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Sustainability in Electrical Manufacturing

A great variety of raw materials, metals, plastics, chemicals, and also water is used in the manufacturing of electrical devices, machines, motors, and everyday electronics.Most of the materials and components used to create electrical products are hidden from view on the outside.

Many of these materials are not easily sourced or freely available, but even the smallest device or product needs it to function properly.

Materials used in Electrical Manufacturing

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Copper, lithium, silver, nickel, aluminum, tin and gold are the more known metals used in the manufacturing of electronics and electrical devices.  However, these are all materials that need to be mined and are not found everywhere. Mining activities use gallons of water per second while operational.

Materials also include plastics, microchips that rely on silicon, and rare earth metals.  Batteries will need lithium.  Specialized glass and ceramics are used for some parts and screens.  Electrical manufacturing and the production of electronics also involve the use of different chemicals.

Various gases and solvents are used to control the quality of products.  Impurities are stripped away where needed, components are cleaned, and materials degreased.  Purchasing chemical supplies is an ongoing process in manufacturing.  Manufacturers tend to locate their operations where materials and producers are situated.

This wide array of needed components for even the simplest of electric devices makes the electrical industry prone to suffer from fluctuating prices in commodity markets.

Sustainability of Electrical Manufacturing Materials

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Even though electrical manufacturing changed daily living for households, efficiency in the workplace, better medical capabilities, and many more, it still uses outdated supply chains.

Manufacturing processes still rely on dangerous mining practices, hazardous chemicals, outmoded energy sources, and the consumption of diminishing resources.  Most of these processes are also not environmentally friendly.

But, although many things haven’t changed in a big way for this industry, they are already implementing measures to minimize the impact on the environment.

Balancing Industry Growth with Resources

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The demand for electrical devices and electronics is an ever-growing market.  The materials needed for many of the manufacturing processes are dwindling, and not sustainable.  Therefore, research into more accessible resources that are also environmentally friendly is ongoing.

Recycling components and materials will also ensure less hazardous emissions into the environment.  Reusing rather than landing in landfills or lying around in drawers and boxes.

Expos, Fairs, Conferences, and Electrical Manufacturing Events are excellent opportunities to share research and knowledge with others in the industry. Also, sharing with other industries can go a long way towards renewing electrical manufacturing processes.