DMG / MORI SEIKI USA served as the host for the annual Sustainable Manufacturing Partnership (SMP) meeting held earlier this summer. The SMP is a collaboration among leading manufacturing companies and the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability (LMAS). The goal of the SMP and LMAS is to research, develop, evaluate and implement sustainable manufacturing solutions. The meeting was attended by manufacturers from the central United States and researchers from the Berkeley, Calif.-based LMAS. Manufacturing and sustainability representatives from companies such as General Motors, Autodesk, John Deere and Caterpillar attended to learn more about what sustainable manufacturing is and how to communicate its benefits both internally and externally.
Despite being competitors, attendees addressed key issues and challenges with one another and ways to overcome them. Issues such as energy and water use, materials used in facilities, and waste and recycling challenges were discussed.
“We see major opportunities for manufacturers surrounding sustainability efforts,” said Professor David Dornfeld, lab director and chair of University of California, Berkeley’s mechanical engineering department. “Using less energy with machine tools, taking up less space, manufacturing for the environmentally aware consumer and complying with government regulations will help the bottom line and return on investment that the industry is always striving for.”
Attendees were invited to DMG / MORI SEIKI’s showroom for laboratory demonstrations that included some of the processes DMG / MORI SEIKI currently uses. One of the day’s demonstrations was on a DMG / MORI SEIKI NT4200 machine showing a new grind-hardening process; this technique has the potential to reduce carbon footprint on surface-hardening processes by as much as 85 percent.
Dr. Greg Hyatt, Chief Technology Officer at DMG/ MORI SEIKI says the company focus on sustainability is both a matter of nature and nurture.
“Due to some of the catastrophic events that have happened overseas (the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami) and resulting loss of power generation equipment, we’re making remarkable reductions in our Japanese factory’s power consumption. We are taking these cost reduction and environmental improvements and applying them to our machines here in the United States,” says Hyatt. “Also, we want to continue to support the academic research that U.C. Berkeley and LMAS are doing surrounding new techniques for reducing carbon footprints.”
If you are interested in learning more about the LMAS, you can attend Professor David Dornfeld’s seminar on sustainable manufacturing at DMG / MORI SEIKI’s Manufacturing Days event, to be held November 12-15 in Davis, Calif. Professor Dornfeld is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, November 13th. Registration is now open at Mdays2013.com.