By Katherine Bonfante, Managing Editor, Digital Media
Save the environment. Recycle. Save energy. Go green. Buy a hybrid. These and other things are what people constantly talk about today. By browsing the Internet, I find many articles that suggest how each of us can do our part for the environment. Going green takes time and effort and can be costly. If, for the average person, going green costs a lot—have you seen the prices on those hybrid cars? —can you imagine how expensive running a green factory might be?
No matter what, I believe going green is the answer to our future, and we should make necessary changes to have that future.
ControlDesign.com has articles featuring what some of our Machine Builder Nation members are doing to make their plants, machines and products as green as possible.
Log on to www.ControlDesign.com/greenisnotenough to read Senior Technical Editor Dan Hebert's story, "Green—Your Way." In this article, Hebert learns what different companies such as Optimation Technology, Dynatorch, GL&V Paper Group and Partner Pak do to become green.
Building green machines isn't just about producing machines that can save energy. Customers today want equipment that emits fewer pollutants, can be repurposed to produce other products, cuts waste and scrap, cuts cycle and idle time and uses automation to replace materials.
Hebert says that as a machine designer and manufacturer, claiming that your devices are green is not enough. You should back up your claim with specific performance and cost advantages.
Contributor Loren Shaum wrote a story on sustainable machines, as well. His report established that the industry still uses older machines, not green machines, that continue to perform well. However, builders and system integrators constantly have to worry about keeping these machines running economically while helping users migrate to new greener technology. Shaum studied how some builders deal with this issue. Read his article, "The Sustainable Machine," at www.ControlDesign.com/sustainablemachine to find out more.
You can also log on to our Machine Builder Forum and weigh in with your opinion. There, we ask how important sustainable manufacturing is to your customers. So far, sustainable manufacturing is a convenient phrase to collect all the energy- and material-saving initiatives applicable to manufacturing. Green initiatives for machine builders have been put in place, but what else is being practiced by machine builders? Can recyclable materials replace certain machine components, reclaimable at the end of machine life? Can you replace wire and cable with wireless alternatives? Is there a value proposition for you?
Visit www.ControlDesign.com/sustain and tell us if you believe green manufacturing is important to your customers. Do you think you have a role to advocate for greener machines?