Circularity in Manufacturing

Circularity in Manufacturing

Sustainability. It’s not a choice. Especially since, according to World Bank Open Data, manufacturing causes 20% of global carbon emissions. What sustainability looks like will vary from industry to industry, but a common concept is circularity. British manufacturing has circularity high on its agenda to help achieve government net-zero targets. But what changes are we likely to see from this initiative?

 

Goodbye to ‘take – make – dispose’

The concept of ‘take – make – dispose’ should become a thing of the past. We know that extracting resources from the Earth can destroy habitats, cause erosion and contaminate soil/water.  Equally, the concept of disposing makes many of us think of toxins leaching into rivers, wildlife being strangled by plastic and landfill sites emitting greenhouse gases.

Reduce, reuse, recycle is now a household mantra that is also key to how manufacturing operates with circularity.

 

Reducing resources

In manufacturing the ‘reduce’ element typically focuses on driving efficiency and using less to make more. This might focus on using less energy or maintaining equipment properly so it doesn’t need replacing so often. With so much more data available through in-house systems and wider data sharing initiatives, it is becoming easier to understand where inefficiencies lie in processes and even to quantify particular product carbon footprints.

 

Reuse as a concept

Reuse in manufacturing has produced some inspirational examples such as car life spans being extended by having their combustion engines removed and being turned into electric vehicles. Product life cycles are being considered a lot more and we’re seeing a rise in the manufacture of products that can be rented, re-sold and re-manufactured.

 

Pre- and post- production recycling

Recycling can manifest itself in two ways. Responsible sourcing of materials that avoids raw materials wherever possible and industrial recycling for waste that is produced. Thankfully, innovation has resulted in many more products being able to be recycled. However, there is still some way to go on creating a full suite of recycled products that can equal their virgin alternatives in terms of cost and price.

 

Digital and technological advances

It’s a comforting thought that across the world there are teams of entrepreneurs and scientists looking for breakthroughs that will help manufacturers reduce, reuse and recycle. We are keeping our eyes peeled.

Interestingly, it’s not always about the new – sometimes traditional methods make a resurgence. Certainly, we’ve had a lot of recent interest in gravity conveyors which use no electricity, simply gravity to transport items between different floors.

Get in touch for an efficient conveyor, with a long life ahead of it: future-proofed by replacement parts and servicing options.

 

Manufacturing in 2023: 5 Major Changes we’ve Noticed

Manufacturing in 2023: 5 Major Changes we’ve Noticed

We have spent several decades in factories and seen a great deal of change during that time. Here are our recent observations on British manufacturing together with our thoughts on the opportunities and challenges they bring.

 

1) Data is huge

Whilst we work with electrical controls and integrating them into conveyor systems, the sheer breadth of electrical components now in manufacturing processes has given businesses more data than ever before. Dashboards, showing key management information, are something we see on most site visits. This constant reporting means problems are found quickly and can be dealt with.

 

2) A changing shift in the perception of AI

AI is very much becoming the norm in manufacturing and its presence is noticeably modernising manufacturing processes. Inventory management, supply chain management, predicting demand… it all uses AI now. AI is uniting entire supply chains and giving factories the ability to manufacture seamlessly. The fear that initially surrounded AI and its potential to take away jobs is lessening. In fact, seeing cobots working alongside human workforces to make processes slicker and safer is ever more common.

 

3) Predictive maintenance

This is a particular area of AI that interest PJP. Servicing and maintenance are essential to protecting hard-working equipment. And now AI is taking this idea to the next level with predictive maintenance systems helping companies nail the optimum time to replace parts: ensuring components use close to their maximum lifespan and minimising costly downtime caused by wear and tear.

 

4) Reduction in the workforce

Recruitment challenges are huge. The ‘great resignation’ we are still seeing has been caused by the perfect storm of low unemployment rates and high inflation in a post pandemic world where many workers are assessing their work-life balances. It’s a struggle to recruit skilled manufacturing engineers and workers – this is being compounded by many overseas workers now being painfully difficult to attract with new visa requirements.

 

5) Leaving the EU has created greater challenges

Manufacturing businesses buying from EU countries face increased paperwork, time and cost to get the items they need, and this has huge consequences for efficient manufacturing. When selling to overseas customers, mystical duty rates and resulting fines have left many manufacturers scratching their heads wondering just what is going on.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. We like to keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to both manufacturing and warehousing. Automating processes with a new conveyor or maintaining existing machinery can be a game changer for manufacturers and we pride ourselves in finding solutions for our customers that provide impressive returns on investment.

Get in touch to see how we could help.

PJP Merchandise Now Launched

PJP Merchandise Now Launched

PJP Director Paul Eden has been a very good sport using his best catalogue poses to demonstrate the new line of PJP merchandise! You’ll see the team sporting these whenever you meet them next.

We opted for a full wardrobe range encompassing polo, sweatshirt, jacket and the all-important high-vis vest for visiting factories.

Could we expand the range any further? Branded steel toe-cap boots maybe…

Safety first.

Several Ways we can all help Combat Climate Change

Several Ways we can all help Combat Climate Change

Several Ways we can all help Combat Climate Change

If we stand any chance of saving the planet from certain doom, we certainly all need to do our bit. Industrial operations tend to use a minimum of 55,000 kWh of electricity alone per year compared to the 2,900kWh by a typical British household – at least 19 times more – so it’s clear that significant carbon reduction is possible if industrial energy consumption can start to be reduced. One major way to aid this is by making manufacturing processes more efficient.

PJP is a safecontractor accredited business which means that health, safety and sustainability are always on our minds. We make sure that all new manufacturing and warehouse conveyors and conveyor systems we work on minimise energy consumption and maximise efficiency. We are constantly looking into new technology that pushes boundaries and takes energy saving to even greater levels – and there are some very exciting developments on the horizon.

What else are PJP doing to help combat climate change?
At a more micro level, PJP leave our cars parked up a lot more than we used to and have found adopting video conferencing has really helped achieve our own environmental aspirations whilst still upholding our client management standards. Having tried a few different platforms we confess that we are now official Microsoft Teams fans.

We are mindful of our own energy usage in our workplaces and have a company mantra of reaching for a jumper rather than turning the heating up. And there’s no aircon anywhere (well apart from in our cars which we try not to use much!)

We’ve chosen to not jump on the electric car bandwagon for now as the EV charging network doesn’t seem to have quite the coverage we need and the thought of visiting certain remote client sites gives us a distinct panicky feeling. We’ll keep leaving the cars on the drive as much as possible for now…

A perfect example of PJP illustrating sustainability
This video shows one of our conveyors doing it’s job without using any electricity or manmade energy – it’s just harnessing the power of gravity:

Flexible working is the way for PJP

Flexible working is the way for PJP

Flexible working is the way for PJP

The way we work is hitting the news headlines again. With the topsy-turvy world of lockdown behind us, there’s now much debate over what’s the best way to work. Is it hybrid working, office-based or fully remote working?

PJP Conveyors has operated under a flexible and remote working protocol since its outset. The primary reason is because customer relationships are of paramount importance to us and we want to be able to jump in a car (or on a train) to see a customer whenever we need to without being tied to conventional office hours. Admittedly, having witnessed the success of videoconferencing over the last 3 years, we do a little more of that and spend less time on the road than we used to!

Flexible working allows PJP employees the time to work on customer requests, respond to emergencies and give projects / requests the attention they deserve all whilst maintaining a work-life balance.

Another of our company mantras is not to tie up our diaries with hours of internal meetings so that we are available on the phone when you need us. So, if you’d like to discuss a project – be it past, present or potential – call us on 07740 926615 or 07810 838578.

PJP Has a New Website (Spoiler: It’s All About Conveyors)

PJP Has a New Website (Spoiler: It’s All About Conveyors)

PJP Has a New Website (Spoiler: It’s All About Conveyors)

Our new website showcases what PJP conveyors is all about. You can easily navigate to our core areas from the top menu:

  • Conveyors gives a flavour of the types of large and small conveyors we produce for material handling – manufacturing conveyors, warehouse conveyors, complete bespoke systems… plus you can see projects where we’ve really made a difference with our solutions.
  • Electrical controls is all about our PLC Programming, HMI solutions, control panels and installations/commissions.
  • Support & Maintenance is a big area for us – see how we prevent costly downtime, read about our support packages and how we help in the unfortunate event of a breakdown.
  • We’re adding Case studies all the time with our latest exciting projects and there are some great ones to read already featuring cosmetics, pet-food, shoes and an awesome ZLP solution for The Range.

A big shout out to Ocean Associates Marketing and Typecast Media for helping us create a fantastic website. If there’s anything else you’d like to see included on our pages Contact Us