The Future of Factory Automation in Carbon Footprint

Humans and machines have been intertwined for centuries, even with technology accelerating at a rapid pace. Machines have been important in our society especially in the manufacturing industry where factories need equipment for their output production. These machines have not only relieved workers the burden of the dangerous and sophisticated tasks in the production line but also help the factory to produce twice as much output in a short amount of time.  For the best automation solutions for your business, visit IntelLiDrives

                Not only that these machines help the company double its production output but it also lessens the product’s variation to achieve and deliver the best quality possible. The decrease in product variation helped them to save operation costs as the process became efficient and optimized.

                But, more than these benefits that these machines provide to the industry, the more pressing concern is, are they contributing to the CO2 emissions on the planet? Are there ways that can lower the factory’s machinery carbon footprint?

                For the past years, the state of the global environment has been a global debate, not only the environment has been deteriorating due to reduction of forests, but people are also worried that factory equipment contributes too to the global decline. As new machines have been growing smarter but their manufacturers should have been looking for steps that these machineries will care for the environment.

                Carbon Footprint is defined as greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by either an individual, organization or product and they are expressed as a carbon dioxide equivalent.

                In an article Raconteur about Klaus Petersen who is the direction of Marketing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for Mitsubishi Electric Factory Automation has explained at great lengths that new machines that manufacturing plants have been using are in fact helping the organizations in cutting its carbon footprint. Not only do these machines help increase the output of factories but they are also green.

                He said that if workers and a machine have been compared in a complete working day, machines emit less CO2 than of workers which makes them more efficient and twice as productive. He explained that even though the backlash of these machines affects factory workers due to job loss, it is more helpful to the plant this way because, in workers that repeat its work every day, it makes the employees dissatisfied and might affect the production speed and quality. Unlike machines that are programmed for repetitive work. Instead, he advised that let the machines do the repetitive tasks  and harness the workers’ skills in looking for solutions that may arise in the production facility.

                But, if there is still doubt if machines contribute half  of the carbon emissions than humans emit, here are ways that can help further reduce the carbon footprint of the factory machinery.

  1. Optimize production processes through operational innovations

              Optimization of production processes includes using tools that can speed up the process such as Six Sigma which is a framework that reduces the waste product of outputs. This way not only the manufacturing plant is saving costs by reducing the product variation but it is also helpful to the environment especially to factories that have e-waste. E-waste is a waste product from used electronic devices. To reduce the damage that e-waste can affect the environment, factories can recycle, reuse or refurbish it into other products.

  1. Monitor factory’s energy use

             Factories can consume a lot of water and electricity in its operations which is why it is important for the workers to conserve energy even in small ways such as turning the computer when not in use or switching the lights off. In terms of machinery, to reduce energy waste, the organization should practice doing maintenance checks on their machinery. A lot of energy is wasted when a machine breaks down as it consumes manpower and electricity.

  1. Recycle and Reduce packaging

           Manufacturers should look for ways that can reduce the amount of packaging used in outputs or if these packaging can be reuse for later. The management can also try to recycle defective products and packaging which can be used again in the production line. Not only will this be beneficial to the environment, but it can also help the company’s finances.

             Factory Automation still has a long way to improve but with the global understanding and drive to produce environmentally friendly machines. In the future, we may see machines that will not only speed up production processes but will also be environmentally friendly and can reduce the company’s carbon emissions.

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