Amid the concerns over climate change and the ongoing challenges in dealing with the pandemic, the topic of manufacturing processes isn’t one that comes up often, but perhaps it should be.
Manufacturing actually has a huge impact on the environment, and the toll the pandemic took on factories is something for which manufacturers need immediate, long lasting solutions.
As it turns out, 45% of the world’s emissions could be completely eliminated by making changes to the manufacturing industry. Currently, manufacturing accounts for 54% of the world’s energy consumption and 20% of global emissions. Changing just 5 areas of manufacturing could eliminate emissions equal to the same as removing all transportation. Manufacturing should be a hot topic for those who seek to improve the projections for our entire planet.
All of this could also tie into the solutions to preparing manufacturers for unexpected “black swan” events, such as a global pandemic. The pandemic caused rampant, unexpected damage to manufacturing, and it’s certainly not the only kind of event that could do the same kind of damage. Other “black swan” events such as geopolitical unrest, natural disasters, and shipping disruptions could also have the same kinds of effects on manufacturers.
The pandemic caused an array of issues such as broken supply chains, delivery delays, increasing costs, rapid shifts in demand, and general uncertainty. By making changes to how manufacturing is done, manufacturers could resolve climate issues and be prepared for the unexpected at the same time.
The factory of the future is a “smart factory”, completely with all the digital technology available to streamline the manufacturing process and reduce waste. Adaptable technology, such as robotics and easily reconfigured equipment, as well as scalable production and a versatile workforce, will help manufacturers to work at the top of their full capacity, while protecting the environment, cutting costs, and reducing waste.