Discrete manufacturing has a quite dynamic process flow. It doesn’t enforce an assembly line style strict and inflexible manufacturing process but a rather flexible one. Any process may run independently of others. This provides great scope for streamlining and reducing overheads in the process.
By being green, we mean a manufacturing process which is eco-friendly. On the other hand, a lean manufacturing process is one which uses the minimum possible amount of raw material.
Why go Green and Lean:
- Lower Cost Overhead: Lower raw material costs, lower upkeep costs and lower overhead on maintaining inventory.
- Better Efficiency: Lean processes increase production capacity while using the same amount of input materials. This leads to better ROI ratios and efficiency.
- Infrastructure Available: The current infrastructure is capable of accommodating these new ideas. Implementing green processes may take some adaptation but implementing lean processes is viable.
Status Quo and The way Ahead:
Eco-friendly is not an easy term to achieve in manufacturing processes, even harder if we aim to do this while maintaining efficiency, even harder if we seek to increase it.
Currently, Discrete manufacturing is on a performance plateau. Areas which can be optimized while making the process all the more green and lean (for example, product change, product process change, internal reuse of waste, better housekeeping, etc.).
In future, we could see some real progress towards making this diverse discrete manufacturing industry leaner and greener, but currently, we have to live with the patchy grass.