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Green manufacturing 101


Manufacturing is when you take raw materials and combine the raw materials together to form a finished product. Most people when they think of manufacturing they think about having to order all of the numerous parts that are going to be needed to put together the finished product that is going to be for sale. For example, computers require a variety of little parts to be put together to sell the finished product. With manufacturing, you are probably aware of the various forms of manufacturing that can be used, but you might not be familiar with green manufacturing.

When people think of manufacturing they do not think of green manufacturing because the thought of manufacturing is large companies, putting numerous emissions into the air to manufacture their product. For example, chemical processing plants and gas refineries are types of manufacturing plants, which nobody thinks about them using green methods of manufacturing. The problem is that more and more people are becoming concerned with the environment, so more companies have to change their manufacturing methods to help protect the environment.

One thing that many companies are beginning to do to help their business go green is recycling. While many manufacturing plants have begun, recycling this is only a small step that they can take to go green. Green manufacturing is a viable option for all manufacturing plants because it is all about choices in the manufacturing methods that you use. Green manufacturing supports and sustains a renewable way of producing products and/or services that will not harm you or the environment.

One of the biggest concerns with manufacturing plants is that they are a big source of pollution and wasted energy. Manufacturing plants account for about 25% of the energy used each year in the United States. Aside from all of the energy, it consumes manufacturing often leads to pollution because most of the energy that is used in manufacturing is obtained via combustion processes from coal, coke, natural gases, oil, and waste which generate a lot of harmful greenhouse gases.

No matter what type of manufacturing you are doing, it is going to create some type of pollution because of the amount and type of waste that is produced. If your company is producing electronic items, you are going to have problems disposing of certain components because of the various depositions and etching technologies that are being used in making the components, the same holds true with chemical and primary material plants. Regardless of what industry you are, working is waste disposal and energy consumption is a major problem. This is where the concept of green manufacturing comes into play. By making, a few small changes you can help make your manufacturing plant more environmentally friendly.

Here are some things that you should know about green manufacturing:

  • Uses raw ingredients (which can and does include organic ingredients if the pricing is reasonable) as much as possible if the finished product is biodegradable
  • Does not use hazardous chemical conditioners, chemical anti-bacterial or chemical preservatives in any of the products that might end up in waste systems (landfills) or in the environment
  • Provides a cleaner source of energy through new technology
  • Will decrease energy consumption in process by using new technology
  • Can convert pollutants and wastes into byproducts and promote their use and recycling along with the use of the product (such as ink cartridges)
  • Use process improvements to maximize the yield and to help minimize the waste that is produced
  • Can be expensive to convert from your previous manufacturing practices because it is going to involve numerous changes
  • Is much better for the environment and makes better use of the materials that are being used

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