Sustainability in Factories


There’s a classic pattern:

  • A guy has a rough day at work and his boss yells at him.
  • Upset, the guy goes and yells at an underling.
  • He goes home and yells at his wife.
  • The wife, stressed by the quarrel, yells at the kid.
  • The kid, angry about being yelled at, kicks the cat.

The cat had nothing to do with the problem, but ends up getting kicked anyway.

Sustainability in factories can seem the same way.

  • Consumers fuss about sustainability — but only if they can get green products for the same price as their usual brand.
  • Retailers push their suppliers to have greener products, but of course at the same price.
  • Suppliers go to their manufacturers looking for a solution.
  • Engineers are expected to improve sustainability with no change in price.

We assume you don’t go kick the guys on the line, but it’s clear that the whole boss yells -> cat gets kicked sequence could start at this point.

Rexroth is making very energy-efficient machinery now, and replacing old machinery can definitely help with sustainability, but that’s not the whole solution. Consumers in the U.S. generally won’t pay more for sustainably-produced goods. Even the most environmentally conscious push back if the price difference hits 30%.

The truth is, it can be hard to move a factory toward sustainability without a serious investment in new equipment… which will naturally affect consumer pricing. Hard, but not impossible.

Improving energy efficiency is often doable with changes in the facility and human behavior, and the same can be true of waste management.

If you’re getting pressured to go green, let us help you determine where new Rexroth technology will make the most difference. Then look at how your factory can eliminate waste for a sustainability improvement. When you’re ready to go for new equipment, you’ll see another jump in sustainability — and two jumps are better than one.

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