Manufacturing today goes green or as close as it possibly can and not only to save the planet. Sustainability in this industry is associated with major money savings, Though the initial investment for many green manufacturing technologies is significant, long-term savings are ‘life-changing’ for many businesses. For example, the International Energy Agency states that US manufacturers waste up to $80 billion on electricity due to their inefficient equipment.
With the creation of smart manufacturing tools that allow even small businesses to enter manufacturing markets and provide competition to outdated factories, going green has ceased to be optional. Today factories must turn smart in order to survive, and this kind of technology is more energy-efficient by default. However, this alone is not enough to make the manufacturing business truly green.
Luckily, the owners of these businesses realize that, and the pressure from community also plays a part. Running an eco-friendly operation instantly gives one a marketing boost. The profile of environmental issues has risen so much that today we are standing on the brink of Green Revolution. It’s definitely a ‘healthier’ version of its predecessor, Industrial Revolution, which gave us progress but resulted in a severe depletion of resources.
Finding new sustainable energy sources is one of the main goals for green manufacturing technology. TRS Staffing reports on the development of technology that will enable conversion of CO2 into fuel. This Carbon Capture tech does not only produce energy, it also drastically reduces carbon emissions. If the solution proves to be viable and is adopted at all manufacturing facilities, this might be the biggest push that will start the aforementioned Green Revolution full force.
Green Manufacturing Technologies: 2 Main Ways to Make Factories Eco-Friendly
1. Reducing waste
Recycling and other types of waste reduction are one of the slowest green solutions to penetrate the manufacturing industry. Despite the fact that achieving this will not only benefit the planet but also lead to significant savings for the business, the technologies capable of helping factories make any significant improvements in this direction are not here yet.
But it must be noted that some businesses are doing their best to lead by example. General Mills is one of the leaders in efficiency of managing waste that managed to recycle 86% of all its solid waste in 2006. Coors definitely drew some inspiration from General Mills using oat husks as fuel and bow the beer manufacturer is turning its waste beer into 3 million gallons of ethanol.
2. Reducing energy consumption
Energy savings are a direct result of installing green manufacturing technologies and overall updating the industrial facilities. Companies can reduce their energy consumption and therefore CO2 emissions in many ways, including installing LED lights and smart sensors, installing advanced automated equipment to boost the efficiency of the production line, insulating the building for better climate control, etc. These changes require a massive investment, but you can get tax breaks from them as well as use government subsidies to purchase some of the equipment, for example solar panels.
Green manufacturing technologies might not be all over the place yet, but as this is one of the main industry trends in 2018, we can expect to see more smart factories in the near future.