Environmental concerns have been at the forefront for several years now. The Covid-19 pandemic has further intensified this phenomenon. In this context, the social and political pressure asking companies to adopt a more virtuous operation towards the environment is becoming stronger. The companies therefore have an increasing interest in turning to industrial ecology. The sooner they do so, the greater the positive impact on the public and consumers will be. In addition, a company that adopts industrial and territorial ecology practices (ITE) anticipates the standards and obligations of tomorrow and therefore takes the lead over its competitors.
But such an appproach cannot be improvised. It involves building a coherent strategy and choosing suitable tools. In terms of industrial maintenance, having a modern CMMS is essential to prepare for the world of tomorrow, in which industrial ecology will, without a doubt, be the norm.
What is industrial and territorial ecology?
Industrial and territorial ecology is a concept and a practice aiming at limiting the industrial impact on the environment.
The principles of industrial ecology
Based on the analysis of material and energy flows, this method adopts a global approach of the industrial system and represents it as an ecosystem that aims to make it compatible with natural ecosystems.
The global perspective is sustainable development. The ITE is based on a pragmatic approach which considers that on a given geographic scale and whatever its sector of activity, each economic actor can reduce its environmental impact by trying to optimize and / or enhance the flows (people, energy …) that it employs and generates.
Who is affected by industrial ecology?
The ITE is aimed at all industry players: companies, sectors, public bodies, etc. They are encouraged to pool resources to save and transform them.
In the private industrial sector, there are many reasons to turn to this mode of operation. Some companies will be pushed there by the search for economic profitability, through less costly waste management. Others will see a possible gain in terms of public image. Others may be interested in it in order to fully integrate into the territory where they are installed.
The tools of industrial ecology
The ITE presupposes the mobilization of very diverse disciplines and tools: ecology of course, but also IT, engineering, physics, chemistry, economics, logistics, etc. The ITE is interdisciplinary by nature and integrates these different fields of knowledge using engineering or ecological engineering methods.
It relies above all on “industrial metabolism”, that is to say on the analysis of the balance between material and energy and of the flows of materials underlying all activities using optimization calculations and life cycle analysis.
Direct your maintenance towards industrial ecology thanks to your CMMS
How can maintenance management be integrated into a global approach to adopting the principles of industrial ecology ? Thanks to the use of modern and suitable tools such as the next-gen CMMS and the involvement of all links in the production chain.
Involve the entire structure and teams
Involving the teams in the industrial ecology project means informing them, raising their awareness and mobilizing them. Each trade can and must be involved in this process, because everyone has a role to play at their level.
The first step therefore consists in carrying out a diagnosis by consulting the field teams, who are best placed to discuss the work processes and therefore to find ways to improve those from an ecological point of view. Production technicians, for example, can identify energy losses and possible changes to reduce them. Maintenance teams can question their maintenance methods and suggest changes to extend the life of machines and equipment.
Overall, the more the teams will feel involved in the industrial ecology project, the more the practical applications of this concept will be relevant and effective.
Choosing the right CMMS tool
The choice of a suitable CMMS solution is crucial for a company that wishes to commit to an industrial ecology approach. This choice covers a triple challenge: the involvement of maintenance teams, the dematerialization of the processes and the effectiveness of the maintenance.
The involvement of the maintenance teams
The involvement of the teams is, as we have seen, essential to any industrial ecology project. In the maintenance sector, this involvement necessarily involves the adoption of an intuitive, powerful and easy-to-use CMMS tool. These characteristics are those of the 4.0 CMMS that Mobility Work offers. It is an app, that has been created on the model of our daily-life apps. This maintenance management platform makes it possible to win the volontary adherence of your maintenance teams, by facilitating their work and by offering them an easy-to-use and user-centric tool.
The dematerialization of processes
By replacing all paper documents, the CMMS already represented an advance in terms of dematerialization. But the next-gen CMMS does not stop there: by adopting a SaaS model and by using Big Data, the CMMS makes it possible to centralize all data and their processing in the cloud. The company thus gains in energy performance.
An efficient maintenance makes it possible to extend the life expectancy of the machines and their components, and thus to be part of an industrial ecology approach by reducing the amount of waste produced. When the machines are not properly maintained, the environmental risk (and the associated financial cost) increases, for example due to the frequent replacement of spare parts.
A CMMS solution such as Mobility Work enables optimal maintenance to be implemented, in particular by adopting a predictive maintenance strategy, based on the analysis of the maintenance strategy and the operation of each machine.
Industrial ecology is a global process that needs to be approached from the ground up. Far from being a production method involving a radical and sudden change, it finds its source in the progressive improvement of each stage of the production chain from an environmental point of view. In the field of maintenance, this improvement necessarily involves the adoption of a modern CMMS tool such as Mobility Work, that is efficient and adapted to the challenges of our time.