concept of material flow networks, the powerful calculation algorithm of Umberto allows to determine all material and energy flows in the system under study. The user can define the system boundaries and can analyse the flows by "zooming" into the hierarchical model and the desired level of detail. Both site/process-oriented as well as product-related analysis are possible. Different technology alternatives can be compared by scenario comparison. Results can be displayed as tables or diagrams. The user can assess the results with individually defined key indicators or apply environmenal impact assessment methods (such as the Eco Indicators) to study the environmental performance of a process system. Material and process costs can be entered to calculate cost balances, adding the financial perspective to the inventory, thus supporting the decision making process.

Main benefits of using the software: knowledge of all flows in the process system, transparency, visualization, analysis and assessment under economic and environmental aspects. Screen Shots


material and energy flow analysis, process optimization, environmental impact assessment, material flow cost accounting, life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle costing (LCC)



Expertise Required

Special expertise not required, engineering background is of help. Training not required (software delivered with tutorial), but recommended.


Approximately 750, concurrent/non-named licenses, mostly in Europe, some in the U.S., some in Asia (Japan, Thailand, Taiwan).


process engineers, environmental managers, results can be used by controllers and managers, researchers, consultants


User can model process systems graphically. Process specifications by user input (simple linear with coefficients, parameterized, non-linear with mathematical functions). Data import from external sources. Advanced description with scripting. Process data library included (approx. 650 processes). Interfaces to other process databases, such as XML-based import/export of EcoSpold datasets from ecoinvent (>2500 processes) or NREL LCI Database.


Calculated inventory data (for whole process system or selected sections) is displayed in tables and/or diagrams. This includes flows, stocks, parameters, material properties, indicators, costs, etc. Various views on inventory data, e.g. process contribution to consumption. More than 20 diagrams (2D/3D), chart wizard for comfortable diagram modification. Additional graphical output: Sankey diagram (Flow Chart) Pre-defined standard print reports, export of all relevant data in standard formats (e.g. to Excel).

Computer Platform

PC, Pentium III or higher, 512 MB RAM or higher, 150 MB or more free hard disk space, Windows 98SE/ME/NT4>SP6/2000/XP/Vista. Requires Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework.

Programming Language

Delphi. Visual Studio, C#


The modelling of process systems is not limited to a specific sector or field of application. Umberto has proven its usability in many practical applications in industry, research and consulting. This standard software tool can be used for both, site/process related studies or product related studies. Regarding process data availability, Umberto has a library of approx 600 parameterizable and adaptable standard processes (energy, transport, plastics, metals, waste treatment, ...) but the focus is on interfaces that allow the user to link to other publicly available process libraries or his own databases. Umberto can be customized to adapt it to specific requirements. The COM/DCOM interface allows interaction with other applications. One customer from the facility engineering / semiconductor sector, for example, has linked Umberto to his existing design tools, in order to be able to provide material and energy flow models at a very early stage of fab layout planning and design, using the available equipments as process modules from the library. There is a large and active user community, exchange of experience is motivated through a web-based User Forum and regular Umberto User Workshops.


Not applicable as operational support (realtime process control), but rather as a planning or controlling instrument.



ifu Hamburg GmbH


Grosse Bergstrasse 219
Hamburg 22767


+49 (40) 48 000 9-0


+49 (40) 48 000 9-22




Costs for a single license (based on US$ conversion as of December 2006), significant rebates apply from 2nd license on:
US$ 12,990 Umberto 5 consult
US$ 8,600 Umberto 5 business
US$ 9,800 Umberto 5 academic
US$ 650 Umberto 5 educ (single license)
US$ 2,000 Umberto 5 educ (5 license pack)
US$ 3,300 Umberto 5 educ (10 license pack)  

We have local distribution partners in USA, Australia, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland. Please contact for distribution partner details.