The journey to sustainable manufacturing

Radwell International actively promote the ‘Go Green’ agenda

The environmental impact of inaction has become more acute as sustainability within the manufacturing sector goes under the spotlight. The ongoing global pandemic, energy price hikes and supply chains issues mean businesses are searching for cost savings and efficiencies across every aspect of their operation.

The green agenda is coming more and more into focus, and immediate innovative transformation is necessary for the wellbeing of our planet. ‘Go Green’ initiatives, net zero and carbon neutral are hot topics and, in this article, Radwell discusses how they are not only working towards reducing their own footprint, but helping customers reduce waste, maximise warehouse space, plan for obsolescence and overcome supply chain disruption.

Environmentally ethical working practices are a fundamental foundation that Radwell work from, whether it be the implementation of ISO 14001:2015, a complete evaluation of export operations, waste management procedures, supplier management or major environmental contributors, such as international travel. Radwell have also extended their green strategy through services that encourage customers to take a reuse, reduce and recycle approach.

Radwell monitors the volume of repairs they undertake on automation parts closely and this has now become a key analytic in their assessment of the post COVID era and sustainability. A significant finding is the number of customers who are turning to repairs against buying new, as they combat the financial impact of lost business whilst continuing to perform essential preventative maintenance on existing production line machinery. Customer confidence in the production and engineering expertise that Radwell provides, has secured a 27% uplift in domestic and international repair business year to date. It is also helping to reduce the number of automation parts going to waste, ensuring that manufacturers can see a positive impact on their own carbon footprint.

Replenishment of stock is a vital part of the Radwell business model, and its Asset Recovery programme has ensured that 25 million new, used and obsolete parts are available to customers on 24/7. Supply chain issues have significantly extended delivery lead times for many competitors, however, Radwell’s vast global inventory of in stock and ready to ship parts has helped them to secure a 19% uplift in automation parts sales year to date. Under the Asset Recovery initiative, customers can sell their spare inventory, increase warehouse space and positively impact their bottom line. From a sustainability perspective, ensuring surplus inventory is sold and reused helps to reduce pollution caused by the demand for raw materials and the energy used to produce parts.

The product life cycle of a technical system is often longer than the availability of spare parts. Every day, manufacturers around the world discontinue products, so end of life is announced and with it, the support ceases and the risk of defective components increases. However, proactively managing obsolescence improves reliability, manages risk and helps to prevent machine down time. Continuity planning must take environmental factors into account, for example, obsolete parts that are no longer supported, can be repaired or replaced with warrantied used parts against buying new. Improving the performance of assets through comprehensive planning mitigates a potential operational impact and reduces end of life or unwanted obsolete parts reaching landfill. Through a robust repair or replacement strategy, manufacturers can directly impact their green agenda.

At its core, sustainable manufacturing is the creation of manufactured products through economically sound processes that minimise the negative environmental impacts, while conserving energy and natural resources. In 2015, Radwell launched their Verified Substitutes range of manufactured automation parts offering over 2,000 products. These are produced to the same high standard as the original manufacturer’s equipment, but with up to 90% cost savings and a market leading 3-year warranty. With a focus on carbon neutral manufacturing techniques, the award-winning branded products underpin Radwell’s mission statement to innovate and evolve whilst considering the wider environmental impact.

There is a long journey ahead on the road to sustainability and a concerted industry effort, plus a willingness to accept responsibility will continue to drive meaningful environmental improvements. Sustainable manufacturing makes economic and ethical sense. The movement has started and the seeds of change within the sector are to be nurtured, supported and applauded.

Source: Radwell 


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