Making the future: Sustainability and the cloud
Sustainability is a key to the future of the manufacturing industry. As consumers and businesses alike consider the carbon footprint of their products, innovative manufacturers are seeking new ways to track, evaluate, and reduce the emissions created during the manufacturing process. Learn more about Fast Radius’ efforts to make manufacturing more sustainable from Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Lou Rassey.
When we hear companies talk about sustainability, it can feel like sometimes that’s years or even decades away. There’s no denying that if we want companies to make and move things more sustainably, there’s work to be done. But that work is underway, and it’s making a real difference.
At Fast Radius, we are so hopeful about the future of sustainable manufacturing and how it can be enabled by new technology. We call our technology cloud manufacturing. Cloud manufacturing can make and move new products using software. Already, cloud manufacturing is transforming some of our most carbon-intensive industries, from small consumer goods to heavy machinery.
This transformation starts at the drawing board. Traditionally, engineers could only guess at the carbon impact of their designs. Today, designers and engineers can use software to better understand the carbon impact of their choices. This information is more than useful, it’s empowering. It’s helping designers make smarter, more sustainable choices. It’s helping manufacturers make parts that use less energy and fewer natural resources. It’s helping companies cut down on waste/carbon emissions and bring our economy into balance with nature.
Imagine the future that cloud manufacturing makes possible. This is a world where we don’t just build parts more sustainably, we can actually store them digitally. In other words, no more warehouses draining electricity around the clock; no more spare parts sitting on shelves and getting buried in a landfill; and instead of shipping goods across the planet, we can build them at a microfactory close to their destination.
According to a recent study, cloud manufacturing can cut manufacturing-related emissions by almost 20 percent. This is exactly the kind of progress that manufacturers are striving for. That’s also a change that our planet desperately needs. Of course, none of this is simply going to happen by itself. Bringing cloud manufacturing to scale will take foresight, strategic investment, and hard work. But if we take bold action now, we could make manufacturing more sustainable for generations to come.