Green Manufacturing

It was only a matter of time before “green” living would venture into home/commercial construction, just as it does with the products we buy and the organic foods that we eat. Green products in this case are those that are used from renewable energy systems (think bamboo) and clean technology equipment used to manufacture those products.

Businesses seem to be jumping on board with this type of certification. Construction companies can now become LEED Certified. LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This type of building “provides a way for all buildings claiming to be sustainable to be graded on a common scale.” There are different levels of LEED certification as well, so companies have a scale to go by when deciding what type of certification to go after. The benefits to LEED certification are:

-Happier employees; bigger windows, open spaces usually built with employee comfort in mind

-strong commitment to the community and environment

-lower operating costs

-positive public image; because people appreciate and recognize when businesses are committed to save environmental practices

If you notice now when searching for hotel rooms, you can even opt to search for green hotels. I think this is important for businesses to go green whenever possible. The construction industry, by nature, is a wasteful one and anything that they can do to help sustain the environment is not only important but necessary.

Sources:

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/04/15/green-manufacturing/

http://pressroom.pella.com/fast_facts/113/what-does-leed-certified-mean

http://www.multibriefs.com/briefs/exclusive/benefits_of_LEED_certification.htm

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Tech Talk: Ken Swayne | Automation lecture

Listening to Mr. Swayne discuss some of the behind-the-scenes equipment needed to make automation work, really was eye-opening. It’s funny because when you say the word automation, I immediately think of movies like iRobot, RoboCop and equipment such as drones or assembly line type of machinery. I’ve never really put much thought in what makes all of that automation work.

For robotics such as in the movies, you still need someone to not only build the hardware, but even before that, you need someone or a team to develop the software. Someone still needs to be able to program the machine to do whatever the task at hand may be.

I’ve also never considered my car to be something that is automated, but Mr. Swayne mentioned that a cars’ cruise control setting is a form of automation. Behind the scenes in ourĀ  automobiles, the system is reviewing terrain, speed changes and plugging in all sorts of data into an algorithm that adjusts the speed of a vehicle going up and down hills accordingly. This all happens pretty much in the blink of an eye so having a trained technician and programmer is essential to the car industry for these types of features.

He also mentioned factory automation and why using robots work in this type of setting. I do agree that using robots allows for more precise work since you are taking the human element of job burnout and fatigue out of the equation. I also agree that using robots in this way can make production lines quicker and are more cost effective.

I’m interested to see where automation takes us in the future. What is one feature in your life that you would love to see automated?