From coast to coast, businesses in many industries are talking about going “green,” using less resources and producing less waste to achieve business objectives. It might surprise you to learn that even manufacturers are working towards going green.
Being a leaner, greener manufacturer is among Marlin Steel’s New Year’s resolutions. As such, Marlin’s employees and management team are constantly on the lookout for new ways to be more environmentally-friendly.
These efforts have actually paid off for Marlin Steel in a few ways, providing benefits that the company would not have seen if it had simply stuck to doing things in the same old, inefficient ways.
Benefit #1: Reduced Material Costs
Marlin Steel has enacted several procedures that help to reduce the waste of materials on the manufacturing line, which helps the company save on material costs.
One of the big innovations was to use state of the art manufacturing automation in the assembly process, such as Marlin’s laser-cutting robot for sheet metal. This device can cut custom shapes out of sheet metal without placing mechanical stress on the sheet metal plate. Because of this, more holes can be cut closer together, requiring less sheet metal to be used overall for cutting custom shapes out of it.
Additionally, Marlin Steel recycles the unused portion of whatever materials aren’t used in a given project, further helping to reduce costs and improve manufacturing sustainability.
Benefit #2: Reduced Energy Costs Per Part Made
For many manufacturers, energy costs can be one of the biggest variable costs of doing business, right behind payroll. While the recent shale gas boom did a lot to reduce costs, green practices can help drive energy costs even lower for energy-dependent manufacturers.
One example of greener practices that can reduce energy costs would be the new manufacturing algorithm created by researchers from the Chalmers University of Technology.
This revolutionary algorithm was featured in a manufacturing.net article a few months ago. According to the article, this algorithm can improve the efficiency of manufacturing robots, reducing energy consumption by up to 40% per machine.
Another example is Marlin’s constant work to improve efficiency by optimizing manufacturing machine uptimes. Idle machines still consume power, so by making the most use out of each machine possible on a given shift, Marlin can squeeze more performance out of each and minimize energy waste.
#3: Fewer Interruptions Implementing New Regulatory Standards
One of the more unexpected benefits of being ahead of the curve when it comes to being green as a manufacturer is that any new regulations laid out by the EPA tend to be less disruptive to operations.
If standards change, and you’re already exceeding them, there’s no need to take machinery down to upgrade or pull workers off of the line to retrain them, because they already meet the new standard.
This means more uptime for the factory as a whole to keep producing “Made in America” goods for clients all over the globe.
#4: Reduced Pollutant Production Makes for Healthier Employees
Limiting the amount of hazardous byproducts that are created by key manufacturing processes not only helps keep the planet healthier, it helps to keep employees healthy too.
Noxious gas vapor byproducts caused by some production processes can permanently injure employees, reducing their effectiveness at work, or causing them to be completely unable to work at all.
By keeping hazardous waste production to a minimum, Marlin Steel works to keep employees from being exposed to these harmful byproducts as well. This means more time spent working with a complete staff of dedicated workers, and less time trying to find people to fill those openings on the production line.
#5: It Makes for a Proud Production Team!
This particular benefit is something of an intangible one, but it’s no less important than any of the others.
By being able to produce high-quality goods for clients while being more resource and energy efficient, Marlin’s production team is able to take extra pride in their work. This sense of accomplishment helps to keep Marlin’s production team focused on their work and looking for ways to do even better.
The result is driven, engaged workers who connect with their work to produce better results.
Overall, Marlin is proud to continually strive to be a leaner, greener manufacturer, and looks forward to seeing what new green manufacturing innovations await the industry in the years to come!