Does an engineer have to sacrifice production output to be environmentally sustainable? According to Dassault Systemes, the answer is no.
Sustainable manufacturing and efficient engineering go hand in hand. The outcome is an improved manufacturing process that is not only lean but also productive.
Last month I attended the Manufacturing in the Age of Experience event hosted by Dassault Systemes in Shanghai, China. The key message conveyed was that in today’s world—with the impending climate crisis and resource scarcity—engineers need to manufacture products more sustainably; the production process cannot be a burden on the world.
But what exactly is sustainable manufacturing, and what is the engineer’s role in the process?
Defining sustainable manufacturing is the first step.
What is Sustainable Manufacturing?
Sustainable manufacturing rests on three main pillars, as listed by Dassault Systemes.
- Optimized lean engineering operations: Creating a manufacturing process that eliminates waste, reduces overproduction, errors, scrap, and delay.
- Unified Work Process: Establishing a collaborative workflow across all engineering departments that promote transparency and efficiency.
- Workforce of Tomorrow: Educating a future workforce that uses the latest tools available to be more efficient, collaborative, and safe.
“For the longest time, people viewed sustainability as helping improve the planet. And while we all agree with that, that’s just one element of sustainability,” said Eric Green, vice president and managing director of user experience at Dassault Systemes.
“In addition to that, an industrial environment that focuses on lean manufacturing helps reinforce the idea of sustainability, and helps drive operational efficiencies. And to do that, we have to orchestrate across the different stakeholders.”