Efficient Plant July 2018 - 48
column | seeking reliability
Drew D. Troyer, CRE
Growing numbers of consumers with an eye for
sustainability and ample purchasing power will
increasingly scrutinize manufacturers' products
and processes before they buy.
Expanded, more technical, takes on topics
covered in this column will appear in Efficient
Plant's monthly e-newsletters. To receive
them, visit efficientplantmag.com and select
Subscribe under the Magazine menu item.
Based in Tulsa, OK, industry veteran Drew Troyer is
principal with Sigma Reliability Solutions. Email
LIMATE CHANGE IS
a controversial subject. A
majority of scientists agree it's
real-and that the increasing rate of
change is human induced. Politicians,
of course, are divided in their opinions.
For millennials and, particularly,
post-millennials, the picture is much
clearer. These groups will reward
sustainability and punish the lack of
it through spending decisions. More
than any previous generation, they will
"speak" with their pocketbooks.
This paradigm shift has major implications for plant owners, managers, and
engineers. While it offers great opportunity for those who get on the sustainability bandwagon, it could spell disaster for
those who don't.
We are already seeing a growing
trend favoring organic, non-GMO,
pesticide-free foods. Use of recycled or
recyclable materials in your products
and processes is also driving consumerbuying decisions.
In the future, consumers will
demand more and more information
about material-use footprints for, among
other things, energy and carbon, water,
extracted and harvested resources, and
hazardous chemicals. Your products
and processes will come under increased
scrutiny in the court of public opinion,
where consumers will vote with their
dollars. This trend is not expected to go
Generation Z ranges from young
high-school students to recent college
graduates. In 10 years, members of this
group will be holding middle-management positions. In 20 years, they'll be
running companies and countries. For
organizations in the manufacturing and
process industries, these projections
point to a fairly tight planning horizon
for meeting the demands of Generation
Z and others that follow-all of which
are expected to be increasingly climate
There's no time to waste. Your
organization must establish a sustainable
manufacturing policy, strategy, and plan
and begin implementing that plan as
soon as possible. After all, many aspects
of a sustainable-manufacturing strategy
will require long-term planning.
Fortunately, plenty of resources are
readily available to assist you in the process. I encourage you to investigate them.
To kick-start your efforts, I've provided
an introduction to the subject in my
feature article, "Find Gold in Sustainable
Manufacturing" beginning on p. 10 of
this issue. In an associated e-newsletter
article (subscribe at efficientplangmag.
com/newsletters), you'll find a summary
of helpful information from a number of
Don't overlook the certificate and
degree programs on sustainability that
are emerging at colleges and universities.
Many are offered online and/or through
short, on-campus programs. I can attest
to the excellence of one such program
from Harvard Univ.'s Extension School,
Cambridge, MA (harvard.edu). While
I'm pursuing a master's degree through
it, the time requirements have not yet
interfered with my work as a reliability
engineer, executive coach, and contributor to Efficient Plant.
Again, the demand for sustainable
manufacturing is not going away. Help
your organization put a plan together
now, and begin executing it to build and
sustain a profitable future. EP