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Supporting Sustainability In Manufacturing With Production Control Software

Estimated reading time 4 minutes

Bringing sustainability and digitalisation together can deliver significant advantages to manufacturers. That’s the topic of the latest episode of the Sustainable Manufacturing Content Hub podcast. In the podcast, Jason Hutt, Managing Director of Wogaard, and Geoff Gartland, Managing Director of PSL Datatrack, discuss how production control software can play a key role in enabling manufacturers to become more environmentally-friendly – and help reduce costs. Some of the issues discussed in the podcast include:

From paper to live data

Production control software can provide significant financial and environmental wins for companies by replacing the need for costly printing with live digital data. This applies to a wide range of key tasks, from planning to workshop control to scheduling. Many machine shops continue to print out schedules and work lists, creating ongoing print and paper costs, as well as waste. By using production control software, companies can benefit from using status boards, which take the live feed from the data and outline the specific plan for each machine, along with a range of statuses, for example, about whether materials are available and other aspects. Always up to date, this type of visibility is faster, more accessible and more flexible than relying on paper scheduling and planning.

A brighter approach to energy

The upcoming reduction in energy bill support from the UK government means that the cost of energy is on every manufacturer’s mind right now. They can push back against this by utilising production control software to maximise the amount of time their machines are in operation. The software enables businesses to understand exactly which tools they will need for which batch run and when, allowing them to streamline their processes and become more efficient. This type of insight not only helps companies to cut energy costs at a time when they need it most, but also helps them to reduce their impact on the environment.

Forecasting future requirements

Manufacturers are under constant pressure to estimate their future requirements, for example, when ordering materials or tools. Production control software can help to reduce wastage in both these areas by enabling companies to better forecast and control what they have coming in. With a detailed and specific overview of what’s ahead, they can order the materials they need ahead of time, rather than last minute – not just day-by-day but month-by-month.

People power

People are a big part of creating and maintaining a sustainable manufacturing business. Production control software can help companies to deploy staff more effectively, adding

more value to their business. It can also help them to attract and retain the right people by nurturing a more organised business that helps keep people motivated. Achieving long-term sustainability means getting everyone on board. Sustainability is very much a team effort. To be truly successful, it requires buy-in from everyone across the business.

The value of small steps

While working more sustainably can initially seem a daunting prospect to manufacturers, production control software makes it more attainable. Becoming a more sustainable business is an incremental process that can be achieved in bite-sized chunks. This fits perfectly with the modular nature of data. The reality is that no business has the time or resources to change the way they work overnight. However, by breaking their sustainability strategy up into manageable steps, companies can make their desired improvements gradually, supported by live data which gives them specific insight into each area of the business. By making the most of key data from production control software at a pace and in a way that suits them, manufacturers can reduce their costs and their carbon footprint.

 

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