Time to read: 5 minutes
Waste reduction to lower CO₂
By: Austin Watkins
Waste is an inevitable part of the manufacturing process; one that can take a hit on a company’s bottom line. But when businesses prioritize waste reduction at the source, they save time, money and resources that can easily be measured to show efforts in lowering CO₂.
Defining waste reduction
Ways to reduce waste
Schedule colour changes
Scheduling colour changes only works when you have the luxury of planning production runs in advance. With just-in-time production or when only using a few colours, this is not often a feasible approach.
Proactive maintence plans
Well-timed screw pulls, routine maintenance purges, and even regular heater-band checks can ensure that burned material and other contaminants don't accumulate within your machine.
Screw pulls or extended cleans normally require a lot of time and labour from the manufacturing or maintenance team, so plan accordingly.
Reuse waste in the plant
To achieve this, preprocessing equipment such as grinders are typically required onsite. Additionally, this process involves the reintroduction of degraded or contaminated materials back into machines; something to consider as customer requirements may not allow reprocessed polymers.
Use purging compounds
With many different types of compounds on the market, the task of finding one could feel very daunting. Our purging solutions experts are at the ready to support your journey in implementing purging compounds. Contact us today to receive a free sample to see the benefits of this process firsthand in your facilities.
Designing for waste reduction
While product purpose, shape and durability are key factors in the decision-making process as well, in this initial phase, it’s critical to consider the products end-of-life goal. Certain polymers have a much larger demand in the post-consumer market than others due to reprocessing feasibility as well as customer demand.
EXPERT INSIGHT FAQ
Measuring waste reduction
Let’s break it down with a very simplified example:
- You need 1 kilo per part and in the next run, you need to make 1,000 parts.
- In a perfect production, you would make 1,000 parts with 1,000 kilos.
- Rather, you find that you’ve used 1,300 kilos to make your 1000 parts.
- Then the answer is clear. You had 300 kilos of waste in that production run.
The benefits of waste reduction
Additionally, less waste means fewer raw materials needed for production. As we saw earlier this year, large resin demands cannot always be met and it is only expected to rise in the coming years.
Lastly, less waste also means more running time for your machines; therefore, machines can be optimally used to produce money-generating products rather than wasted material. Additionally, with machines running optimally, the energy that was needed before to achieve the same level of clean is reduced. Combining these two factors is the ultimate CO2 and cost reduction strategy.
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