According to an article called “The Role of Sustainable Product and Factory Design” product designers have an enormous influence on the environmental foot print of their products. As manufacturers are attempting to create more sustainable environments, products need to be examined from the conceptual design to the end of life, not by simply the process of manufacturing them.
Each step of the manufacturing process should be examined. The article suggested these:
1.) Conceptual design: Consider the environmental lifecycle costs associated with different conceptual design options. Which designs have the most factors that will have large impact on the environmental impact?
2.) Detailed engineering: Use of specialized programs can help engineers choose alternative materials for the production and actual design of a product based on performance and lower environmental impact.
3.) Simulation: The alternative materials must be tested. Making sure the design in this stage is good will help reduce needs like cooling and increase efficiency if the product has moving parts.
4.) Manufacturing: Each product design decision affects the environment within the manufacturing facility. Optimizing resources such as heating, cooling and lighting should be considered.
5.) Maintenance: Maintaining and disassembling a product should have specific instructions. When a products life is over, effectively “recouping” and recycling their energy and parts is important.
Not only should products be looked at this thoroughly but flooring and elements of the plant itself should be considered. Sustainable flooring can help an environment and keep employees safe. Slip resistant flooring by SlipNOT® is a high traction green product that will help eliminate environmental footprints as it is created from 40%-83% recycled products and has a long life cycle eliminating the need for wasted flooring products once their slip resistance is gone. Sustainable slip resistance is important not only for the environment but for the employees and the efficiency of the facility.
Krasley, Sarah and Stewart, Emma. “The Role of Sustainable Product and Factory Design.” www.foodmanufacturing.com. June 14, 2012. October 8, 2012 <http://www.foodmanufacturing.com/articles/2012/06/role-sustainable-product-and-factory-design>