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Reducing the Carbon Footprint of the Manufacturing Industry With Data Analytics

Reducing the Carbon Footprint of the Manufacturing Industry With Data Analytics

The manufacturing sector has been integrating data and analytics into its operations for various reasons. Data analytics have been a driving force in the manufacturing industry by, for instance, drawing insights to pinpoint asset anomalies and predicting potential risks that could lead to asset downtime. As the threat of climate change is now more apparent than ever, governments worldwide require each industry to be responsible in their operations. This is even more critical in the manufacturing industry, which,  although it contributes to 16 per cent of the global GDP, consumes 54 per cent of the world’s energy sources.

Carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere due to certain activities. It is the same as carbon emission and, thus, requires the quality of greenhouse gasses produced to be removed from the atmosphere. The activities of a particular individual, organisation, or community. However, for a manufacturing company to determine whether emissions have been reduced, it should be able to identify how much emissions are being generated. While many manufacturers are transitioning to smart factories, not all factories across the globe can invest in them. In choosing between the type of technologies that should be included in a potential software solution a company purchases, data analytics is a must-have digital solution. This article will consider how data analytics in the manufacturing sector is currently helping organisations to reduce their carbon footprint.

How Can Data Analytics Reduce Your Manufacturing Factory’s Carbon Footprint?

Today, whether through government intervention or not, sustainability is a crucial factor in the manufacturing industry. In fact, an article by the World Economic Forum draws upon a Boston Consulting Group survey which found that, out of more than 1,700 manufacturer executives, 79 per cent have a net-zero emission goal. While data analytics has been implemented in such organisations in some form or manner, many cannot unlock the true power of this technology. One reason may be the lack of knowledge in this area. Here is  data analytics can be used to help manufacturers reduce their carbon footprint:

Infusing Artificial Intelligence (AI) And Machine Learning (ML) With Data Analytics

Data analytics do not work on a stand-alone basis. Where an enormous amount of data is generated, factories need to incorporate AI and ML into data analytics to be of any use. AI can deconstruct complex data generated daily, analyse it in high volumes and essentially find patterns with the help of ML. Through this, two forms of data analytics can be created. This includes predictive and prescriptive data. Predictive data analytics can warn managers when assets are at risk in advance, providing the manager ample time to dispatch maintenance crews to fix the anomaly before it occurs. Prescriptive data analytics, on the other hand, considers the data of the manufacturing company as a whole and recommends the most feasible solution to you. 

Using AI and machine learning to improve processes with data analytics helps to reduce asset breakdowns significantly. Since emissions are released when assets are not performing to specific standards, by ensuring that each asset is functioning in its best form, the carbon footprint of a factory can be minimised. Consequently, data analytics will be able to monitor carbon emissions and reduce them through predicting and prescriptive technology.

Manufacturing Products as per Consumer Demand Each Season

A factory does not enjoy the same amount of sales every month. According to the season, certain items will have a higher or lower demand. Knowing when this happens is beneficial as it tells you how many products should be manufactured. Note that every time an item is made, energy is used. Hence, when there are an excess number of products remaining at the end of a term, it indicates how much waste is generated and how much carbon emissions the factory has unnecessarily produced. 

In this regard, data analytics helps managers understand the changing consumer patterns and market demands. As data analytics carries out its processes in real-time, the comprehensive reports generated automatically are reliable sources manufacturing managers can rely on to make decisions. Through such information, energy wasted in excess production can be eliminated, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of a factory.

Assuring a High Level of Quality

A product’s value can be truly assessed through its overall quality. Once the product makes its way to the consumer, the item’s durability is how they will measure its quality. If an item does not stand the test of time, it will be discarded, or the item will have to be repaired. As a result, not only will companies receive a bad reputation and lose sales, but it also contributes to a company’s carbon footprint as the item is usually sent back for repairs, especially where a company gives a warranty. The carbon footprint in this context will include the transportation of the item and the energy wasted in repairing it again. 

Data analytics helps a manufacturing manager to assess the quality of each product. It can make detailed reports specifying records and instances of how many consumers sent their products back into the factory, all of which help the company to measure their total carbon footprint. Thus, making changes in the raw materials used and in other measures which data analytics can help managers identify can help manufacturers to reduce the rate of emissions being absorbed into the atmosphere.

Cerexio Data Analytics: Transforming Your Factory to an Eco-Friendly Workplace

Cerexio is one of the few technology vendors to enable globally recognised solutions for modern manufacturing. Hence, it is no surprise that it includes data analytics in the form of predictive and prescriptive analytics, thereby infusing AI and ML technologies to assure greater accuracy. With the number of smart technologies integrated into factories, Cerexio understands the vast amount of data produced from sensors, digital twins, AR & VR and other forms of technologies. Thus, it offers powerful analytical tools to ensure that the data is processed and that real-time information that managers can rely on is provided. Calculate the number of emissions you release, and take the advice of prescriptive data analytics to reduce them. Adapt to the changing markets, ensure consistency in product quality, and become a  responsible manufacturer by reducing your factory carbon footprint. Gain a reputation as an eco-friendly production factory with the help of Cerexio. 

Connect with us to learn what technological solutions can be utilised to fully transition to a greener factory.

Data Analytics as a Tool to Implement Change

Keep in mind that data analytics is not simply a solution that automatically guarantees that your carbon footprint is reduced. Instead, it is merely a tool for factory managers to assess how much emissions are produced. It, in other words, influences good practices to be adopted, be it in producing quality items or reducing overall waste. By protecting the environment, you derive a range of benefits, with the obvious advantage being the contribution you make towards the sustenance of humans. Other direct benefits include the overall costs you save, the boost in your company’s reputation as a trusted partner, and, as sustainability assures safety, being regarded as a good place for employees. Dare to be part of the select few that are the driving change in the manufacturing sector? 

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