Today’s consumers are demanding more sustainable products. From The smallest of household appliances right through to large commercial vehicles, end consumers want to know where - and how - their products are sourced and manufactured.
This means that sustainable manufacturing must become a global priority.
What is sustainable manufacturing, and is it even possible?
Sustainable manufacturing refers to the use of processes and the reliance on strategies that ensure continuation of quality while minimising the impact on the environment. Of course, this is often something that’s easier said than done.
Manufacturing is often seen as an area where sustainability is challenging… or even an impossibility. With reports showing that one fifth of global carbon emissions come from manufacturing and production, it’s difficult to envision a future of change.
However, advanced manufacturing tech can boost sustainability in the most unlikely of places by combining both informational and operational systems to build intelligent platforms that provide businesses with greater control over their impact.
The role of technology in manufacturing isn’t to replace those tried-and-tested processes that have come to form the basis of quality production; it’s to enhance those processes with contemporary solutions that tackle today’s challenges.
These modern technologies are supporting sustainability in manufacturing by:
1. Highlighting weaknesses and vulnerabilities
With advanced technologies, it becomes easier to analyse existing processes and identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities in manufacturing methodologies that are standing in the way of more sustainable production. Visibility, insight, and understanding is key to implementing the right changes - at the right time - to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing while maintaining quality.
2. Reducing transport emissions
It’s not just technology itself that supports sustainability, but how that tech is rolled out across the globe. When localised facilities are provided with advanced technologies that reduce reliance on centralised supply chains, opportunities emerge to both shorten the supply chain and reduce shipping distances to the end consumer. Both of which can have significant, positive effects on transport emissions.
3. Minimising waste
Technology can help both people and machinery to operate with greater efficiency; something that is essential for reducing energy consumption, water usage, and waste. Tech can be used to eliminate data silos to provide a ‘big picture’ overview of operations, streamline asset management, and boost productivity, all with the ultimate aim of keeping waste to the bare minimum.
4. Facilitating real time response
Using technology, manufacturers and facilities managers can gain real time insight into operations, processes, and workplace efficiency. This enables them to respond quickly and make necessary improvements and adaptations rapidly to prevent drops in the level of sustainability being achieved. Real time response allows manufacturers to work more proactively to avoid issues, rather than resolve them.
Doing our part for a brighter tomorrow
At Helixx, we believe that a technology-driven, sustainable, and environmentally friendly future is possible, even for challenging industries such as manufacturing.
However, we also believe that sustainability can’t just be an initiative; it can’t simply be a box-ticking exercise that looks good to business partners and consumers. It must be approached from the perspective of fundamental change. With the right change - at the right time - we don’t have to settle only for a carbon neutral landscape. It’s possible that carbon negative manufacturing will become reality.
Want to find out more? Get in touch.