Industrial waste management is a process that can be both challenging and complex, with difficulty increasing depending on the particular kind of waste and its cause. Sometimes, manufacturing companies experience issues with overproduction. Other times, their machinery fails, and unexpected defects can also occur.
While it’s essential that every manufacturing plant follows a set of practices that allow them to minimize waste, often, it’s simply unavoidable and an inseparable part of running operations. Luckily, whether it’s been created by CNC router machines or 3D printers, the waste can still be reduced.
To dispose of it correctly, manufacturing plants need to develop and follow proper waste management strategies. These can include reducing the number of packaging materials used, organizing the warehouse, and lowering water usage to the necessary minimum.
By following such practices, manufacturers can reduce their environmental impact and emphasize eco-friendliness. Here’s a closer look at some of the most effective strategies.
Better Warehouse Organization
When it comes to manufacturing operations, especially those that deal with a lot of different raw materials, having a well-organized warehouse is key. Once your warehouse has been organized, you can be sure that your workers can make the most out of their time, and everyone will be able to locate the right tools, materials, or supplies quickly.
Regardless whether your company focuses on precision casting parts or CNC milling, to reduce waste, you should create a flowchart that shows exactly how all materials move from one stage to another and where they should be stored. The chart should also highlight possible bottlenecks and where the expenditure of more resources would be advantageous.
It’s also essential to remember the importance of marking your warehouse. Without the right marking, you can’t expect anyone to navigate such a huge structure. Even if they’ve been there at some point, they could’ve already faded or become outdated. This all may be extremely confusing, especially to new hires. Try to dedicate a part of your busy days to organizing the messy and mislabeled parts of your warehouse to minimize waste and increase productivity.
This term may sound quite foreign at first, especially to those who are new to the topic of managing industrial waste. It refers to quite a simple process of limiting the biological, chemical, mechanical, and thermal methods used by manufacturers to reduce the volume of waste materials. This allows them to compress them to a greater degree and put them in a form that’s the most suitable for later storage or disposal. The methods used can be divided into two main categories: source segregation and waste concentration.
Source segregation focuses on separating the solid waste that consists of different materials so that certain waste can be easier processed. For instance, when the plastics aren’t mixed with the metal waste, the latter can be processed separately with no effort, and the metal value can be recovered.
Waste concentration, on the other hand, helps increase the probability that there will be enough of certain material to recycle it into something else and reuse it later. When the small scraps of materials are collected over time to accumulate enough for recycling, the waste can be limited significantly. Both these methods require proper storage and sorting, but the benefits are worth the effort.
Recovering, Sorting, and Recycling
Just three words are all you need to keep in mind and turn into an active effort to improve the way your manufacturing plant is managing and minimizing its waste from industrial machinery.
First, it’s essential to emphasize the process of recovering as much waste as possible from both the onsite and offsite locations that are a part of a certain plant. Water can be recovered through filtration or reverse osmosis, and different scraps and particles of materials can be separated thanks to centrifugation. Apply the right methods where they’re needed and recover whatever is possible instead of letting them go to waste.
Then, you can also focus on sorting, which is the first step to proper recycling. When the waste is going into the right bins from the very beginning, it’s much easier to recycle in the next step. You can even choose someone who will be responsible for ensuring that the waste bins are monitored and used as intended by the workers.
Separated waste can then be recycled, be it paper, plastic, or metal. Recycling hazardous materials often requires chemical, thermal, biological, and physical methods, so it may be better to leave it for professionals or consider whether it will have any environmental benefits. When dealing with waste such as wood, rubber, or asphalt, industrial shredders can be used to reduce these materials to much smaller sizes and make them more manageable.
Using Proper Packaging
Creating an abundance of waste in the form of packaging materials is yet another issue that many manufacturing plants face and don’t deal with efficiently. Fortunately, a solution to such issues is quite straightforward and doesn’t require an enormous effort. In most cases, every company can find some ways to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging.
To begin with, plastic packaging can often be easily replaced with cardboard packaging. But the possibilities go far beyond just the plastic vs. cardboard issue. Depending on the kind of machinery your plant uses, you’re likely to be able to buy the materials in bulk and reduce the amount of necessary packaging this way. Your machinery will still have all the materials needed, but there won’t be as much waste created along the way.
As you can see, there are always different ways to reduce the waste created by machinery used at manufacturing plants, as well as all the other operations required to keep the manufacturing processes going.
These methods outlined above may require some effort, but they can certainly be done and be immensely helpful in keeping the environment clean while also helping you keep your company afloat. It’s all about being efficient and organized and making the right decisions regarding getting rid of your waste.
That being said, try to ensure that your warehouse is well-organized, consider following steps that will allow you to reduce the volume of the waste, opt for recovering, sorting, and recycling whenever possible, and limit the amount of packaging used.