"Going green" is the buzzword for manufacturers who are putting environmentally friendly production practices into place in order to fulfill customer orders while minimizing their carbon footprint. Not all companies are willing to put these initiatives in place, however, and if you aren't sure whether your assembly work is being done in an eco-friendly way, you should be asking some questions. Nobody wants to sign a contract for manufacturing or assembly with a company that is an irresponsible steward for the environment. And fortunately for most industries, eco-friendly production and molding processes can be green as well as cost effective.
Using recycled plastics or resins in the production of your product is a major step toward becoming greener, but the right company can also increase your production output and save you money by recycling scrap materials that are created during the manufacturing process itself. In most cases, 99% of the scrap material can and should be reused during manufacture. Some manufacturers are also using bio-composite materials that can be recycled and that minimize the use of plastics in certain applications where natural fibers derived from cellulose and plants are utilized.
In some cases, the energy it takes to transport completed products to far-flung distribution centers can significantly increase the carbon footprint of the product due to fuel and storage costs. If you are working with a business that locates their distribution centers close to their fabricating facilities, your impact on the environment can be significantly curtailed because minimal shipping costs and close proximity mean less money and energy is wasted on shipping from the production site to the warehousing and shipping locale.
Ask for a tour of the contract manufacturing assembly plant when you're in the area. They should be happy to walk you through the facility and point out various green initiatives that reduce the carbon footprint of their process. When possible, natural cooling and heating alternatives should be put in place. Utilizing local energy saving programs and computerized monitoring of materials and energy use can also net impressive savings while reducing reliance on inefficient energy sources such as fluorescent lighting. Look for low-E and LED lighting in both the production facilities and offices. Electronics recycling programs and in-house recycling options for employees are also powerful steps in the right direction for contract manufacturing assembly plants.
Contract manufacturing assembly's number one priority is to produce top quality products for their customers in a cost-effective manner, but doing so doesn't mean the process can't be energy efficient. It also doesn't mean that to produce a quality item, you have to rely on cheaply made, oversized packaging blisters or containers. Green contract manufacturing assembly plant engineers can help you develop new product options and new packaging processes that are recyclable and made from recycled materials. Reusable packaging is also an important facet of going green that is not only good for the environment, but good for your bottom line.
Talk to your contract manufacturing assembly representative about how and why they are going green before you sign your next contract so that you can become a steward of our fragile environment without cutting into your profits.
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