Taking sustainability to the factory floor

5 minutes

How using data can help the manufacturing industry work smarter and save energy

Simple sustainability for complex manufacturing operations

Smart energy and asset management tools can help power our future, more efficiently

Sustainability has long been a buzzword picking up steam in Europe, but relatively ignored by the manufacturing industry in the US.

So let’s shift our thinking to envision a plant that is working so efficiently that after labor, maintenance and repair costs are tallied, the bottom line is so favorable that upper management is pleased and the workers down in operations are happy to receive a bonus.

It’s no surprise that the reliability of machinery has a direct effect on production capacity. If factories could predict downtime ahead of time and schedule repairs accordingly, they’d be able to work at full capacity.

But many organizations are scared of organization change implied by the word “sustainability,” which means they’re missing out on the tools that could boost efficiency or save energy and therefore missing out on the benefits of sustainable operations.

Sustainability: Opportunities are everywhere (even on the factory floor)

From basic equipment like forklifts and conveyors to advanced systems such as robotics and production lines, the manufacturing industry uses a wide range of assets — and these assets are oozing information.

Understanding this data can change the game.

The notion of asset management has evolved from focusing on producing goods and services to ensuring that assets are managed optimally. From a purely financial perspective, it makes sense to manage assets effectively because poor asset management can lead to increased costs through greater maintenance needs, higher energy consumption and increased waste production.

Poor asset management means no perks from sustainability.

Leveraging tools for smart asset management is key to ensuring that your business has access to necessary equipment when needed. If an asset fails, the consequences may be far-reaching. For example, a power failure could cause rolling regional blackouts, or an IT system failure could lead to lost revenue due to processing delays.

Whether you work down on the floor or somewhere up above, you know just how important it is to keep everything running smoothly.

Sustainability = improved performance and efficiency

Sustainability doesn’t necessarily mean replacing every old machine; it can be as simple as using what you have more effectively.

By embracing a sustainability mindset, manufacturers can leverage preventative and predictive maintenance, reduce waste and increase output while decreasing costs associated with raw materials and other items needed for production — all made easier with asset management technology.

But, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sustainability. Each vertical has unique considerations, risks and opportunities.

A metal fabrication manufacturer may focus on equipment maintenance and preventative maintenance. In contrast, oil and gas facilities are looking to keep production plants operational by preventing breakdowns and ensuring that OSHA, ISO, and FERC compliance is maintained.

Sustainability achieved via better energy management

Energy consumption is a prime area ripe with opportunity — especially regarding your sustainability goals. Tangible data can help manufacturing facilities to drive toward lower energy costs and a smaller carbon footprint throughout their entire operations.

If you’re looking to cut costs on utility bills or track energy-saving initiatives, energy management software can help manufacturers gain a 360-degree view of facility energy usage to leverage data to make better business decisions.

Lean, mean, greener machines

As environmental awareness grows, companies are making intelligent investments to cut their carbon footprint. By planning and investing in asset management software, they can ensure that they remain profitable in the future.

Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) enable facilities to gather more data than ever before, providing facilities with an overview of their assets and their location. This information can help facilities make smarter decisions about where, when and how they invest their money.

Viva sustainability!

Smart asset management systems are already proving their worth in supply chain management. These systems track inventory and its movement through production, giving a clear picture of stock levels. The result? Better utilization of resources, quicker response time to sudden demand, and ultimately a more efficient enterprise.

The Bright(ly) side of sustainability

A sustainability strategy can be a powerful driver of profit and growth. Factories with a strong focus on sustainability enjoy several advantages, including lower costs associated with energy, production, and maximized uptime; boosted safety and compliance; and a better reputation among customers who value an environmentally responsible approach to business.

Sustainability efforts can help companies build trust with key audiences while strengthening their bottom line over time. On top of concrete benefits, manufacturers with a commitment to sustainability have the opportunity to engage in more effective communication with employees, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders.

Smart CMMS and energy management solutions for eco-friendly factories and facilities

  • Smarter facilities — by providing real-time visibility into your facility, Brightly helps you make smarter decisions about how you use resources and manage inventory
  • Efficient assets — using data straight from the factory floor, Brightly’s software predicts when equipment needs servicing and repairs, saving time and money 
  • Effective technology — Brightly’s scalable cloud-based energy management software solutions enable managers to monitor, control and optimize their buildings' energy consumption and asset usage
  • Fewer resources used — our asset management software can help you track the materials you use in production, identify where there might be room for improvement in your manufacturing processes and shipping methods, and make changes that will help you manage resources responsibly
Ready for scalable sustainability that moves the needle?

Let Brightly light the way. We get the complexity of manufacturing operations and know that your facility has many moving parts. Keep it all running smoothly with a cloud-based manufacturing CMMS that increases productivity, efficiency and profitability while improving plant safety and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Brightly is a leading provider of asset and energy management solutions that enable organizations to work smarter, faster and more sustainably. Schedule a demo today.