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05 Dec 2014

The Environmental Impact of Manufacturing

The Environmental Impact of Manufacturing

Since the industrial revolution, we have seen a gradual rise in the production of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Some consider this to be the cause of climate change. Reducing our impact on the environment has become increasingly important.

There are a number of different methods to measure the impact manufacturing has on the environment. One such is the impact equation or IPAT. The three principles of the equation are: population (P), affluence (A) and technology (T).

It is difficult to restrict population growth and unreasonable to limit consumer demand in an age of increasing affluence. As manufacturers, we need to reduce the impact of our production processes whilst still providing value to the customer.  

One way to decrease the environmental impact of your product is to consider the manufacturing process. By maintaining machinery and replacing out-of-date equipment, you can ensure efficiency.  Newer machinery tends to be more fuel-efficient and cleaner in terms of air pollutants.

While its main purpose is not specifically to reduce your carbon footprint, a lean approach to manufacturing can yield a variety of environmental benefits.  The key outcome of lean manufacturing is to reduce waste in terms of materials, time and energy. When implemented efficiently, manufacturers can expect to see a reduction in the use of water, raw materials and energy, resulting in lower emissions of air pollutants and a reduction in hazardous waste.

Manufacturers can also reduce their environmental impact by examining supply chains. By consolidating operations, it is possible to reduce the carbon footprint from travel; exporting and importing goods.  

At Fascia Graphics® we implement a number of these different strategies, such as lean manufacturing, investment in new machinery and maintenance of the highest production standards.

2014 marked the second consecutive year we have reduced our carbon footprint. This was achieved through investment in a second state of the art cylinder press, the Sakurai MS80-SD.  The Sakurai MS80-SD has enabled us to reduce our carbon footprint by more than 25%, through its heat exchange unit that cleans and recycles the waste air out of the drying line. 

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