Resource efficient production
In order to ensure sustainability throughout the entire production every part of the manufacturing process needs to be performed with minimum use of energy, materials and water. This concept fits well with the principles of lean manufacturing.
Idle running of machines represents between 20% and 40% in energy losses in society at large. Industrial manufacturing constitutes no exception. In order to change this Volvo Group has launched Project Revolution, a venture that takes a deeper look into how processes can be optimised and idle running minimised. Furthermore, the project includes resource efficiency, use of sustainable energy sources such as solar energy, upgrading machine control and closed purification systems in e.g. paint shops. When some of these principles were applied in Volvo Trucks’ Umeå factory energy use was halved.
A lot of the materials and chemicals used in today’s production can be completely replaced or used in smaller quantities. By looking at production methods in new ways material efficiency can be increased. Volvo Group’s goal set to a high standard; eliminate all landfill waste, high degree of recycling of all materials and use the
rest as energy. Volvo Group also looks to decrease the overall amount of materials and chemicals used, such as packaging and cutting fluids.
Although much has been done, emissions can still be reduced by using virtual paint simulators. In simulators painting programmes that control how the machines work are optimised. Other solutions include closed recirculation purification systems and rethinking processes in order to reduce the amount of steps used in the production.
Health & safety
Increased knowledge on the roots for allergies and which materials that cause health problems is something that Volvo Group has been looking at for a long time, and as new materials emerge this work remains important. New materials also hold the promise of making for example the truck cab a safer place.
Regarding work environment, health and safety it is important to increase cooperative efforts and to achieve international standards. A good work place and work environment is not only an absolute prerequisite for Volvo Group in order to ensure that our co-workers stay healthy, but it also helps increase the quality of our products.