7 Approaches to Sustainable Manufacturing Growth
Manufacturing growth creates wealth, comfort and prosperity for members of society. However, the growth trends of the traditional manufacturing industry in the recent past have indicated its negative implications on the environment, economy and society, thus calling into question its sustainability. Future generations need sustainable manufacturing. What is sustainable manufacturing? It is the creation of manufactured products through economically viable processes that minimize negative impacts on the environment while conserving energy and natural resources. Sustainable manufacturing requires a better future for community well-being, development and security. Being an important issue, it needs to be addressed, with guidelines. Seven key enablers identified in this context were highlighted.
Material consumption is the most important determining factor in manufacturing. The higher the share of the manufacturing sector in GDP, the higher the consumption of materials. Manufacturing growth continues to come under increasing pressure due to the insatiable thirst for new products, changing lifestyles, population growth, depletion of natural resources and rising emissions greenhouse gases (GHGs). Conventional linear consumption of make, use and throw away is unsustainable. This requires a circular model in all businesses – food, industrial products, e-mobility, e-commerce, e-products, breeding, etc. Circulating expensive electric vehicle batteries (EVBs) for precious metals like lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese in the unprecedented growth of the e-mobility industry has become a necessity. Can we afford to throw away electronic gadgets with each new arrival? Precision materials like gold and pallidum will cease to exist if not recycled. Therefore, designers, processors, assemblers, users, recyclers, policy makers and leaders need to think about “circularity” in every business process created.
2) Big Picture
Sustainability is a broad subject that is not limited to GHG emissions. It encompasses the United Nations priority areas of environment, social and governance. The 17 goals of the set of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) give a broad view of sustainability. The next four goals (numbered 7, 8, 9 and 12) in the list of SDGs cover manufacturing: clean and affordable energy, decent work and economic growth, innovation and industry infrastructure, and responsible consumption and production. Today, every manufacturing organization must have clear directions and goals for sustainability within the framework of the SDG targets. Technology to manage scalability and flexibility, integration of all processes, and people’s behavior and ethics will drive manufacturing sustainability.
Also Read: Why India Is Not A Global Manufacturing Hub
It’s about eliminating waste and adding value to manufacturing processes. Literature and experience have shown that 10-15% is the only added value in any manufacturing process. The rest is either waste or non-value added activity. Therefore, challenge every activity to achieve ideal lean limits. Taiichi Ohno’s Seven Wastes and Value Stream Mapping process inspires every manufacturing manager to identify these wastes and eliminate them. Anything that cannot add value is not needed in the system. Therefore, lean is a key driver in improving the productivity of resources (machines, materials and energy). Concepts such as standardization, value engineering, and continuous improvement in lean systems offer tremendous benefits for getting more with less.
Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a compression measure of how well a manufacturing operation is used to its full potential. Its three components, the availability of assets for delivery, the operational performance of operators and the quality of production, are integrated into it. With Industry 4.0 elements such as automation, RFID, autonomous operations, IoT, AI, ML and forecast analytics, the OEE of high-cost assets is expected to improve considerably. Therefore, efficient and effective utilization of technology-enabled high-cost assets would add to the company’s sustainable development momentum.
Traditional industrial manufacturing contributes about 20% of the generation of GHG emissions. However, digital technology trends are rapidly and dramatically transforming manufacturing processes for the better. The role of digitization in manufacturing processes, data-driven decision-making, use of AI and ML autonomous operations, optimal designs through software and hardware integration, production in small batches through 3D technology, simulation using real data to gain insights, timelines The collapse of product prototyping, testing and lifecycle management through cloud computing big data is accelerating the momentum of sustainable development in the manufacturing sector. Digital design is expected to be a dominant disruptor of tomorrow in
- (a) Optimize drawing specifications and production based on weight, energy consumption, emissions, efficiency, waste and expected product life,
- (b) Orient sourcing to low-carbon sources and recyclable processes,
- (c) Transition to green logistics.
Also Read: How Government Can Create Sustainable Manufacturing Growth in India6) Servitization The industry is in the midst of a servitization transformation. It is expanding its capabilities to deliver a superior end-customer experience. The manufacturer is venturing into advanced service delivery through a pay-as-you-go contract. Hassle-free and cost-effective mobility for end-users via Uber/Ola service instead of using a car belonging to an extremely low OEE is an example of servitization. Phillips provides lighting service rather than selling products. Kaku, instead of selling robots carrying out our riveting of sheet metal thanks to robots and loading on rivet nuggets delivered. In this process, quality is ensured by experts, the machine/equipment is efficiently maintained and used, and the unit cost of the product/service is reduced, thus supporting the approach of sustainability. It also speeds up the innovation process thanks to the direct relationship between the manufacturer and the end customer. This model can be a major contributor to the systemic efficiency approach to decarbonization and cost reduction.
Education through the teaching-learning process in schools and universities plays a major role in promoting a more conscious society to focus on issues related to sustainability such as climate change, control pollution, waste reduction, disaster risk management and biodiversity. Students, during their formative years, must have the values, knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to live sustainably and participate in society. Can current education policy make sustainability an integral part of the education value chain and make a difference for tomorrow?
In summary, for the benefit of future generations, the seven identified pillars for ensuring sustainable manufacturing require tangible actions from consumers, industry leaders, policy makers, researchers, educators and young people. .
Dr. Ravindra Ojha, Operations Professor at Great Lakes Institute of Management Gurgaon.
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