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cLean Production - "Sustainability" Mega Trend in Production

cLean Production - "Sustainability" Mega Trend in Production

Environmental awareness, energy efficiency and sustainability - all are already long-established success factors in the use and lifespan of products. In addition, more recently, the complete production and delivery chain has increasingly moved into focus, as shown by the increasing number of sustainability reports of the global companies. In the future, investors will concentrate not only on the net operating profit, but also increasingly on environmental compatibility and the sustainability of their investments.


Furthermore, in 2013 the third phase of the EU emissions trading is taking effect, which is meant to regulate the energy consumption primarily through the direct and indirect carbon dioxide emissions of the manufacturing industry. Studies have shown that by 2020 ten billion Euros could be saved in industrial production - corresponding to a quarter of the total previous energy costs. Many companies, which have sustainable and energy-efficient products in their portfolio, are now asking themselves how they could transfer their product-oriented success model to their production and supply chain as well.


Clean production approach
Our strategy closely follows the proven approaches of lean management. In addition to the classic optimization levers: material input, productivity and cycle time, we have enlarged the analysis and optimization focus to the energy aspects of production. Our approach is based on three systematic steps.

Green production performance check: In the first step we gather company-specific parameters such as power, heat, gas and water consumption, as well as CO2 emissions. The qualification and classification of these parameters is conducted according to the legal limit values, a benchmark model, and the potential for emissions certificate trading. In addition, the corporate vision and strategy, as well as the environment- and sustainability-oriented brand image, influence the interpretation of the results.

Energy value stream mapping
The analysis of the energy value streams in overall production clearly shows the use of energy and the individual users. However, we also include the comprehensive supply chain with suppliers and logistics into the overall mapping.
 
For example, an automobile components manufacturer we looked at produced only 15 percent of the CO2 emissions allocated to the end product. 85 percent of the emissions resulted from the suppliers and logistics. This example clearly shows that optimization potential with regard to the real net output ratio lie in a company's own production and with the suppliers, and that besides the production sector, purchasing should also be integrated into the sustainability projects.

The idea generation of optimization potentials can effectively be based on the energy value stream mapping. For this purpose, we follow a 2-step concept. In the first step, the optimization ideas are generated on the structure level of the energy value streams. The second step identifies the optimisation ideas on the detail level of the individual users of the energy value streams. The close contact with the users is decisive for success here, which is why the machine operators should be involved. Therefore, this brainstorming largely takes place in the production sector.

Energy value stream design
Using a comprehensive evaluation scheme, the most effective optimization levers are selected from the previously mentioned levers. From this, an energy-efficient and sustainable energy value stream design can be developed in its entirety; for example, a green production program can be developed with a sound action planning. Aspects thereof may include concrete technical mechanical and plant modifications, additive measurement and visualization methods, or new operation and usage models.

Based on our experience, the optimization potentials in the energy value stream are always within close proximity of implementation, and they nearly always pay themselves off in a few months. The sustainability effect thus affects not only our environment, but also leads to net operating results very quickly.

The TMG, with its systematic approach and its deep experience, successfully supports companies from the manufacturing industry on their path to clean production.