In our previous post we saw how FASTER safety cabinets have been engineered to allow end-users to make energy savings with consequent lower environmental impact. However, when it comes to green manufacturing, the focus must first be placed on all the activities necessary for production and assembly and, consequently, on the factory where these activities take place.
So here we are in Ferrara (Italy), in the brand new FASTER factory.
FASTER factory in Ferrara, Italy
Here, the green manufacturing process is expressed in three macro areas:
1) Green energy
2) Lean manufacturing
3) Materials recycling
ENERGY FROM THE SUN
The fundamental theme of any industrial production that aims to reduce the environmental impact is the energy needed to power the factory.
FASTER factory is fully powered by solar panels placed on the roof of the building.
Almost one thousand solar panels are placed on the roof of the FASTER factory in Ferrara
This system allows FASTER Building Management System to collect energy for the full operation of the factory at all hours. Obviously, the power reaches its full capacity in the hottest hours and requires external power on days without sun but the energy balance at the end of the day is more than positive.
This monitor is placed at the entrance of the factory and displays the energy status to visitors and employees
It is possible to remotely control the energy supply provided by the panels VS the energy required by the factory for full activity.
LEAN MANUFACTURING: REDUCE WASTE THROUGH A DIFFERENT ORGANIZATION OF WORK
Lean manufacturing is an approach that aims to manage and improve construction processes by applying the minimum cost to achieve maximum value. That is possible through the reduction of waste factors and the essential consideration of customer and/or person needs.
Lean manufacturing is based on waste reduction through the elimination of eight main wastes
From the redefinition of the factory layout in order to minimize waste and loss of time, to the study of assembly processes to minimize waste of materials, lean manufacturing contributes a lot to making the production of safety cabinets more ecological.
THE IMPORTANCE OF RECYCLING IN METALS INDUSTRY
One area of green manufacturing the metals industry can excel at is in recycling and reusing waste materials. FASTER factory has processes in place to collect, reuse, and recycle scrap material. This can be as simple as collecting scrap in designated bins or boxes and recycling the material at designated intervals.
- FASTER buys components on the market such as lamps, electronic cards, etc, to be used in assembling safety cabinets and afterward pays a consortium for the recycling of all these packagings.
- With regard to the iron, stainless steel or aluminum sheet used to assembly safety cabinets: everything is recovered and recycled. The waste is about 20% of the purchased material. The recycling industry pays us 30% of the cost we are charged for the new one. A win-win situation for us and for the environment.
- As for our products, over 92% (by weight) of a biohazard cabinet is made from recyclable materials. For example, a SafeFAST Elite 212 D weighs 190 kg.
Only 15kg of this 190kg are not recyclable (e.g. electrical sockets and other rigid plastic parts; while filters are normally incinerated and not recycled because they are treated as contaminated waste). Most of the weight is in fact made up of iron, stainless steel, glass or recyclable plastics.
That’s FASTER way to green manufacturing.