What you should know about green manufacturing
Most of you probably already know what manufacturing is, but if you don't manufacturing is when you take raw materials, which are separate materials of a finished product, and put the materials together to form a finished product. When people think of manufacturing they think about having to order numerous parts that they are going to have to put together in an assembly line so that they can obtain a finished product that they can then sell. So while many of you are familiar about the various manufacturing methods what you might not be familiar with is something called green manufacturing. When you think of manufacturing you probably think about huge buildings in the industrial parts of town that are mass producing things such as automobiles and computers. Or you might even think of gas refineries or chemical processing plants.
In today's economy many businesses and people alike are concerned about our environment. More and more people and businesses are recycling certain things to help save the environment, but when you think about manufacturing you don't really see any way that it can be done and still help the environment; this is where green manufacturing comes in. Green manufacturing is all about choices in manufacturing methods that support and sustain a renewable way of producing products and/or services that will not harm you or the environment.
In our current economy manufacturing is one of the biggest sources of pollution and wasted energy. In fact manufacturing accounts for about 25% of the energy used each year in the United States. But 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 which kind 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 deposition 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. But that is where green manufacturing comes in, 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-bacterials 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
One thing that you need to keep in mind about green manufacturing is that it is a choice you are going to have to make, nobody is going to force you to enact these practices but in the end it is better for everybody involved.