Sustainability has been a large buzzword over the past several years, with more emphasis being placed on improving the environmental impact of the metal fabrication industry. The push has come from multiple parties, with monetary incentives from the U.S. government to consumer attitudes towards better sustainability.
Metal fabrication has traditionally had a major impact on the environment. From high resource and energy consumption, to waste generation and harmful emissions, metal fabrication shops tend to have a larger impact than other companies. However there are many practical ways that metal fabrication companies can improve their sustainability that also come with many benefits.
Practical sustainable practices
One of the simplest and most practical ways that fabrication shops can improve their sustainability is by regularly cleaning and organizing the shop floor. Removing debris and waste properly is an excellent and effective way to make the fabrication shop not only more sustainable, but more efficient as well.
Investing in newer, more energy efficient technologies is another practical way that fabrication shops can improve their sustainability. Newer technologies often require less energy consumption than older ones–and the shops have the added benefit of advancing their fabrication processes.
Another step that metal fabrication shops can take towards improved sustainability is through recycling scrap and material waste. Not only does this reduce the amount of waste produced by the shop, but it also can result in less material costs over time. From metal scrap to cardboard and pallets, there are plenty of things in a metal fabrication shop that can be recycled.
Recently, many metal fabrication shops have been digitizing their paperwork, greatly reducing the amount of paper waste and streamlining business operations. From digitizing the paperwork and drawings to operating equipment through shop computers, fabrication shops have been able to reduce and sometimes even eliminate paper waste.
The benefits of sustainability in metal fabrication
While many people cite improved environmental impact as the main benefit, there are plenty of practical and monetary benefits in using sustainable practices in metal fabrication. One of the biggest is cost reduction. Recycling scrap and materials, investing in better technology, and reducing material waste often results in reduced material and waste removal costs, both upfront and in the long run. Using better, energy-efficient technology also reduces energy consumption and costs–less energy being used means less that the shop has to pay for!
Keeping the fabrication shop clean and organized not only is a simple way to improve the shop’s sustainability, but also follows Lean manufacturing and related practices that are proven to increase productivity and process efficiency. This often results in better quality and faster turnaround times for customers as well!
Taking steps to add more sustainable practices in a metal fabrication shop can also improve that shop’s image in the eyes of consumers and partners, which is always an excellent benefit. It also can come with Federal incentives as well, especially recently with the U.S. government’s push for improved sustainability across the country.
KMK is a trusted sheet metal, tube, and wire fabrication shop for a variety of industries. We understand the importance of keeping our business sustainable, which is why we have taken several practical steps over the years to improve our shop’s environmental impact. From recycling all steel and aluminum scrap to digitizing our office paperwork, to even adding 45 solar arrays, we have found ways to not only improve our shop’s sustainability, but also reduce our energy and material consumption and costs–which has allowed us to offer more competitive costs to customers.
If you’re looking for a metal fabrication company for your next project, check out KMK’s website to see if we would be a good fit for you.