Review of Current Trend in Sustainable Manufacturing

1 January 2017

Sustainable manufacturing revolves around the cooperation and efforts of manufacturers, and the customers support towards this process. The manufacturing industry is in support for sustainable manufacturing, but there are some factors that still need to be ironed out so that manufacturing can go full swing into sustainable manufacturing.

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Sustainable manufacturing goal can be achieved through sourcing for materials locally, using natural resources for production instead of too much chemical, energy and resource conservation, recycling where whatever waste that the industry produces should and can be recycled and education about environment conservation through sustainable manufacturing to all. These important steps should be taken from now itself in order to protect the environment and for the future of our next generation. Keywords: Sustainable manufacturing, recycling, environment conservation.

Sustainable manufacturing is a manufacturing methodology that exists for quite some time in manufacturing environment with an ecological goal set in mind to produce and manufacture products for today’s generation’s ever increasing needs without risking reproducibility of the products in the future [1]. This can be achieved by adopting ecological methods in current manufacturing environment to ensure sustainability. Engineering, ecological and economical aspects must be integrated in decision making for a product’s manufacturability consideration.

There are many concerns that manufacturers have in expressing their support of sustainable manufacturing, such as customers’ perception in accepting recycled products with a fear of lack of quality of the product. Another concern of manufacturers would be the stability in supply of recycled materials because the materials that can be reused might not be identified properly by the customers. These items are to be resend to the manufacturer and this needs the support from product end users. In this case, the manufacturer, the recycling industry and the end users should be aligned with the same mindset [2].

Education for . the public also plays a main role in promoting sustainability and about its impact to the environment. All parties, the manufacturers, employees, suppliers, business partners, non-governmental organizations (NGO), customers, schools, communities, local and national governments should play their part in creating awareness regarding sustainability. They need to be provided with sufficient knowledge, training and resources on sustainability in order to create a future generation that cares for the environment and continue doing their part for the future of the human being.

In this paper we will be discussing about the concerns that manufacturers express in support of sustainable manufacturing, which will have impact on the conservation of the environment. Looking at the overall picture, the manufacturing industry is in support for sustainable manufacturing, provided the sustainable manufacturing key obstacles could be solved, if not be reduced. The main area to be looked into would be customer segments, product value propositions and resources. Several methods will be deployed to resolve the obstacles and at the same time maintaining the sustainable manufacturing goal.

Despite sustainable manufacturing has been a current trend in most of the countries in the world, the main deciding playing factor would still be the manufacturing cost. Although the manufacturing industry is being assisted by international legislations, international trade treaties and a global move towards sustainable manufacturing, many manufacturers are still reluctant to take this bold step. Being holistic alone is not sufficient in this sense. Establishment of new manufacturing paradigms, standards, rules and legislations are necessary.

Manufacturers have many concerns that block them from venturing into sustainable manufacturing. 4. 1Economical concerns Many manufacturers are reluctant to venture into sustainable manufacturing due to lack of confidence that this method is economically sustainable and has many advantages. The manufacturers are more worried about their survival and the capability to maintain sustainable design in their manufacturing process [7]. Manufacturers can try to manufacture products using designs that use less energy and fewer natural resources for better sustainability.

As the first step, the manufacturers will have to invest in research and development of the most effective way in order to attain these criteria, and this involves cost. Lack of technical support among employees in achieving sustainable manufacturing is another issue that manufacturers need to look into and resolve [3]. 4. 2Knowledge on sustainability The manufacturers fail to understand what sustainable manufacturing is all about. The manufacturers do not realize that lack of knowledge on sustainable manufacturing is a loss to them.

At present, there are still not much accessible resources for the manufacturers to refer to broaden their mind on issues concerning sustainable manufacturing. Currently, since not many are practicing sustainable practices, until it becomes something in common the manufacturer will still find it as a difficult process to be followed. Furthermore, some manufacturers are still lacking in awareness regarding the current market trend which demands the manufacturing industry to focus on sustainable manufacturing instead of the traditional way. 4. 3Competition and survival

Since not all the countries stress on regulations regarding green or sustainable manufacturing, the manufacturers in countries that enforce the regulations fear that the competitor will be able to give a better pricing by compromising on the environmental concerns. Some manufacturers tend to enter the market for a short period of time frame and manage to offer competitive price by neglecting sustainability. This situation creates a tough competitive environment for manufacturers that are implementing sustainable manufacturing at a higher cost. 4. 4Attitude

The manufacturer’s attitude towards sustainability is one of the deciding factors whether the manufacturer will venture into sustainable manufacturing or not. The mindset of employers and employees at all level need to be tuned to accept and implement sustainable manufacturing. This is not an easy task. A clear path to achieve effective sustainable practices need to be drafted, put into action, monitored and only then it can be implemented. Manufacturers are also still lacking of accountability towards the environment.

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