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Standards for Environmental Performance in Manufacturing

I attended a manufacturing conference in Italy recently and one of the major topics of discussion was green and sustainable manufacturing. There are a lot of other topics to be sure – but this one is building steam. The discussions range from process level issues to systems approaches, to design … Read more »

Data Collection for Energy and Resource Monitoring

I mentioned in my last article that I was attending a manufacturing conference in Italy the end of August and that there was a lot more discussion about some aspects of green and sustainable manufacturing – at least efficient use of energy. This is supported by business surveys and comments … Read more »

Drinking from a Firehose: Data Collection Part II

Recently I attended the IMTS in Chicago also known as the “greatest (manufacturing) show on earth” to paraphrase Barnum and Bailey. And it was a bit of a circus. Instead of rings there were several large halls chock full of the latest manufacturing technology (hardware and software) and every vendor … Read more »

Greenwashing in Reverse: Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress

Whenever I am thinking of what would be a good topic around which to build the next posting, I never have to wait long till something pops up. This time…the peculiar intersection of celebrity and the environment. Maybe you did not see this (it was hard to miss if you … Read more »

How Manufacturing Affects Product Use Performance

Remember our discussion a while back about “buy-to-fly” ratio? This was referring to the amount of the materials that actually end up in the product as one metric of material utilization efficiency (July 2, 2010 posting). The variation in that ratio was impressive with some of our more sophisticated products … Read more »

Leveraging Manufacturing for a Sustainable World

I recently attended a conference on high performance manufacturing in Gifu, Japan, focusing on a variety of technical advances to push manufacturing ahead in the face of increasing competition, rising costs, difficult-to-process materials and changing requirements due to advanced product designs. A sub-theme of the conference was energy efficient manufacturing. … Read more »

Leveraging Resources, or Future Planning for Future Rewards

A number of items passing across my computer screen (or my ears from the radio) have prompted an additional posting on “leveraging” following our last blog on leveraging manufacturing. These are, in no particular order, the continuing development of the Chinese high speed rail network (as reported on NPR recently), … Read more »

‘A Christmas Carol’ Gets Sustainability Remake

One of the things that formed part of our recent holiday routine was watching the Alastair Sims version of Dicken’s classic A Christmas Carol (see You Tube). Scrooge (the character Sims plays) is visited by three spirits on Christmas Eve (in his dreams) who show him the errors of his … Read more »

Sustainable Consumption Can Lead to Sustainable Manufacturing

I recently attended a technical meeting in Europe on manufacturing, where the flames of green manufacturing have been flamed and are burning brightly! A separate session on energy efficiency and resource effectiveness saw a group of presentations ranging from more detailed analysis of energy use patterns in production processes (think … Read more »

Sustainable Consumption Part II: Everyone Wants a Label

Last time we started to introduce the issues around sustainable consumption – from a manufacturing perspective. I know this sounds a bit strange, consumption from a production viewpoint, but the idea was motivated by the need to reduce the demand for unnecessary products (or, at least, to minimize the waste … Read more »

Green Consumption and Green Manufacturing

Recent postings have been discussing the connection between the use phase impact of a product and the manufacturing phase impact and what influences these. This was in the context of both looking at means to reduce consumption (meaning giving the consumer products that deliver the required functionality or service but … Read more »