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Home / Fastems Delves into Link Between Automation and Improving Sustainable Manufacturing

Fastems Delves into Link Between Automation and Improving Sustainable Manufacturing

By calculating its carbon handprint and footprint, Fastems LLC (West Chester, OH) has taken its first steps toward understanding how automation enables development of more sustainable production and how to reduce the company’s own environmental impact.

Posted: August 26, 2021

With sustainability agency Gaia Consulting, Fastems has calculated that an average Fastems flexible manufacturing system can reduce a company's carbon handprint by up to 538 tCO2e, the equivalent of driving 76 times the globe.
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Besides those calculations, Fastems has mapped out how the three pillars of sustainability—namely the environment, the economy, and the society—can be supported through intelligent automation solutions. To learn more, visit www.fastems.com/sustainability.

Together with industry-leading sustainability agency Gaia Consulting, Fastems has modeled the mechanism that measures how much tCO2e is saved by investing in an average Fastems flexible manufacturing system. This measurement is called the carbon handprint. According to these calculations, such an investment can save up to 538 tCO2e, which equals making 76 car trips around the world.

“The effect is possible because automation can triple the utilization rate of machine tools,” said Mikko Nyman, CEO of Fastems. “A typical non-automated machine tool cuts chips around 2,000 hours per year, whereas an automated one can reach 6,000 – or even over 8,000 – yearly production hours. This means that instead of purchasing six non-automated machine tools, manufacturers can purchase two automated ones to achieve the same production capacity.”

Those figures represent the typical milling machine sizes integrated by Fastems and the typical emissions caused by their production, netted against the emissions caused by the production of the automation solution. Moreover, an estimate of 34 tCO2e is also being saved every year in heating (or cooling) costs because of saved floorspace.

For Fastems, the figures are part of a larger picture. “We’re building a more sustainable future with and within manufacturing,” Nyman said. “To do so, we’re helping manufacturers to work smarter when it comes to materials, energy, and people. We want to enable manufacturers to do what they do best, but by using less.”

All this is possible because automation and digitalization can enable greater resource efficiency, more timely production, less waste, and improved quality. At the same time, work becomes more meaningful and safer for the operators involved. Automation helps make manufacturing competitive anywhere in the world, and benefiting from strong manufacturing is a cornerstone for economic success in any nation, ensuring the well-being of people.

In addition to calculating its carbon handprint, Fastems has also calculated its carbon footprint, meaning the CO2-equivalent of emissions associated with the company’s own operations. This is an important step because once the numbers are known, they can be improved.

Regarding Fastems’ direct emissions and those from purchased energy, the biggest share comes from consuming electricity and heat, which make up nearly two-thirds of the company’s carbon footprint. Fastems’ next step is to measure its indirect emissions, beginning with business travel, and to set goals in 2021 to reduce its carbon impact.

Nyman said that even though “business travel makes only a part of our indirect emission, it’s one of the most substantial ones and once calculated during the fall of 2021, we’ll know much more about our environmental impact as a whole and be able to set goals to reduce it.

“The carbon hand- and footprint calculations, understanding the three pillars of sustainability and what they mean to us, as well as setting goals for the future are what allow us to build a more climate-friendly Fastems and manufacturing industry.”

www.fastems.com

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