Environment-friendly manufacturing processes are vital to the success of businesses. Consumers care about the way that products are made, and how they can be recycled or reused. To meet the needs and concerns of consumers, manufacturers of all types are turning to robotics and online manufacturing to grow their sustainable practices.
1. Reducing Carbon Footprints
Some ports are turning to use automated robots to reduce their carbon footprint. Instead of gas-powered trucks and tools, robotic vehicles are being used instead. The robots do not rely on fossil fuels for power, so their engines run clean.
2. Speeding Up Recycling
Robots can take tedious jobs and speed them up. One of the jobs that robots are good at is sorting recycled material. They can do it quickly and efficiently, and they do not require all of the safety gear and training that humans need. Humans can sort about 800 items in an hour, but robots can sort around 2,000 items in the same amount of time.
3. Cleaning Tanks More Efficiently
Another place that robots are helping the environment is in chemical plants. These plants have massive tanks that need cleaning on a regular basis. The tanks have small openings, and they are filled with toxic chemicals and volatile gases.
In the past, humans have had to enter these confined spaces to clean the tanks. They had to be trained in several safety procedures, wear a plethora of safety gear, and undergo decontamination procedures each time they left the tanks. Now, robotic tank cleaning can do it in a fraction of the time, using less water and cleaning materials. They take away the danger from human employees, and robots can work 24 hours per day.
4. Improving Sustainable Manufacturing
Robots are being used in different types of manufacturing to create more efficiency with fewer resources. Robots reduce errors, so less waste is produced.
One computer company is relying on robots to pick reusable parts out of recycled products. This type of manufacturing sustainability in speeding up the transition to Industry 4.0. Less waste is produced and the robots are able to find and separate the small parts more efficiently than human hands can.
5. Cleaning Natural Resources
Robots are also being used outside of manufacturing to help with green living. Several organizations rely on robots to clean waterways. These robots float atop the water and collect the trash as it floats. Another water-cleaning robot is able to digest pollution. The robot turns the trash into fuel that powers the boat and that controls it. Inventors are working on upscaling the robot so it can power large tankers and cargo freighters, too.
Robots are also used to clean plants that become dirty from the garbage and grime in the water. By cleaning water and flora in it, robots are protecting the lives of animals that make their homes in wetlands and coastal areas. They also help clean food supplies for people.
This infographic was created by Keyence, a provider of optical profilometers