Sustainable manufacturing, or green manufacturing can be defined as a method for manufacturing that enhances the efficiency of your organisation, whilst ensuring you minimise waste, conserve energy and ultimately reduce your environmental impact. These goals are to be obtained mainly by adopting practices that will influence the product design, process design and operational principles of an organisation.
This is also the future of manufacturing.
What is involved in building a sustainable business in manufacturing?
Sustainable manufacturing, if implemented correctly, has many benefits and economical advantages for your business. For example, in the manufacturing industry, you may reduce energy usage, manufacturing time, waste, and material use by enhancing the efficiency of your equipment and operations, which can result in considerable cost savings for your business and your customers.
When discussing sustainable manufacturing, we imply cleaner and more efficient systems with less resource usage, waste, and emissions. It is simple to reduce any negative environmental impact while serving demand in far more efficient and sustainable ways.
The appropriate balance in a system is essential for sustainability. It means that in our manufacturing planning and strategy, we consider the impact of production and we understand the impact on the supply side of natural resources we consume. It is about recognising environmental repercussions and to avoid implementing harmful and inefficient processes to the production cycle. It is the ability to ensure that we can meet our future supply and demand requirements, without having a negative effect on the environment.
Our history and the Industrial Revolution
Emissions, waste, and natural resource usage were modest at the start of the Industrial Revolution. Many of the environmental implications of manufacturing were overlooked since the volumes produced were far lower than what we have today, and the effects of industrialisation was unknown at the time.
Many of the production methods and approaches we use today are based on those we created back then. The reality is that the circumstance has altered dramatically, but our tactics have not. Globally, many of the old practices from industrialisation still occur. There is a lot of pollution, carbon emissions and waste that is produced on a massive scale. Furthermore, many of the materials we utilise in the manufacturing process are non-renewable resources. In developing countries, this has become a much bigger problem, with the effects of pollution, carbon emissions and excessive waste increasing at an alarming rate.
Industry 4.0 and technology
According to scientific studies, digitisation in manufacturing adds to environmental sustainability by enhancing resource and information efficiency. Using industry 4.0 technologies across the product lifecycle leads to a more negligible environmental impact, less damaging energy sources, materials, and chemicals, improved energy efficiency, and lower production costs. So, digital industrial innovation is beneficial not only to your company but also to the environment!
The advantages of Sustainable Manufacturing
At SDI Plastics we have a commitment to sustainable manufacturing and do our part to reduce our environmental effects, by adopting best practices, in our every day.
SDI Plastics consistently undertake research and invest into the future of manufacturing. A key part of our research is to ensure that as part of the manufacturing process, sustainable manufacturing is at front of mind and adopted during the production process.
There are a number of areas our team focus on to ensure that we are adopting best practices:
1. Through optimising our use of fossil fuels by using alternative sustainable sources of energy, by implementing solar at our plastics manufacturing facility in Brisbane.
2. Reducing waste through consuming the supplies and resources required to produce the final product. This relates to raw materials and packaging.
3. Our team consistently recycles plastic injection moulding parts as part of the production process. Grinders are used to recycle ‘rejected’ components such as plastic sprues and runners that are produced during the production cycle.
As a result, we have experienced many advantages that a sustainable manufacturing model provides. Some of the benefits of turning green for your business include:
- Low carbon emissions
- Cost savings
- Giving back to the community and our environment
- New market possibilities
- A more contented and productive staff
- Client satisfaction
How can your company practice Sustainable Manufacturing?
It all starts with taking that first step. There are numerous strategies to improve your manufacturing process to make it more environmentally friendly, some are simple and some are more complicated. It is important to note that significant changes are not required to begin your journey towards environmental conservation. We hope the advice below will assist you in taking your first steps towards sustainability.
- Conduct an energy audit
- Begin with simple improvements
- Replacing incandescent light bulbs with new CFL or LED versions
- Improve heating efficiency by upgrading insulation
- Implement solar panels for energy efficiency
- Use programmable thermostats
- Accept green energy
- Recycle material where you can
- Reduce waste by updating your machines and equipment
- Review designs and materials frequently
- Effective waste management
- Select environmentally responsible business partners
You might look beyond your operation when assessing how you do things as you try to become a more sustainable manufacturing organisation. Look out for opportunities to collaborate with suppliers and businesses who have made similar commitments to becoming more sustainable. The ultimate goal is to give back to the environment and build a brighter future for everyone.
SDI Plastics has a strong commitment to Sustainable Manufacturing, and as a result, our business has flourished. If you have the same vision or would like to collaborate with other like-minded companies to build a sustainable future, please contact our talented team on (07) 3807 8666 for a confidential discussion.