Manufacturing accounts for a massive portion of global carbon emissions, almost a quarter of direct global carbon emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency reports a 23 percent contribution from manufacturing companies in the United States. Varying factors drive this output, but there could be a way businesses could lessen their environmental impact.
Smart manufacturing improves many of these problem areas, leading to better environmental results. Here are four ways smart manufacturing could make a splash by lessening its environmental impact.
How Smart Manufacturing Could Lessen Environmental Impact
Global climate change has evolved into one of the most prominent concerns around the world today. The connection between manufacturers and global climate change is undeniable, leading to understandable concern in worldwide industrialization and economic development.
The manufacturing industry isn’t going anywhere, so changes need to be made. Smart manufacturing can repair and improve areas that affect environmental impact, allowing facilities to remain efficient, productive, and cost-effective without sacrificing the environment.
1. Reducing Production Waste
Many facilities produce enormous amounts of waste every year. By reducing waste output, intelligent technologies can minimize the environmental effect. There are a few ways to implement innovative technology toward lessening production waste:
- Adopt lean manufacturing to reduce waste production with assured quality.
- Implement an advanced manufacturing process to minimize wasted material used to make a product. 3D printing is an excellent way to reduce production waste.
- Incorporate automation in certain areas of the process to minimize the dependence of the process on human intervention. Automated devices can reduce the regularity of human error and defection, resulting in less waste.
- Utilize greener cleaning materials with water- and bio-based cleaners to reduce water waste.
2. Improved Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency is another significant piece of the puzzle. A facility can become more energy efficient in varying areas by incorporating greener, high-end equipment designed to reduce energy consumption in specific tasks.
Additionally, internet-connected sensors can improve the performance of energy management systems, allowing facilities to reduce their energy consumption without impacting production. Intelligent scheduling and AI can also help in the efficiency process, whether at the base equipment level or covering the entire supply chain. IoT-consulting services can enable industrial manufacturing systems to be more intelligent.
3. Working Toward Sustainability
Sustainability is a critical factor in reducing a facility’s environmental impact. Facilities can incorporate remanufacturing to restore damaged or defective products to full functionality, allowing the product to become useable again and reducing waste.
Reconfigurable manufacturing, although initially designed to improve responsiveness to a fluctuating market, can help facilities improve and manage wastewater and emissions via system reconfiguration.
4. Adjusted Manufacturing Processes
Changing the nature of the beast is one of the most promising ways to lessen environmental impact. Facilities could switch from a chemical to a physical or biological process, reducing emissions. Additionally, facilities can directly use smart technologies to reduce specific emissions from industrial processes, such as GHG emissions.
Greener inputs can replace traditional forms of energy, such as fossil fuels, which are rapidly depleting and produce carbon dioxide as a byproduct. Alternative renewable energies, such as hydrogen, biobutanol, and bioethanol, could replace fossil fuels.
Smart manufacturing has the potential to improve manufacturing drastically. It could be the way of the future, increasing sustainability, productivity, and cost-efficacy to reduce environmental impact.