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Best Practices in Eco-Friendly Innovation for Manufacturing and Materials Handling Industries

Posted April 23, 2017 12:00 AM by ahorner_22
Pathfinder Tags: radwell sustainability

For many manufacturers, the prospect of moving towards eco-friendly solutions is very much front of mind; however, implementing the necessary changes is easier said than done. There are many available options for saving not only the bottom line, but the environment.

Recycling

Recycling is something that people have been doing for decades. Despite this, many businesses’ recycling efforts are not as effective as they could be. Implementing this notion across a manufacturing floor can be difficult. A solid recycling process is imperative to making the most of recycling efforts.

Streamlining inventory and warehousing

Streamlining is key. Inefficiencies in production can be costly to the business and to the environment. It is worth spending money to properly evaluate any inefficient processes in order to implement savings strategies.

Use low-impact and recycled materials

Recycling your own waste materials is one thing—but is your business completing the cycle by purchasing recycled products? Recycled paper for the office is just the beginning. Many packaging firms are now offering eco-friendly options, such as recycled plastics.

Green machines

Technology in machinery is advancing at an incredible rate. Driverless technology can cut down on wasted time and energy costs by avoiding human error. But this is only the beginning. Hydrogen powered forklifts are another innovation which are already proving their worth in the industrial sector.

Invest in maintenance

The phrase ‘working like a well-oiled machine’ is a cliché for a reason: maintenance is important. Not only do poorly maintained machines cost a business in downtime, they also require replacement of parts at an accelerated rate.

Solar power

Solar technology, while not a new concept, is becoming increasingly more affordable and reliable. Storage is becoming more advanced. Energy is a huge cost to manufacturers, and is perhaps the largest single area for savings potential in the industry.


Editor's note: This is a sponsored post from Radwell International.

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Power-User

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#1

Re: Best Practices in Eco-Friendly Innovation for Manufacturing and Materials Handling Industries

04/24/2017 1:19 AM

I think the idea might be great, but implementation is not as easy as you might have concluded after reading some general knowledge books.

  1. Recycling does not work many times just because it is easier for people who are paid for that, to destroy used materials rather than make them available for new uses.
  2. Using recycled materials is sensible in consumer products, but it would be a mess in high demanding industries, such as industrial sectors, where stopping the manufacturing process can lead to high economical losses.
  3. Solar panels are not as clean as most of the public might think, mostly due to the manufacturing process.

Implementing new eco-friendly solutions can be done, but it requires at least some experienced professionals.

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#2
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Re: Best Practices in Eco-Friendly Innovation for Manufacturing and Materials Handling Industries

04/24/2017 1:37 PM

Finally - I have asked about your item #3 before, and been ignored. I felt there had to be a problem with the manufacturing, but this is the first time I've seen someone say so.

On your #1 - that is what happens around here - a rather rural area. We segregate the cardboard and plastic for the waste collection company, and we've been told they just run it to a landfill and dump it like any other waste.

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#3
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Re: Best Practices in Eco-Friendly Innovation for Manufacturing and Materials Handling Industries

04/24/2017 4:45 PM

Recycling just doesn't make cents in many rural areas. There isn't enough volume to to make it cost effective. That's why many rural homes have burn barrels.

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#4

Re: Best Practices in Eco-Friendly Innovation for Manufacturing and Materials Handling Industries

04/24/2017 4:50 PM

http://www.plugpower.com/products/gendrive/

This is what I found under hydrogen powered forklifts. Fuel cells have come (and gone) a long way, baby!

Of course, this requires being on the hydrogen pipeline, or at least an LH2 delivery route? OR, someone also has installed a hydrogen generating system (reverse fuel cell basically), that runs off standard industrial power, and produces the fuel at pressure.

Pretty cool stuff, I think. At the beginning of my career I would have laughed.

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