Any manufacturing process has an impact on the environment, but a sustainable vacuum former should attempt to minimise their impact.
Reducing the impact of any vacuum forming process can be achieved in a number of ways.
Firstly, a vacuum former who chooses the most efficient process is taking the most important step towards supporting the environment. Efficiency covers many aspects of the vacuum forming project, and starts at the very beginning. Developing the most efficient design is important. A good design will lead to the manufacture of a part that functions with maximum efficiency with a long working life. The least sustainable activity is the manufacture of poor quality products that work inefficiently or require regular replacement – so designing for maximum efficiency is essential.
Design will also cover aspects such as materials to be used and the yield. Again, choosing correctly will improve efficiency and reduce material use – and waste.
Choosing A Sustainable Vacuum Former
Moving on from design, the actual process will have an important part to play on ensuring the greenest possible outcome. Reducing the amount of time used on the process will have a positive impact as it will tend to mean that less energy is being used. Functions such as swift change of tooling will also mean less energy is used. And maximising the yield from the chosen material will also help support the environment.
A very general rule is that the more modern the kit the more efficient it will be. That will apply not just to the vacuum forming kit but to any add-on processes such as CNC machining or laser profiling for example.
Modern equipment is developed to maximise production efficiency and all reputable kit manufacturers can detail their environmental credentials.
More on The Sustainable Vacuum Former
Beyond the narrow confines of a particular project it is also important to look at your vacuum formers company-wide attempts to reduce their environmental impact. Do they targets covering aspects such as waste reduction, lowering energy use etc – and are they achieving and resetting those targets? Do they confirm to any agreed Standards, and do they work to an ethical supply chain that sees their environmental concerns reflected in their suppliers?