Clean production

Tucker, Nick (2017) Clean production. In: Green composites: natural and waste based composites for a sustainable future. Woodhead Publishing Series in Composite Science and Engineering, 2nd Ed . Woodhead Publishing, Duxford, United Kingdom, pp. 95-120. ISBN 9780081007839

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Abstract

[Chapter 6] Companies are beginning to recognise both the internal and external value of good corporate citizenship and the intelligent stewardship of finite resources. The reasons for this are a mixture of enlightened self-interest and response to legislation. The generic term used to describe this is clean processing, a term popularised by Thorpe (1999), who defined it as “... a way to reverse our current non-sustainable use of materials and energy”.
The essence of clean production is an attempt to move manufacturing and use of articles away from the linear use of resources to make an article that is then used and thrown away, to the cyclical use of resources that do not produce waste products that cannot be used as the feedstock for some other process or manufacture. Clean processing is the descendant of the sprawling clan of last centuries’ manufacturing organizational developments such as the Toyota Production System that espouses the reduction of muda (waste considered as futility, uselessness, idleness, superfluity, as well as simple wastefulness) in all aspects of the manufacturing processes: the 3M corporation calculations of the ratio of the mass of waste produced against the total mass output from their operations to provide a metric of material use efficiency (Frosch, 1997): the practice of just-in-time (JIT) stock control which works by building a relationship with preferred suppliers to minimise internal stock levels - see Womack et al. (1990), and Kaizen (continuous improvement of all aspects of the manufacturing process - see Imai (1986)). These and other methods promised economic survival to the companies who bought into them during the past decades of the whittling to the bone of the infrastructure of manufacturing. In the UK, survivors of this 66-75% reduction in manufacturing capacity over the last quarter of a century are lean, agile, innovative and well aware of the forces of global competition. There is now very little technological competitive edge left in simple high volume economy of scale manufacturing. Factories in low wage areas no longer lag behind in technology or ability, nor are they short of investment capital or educated work forces. The stage is set for a new revolution in manufacturing processes, where the driving forces will not be those of simple bottom line measurements. Clean technologies, coupled with a more complete consideration of the product life cycle have the potential to apply the jump leads to manufacturing industries in the old manufacturing countries. Cleaner production methods must satisfy the triple bottom line: “Sustainable development involves the simultaneous pursuit of economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social equity. Companies aiming for sustainability need to perform not against a single, financial bottom line but against the triple bottom line” (Elkington, 1997).

Keywords:Sustainability, composites, manufacturing
Subjects:H Engineering > H700 Production and Manufacturing Engineering
Divisions:College of Science > School of Engineering
ID Code:30971
Deposited On:12 Mar 2018 16:17

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