Sustainable Sourcing and Manufacturing Practices in the Indian Precision Machining Industry: Trends and Challenges

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The Indian precision machining industry plays a vital role in manufacturing components that are
critical to various sectors, such as automotive, aerospace, defense, and medical equipment. In
recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on sustainable sourcing and manufacturing
practices within this industry. As the global demand for environmentally friendly and socially
responsible products increases, precision machining companies in India are facing the challenge of
adopting sustainable practices while maintaining their competitive edge. This article explores the
current trends, challenges, and the role of synergy as a precision machining sourcing company in
driving sustainable practices.

Trends in Sustainable Sourcing and Manufacturing Practices:

Material Selection: One of the key trends in sustainable sourcing is the careful selection of
materials. Companies are increasingly opting for eco-friendly and recyclable materials that minimize
environmental impact and reduce waste generation. By sourcing sustainable materials, precision
machining companies contribute to a greener supply chain. Many OEMs are specifying RoHS
compliant and REACH compliant materials and processes and ensuring this meets the requirements
is becoming a challenge and awareness of these materials needs to improve. Especially, machining
RoHS complaint material like lead free brass or Bronze needs special skills and knowledge of proper
machining techniques, special inserts and tooling to machine them efficiently.

Energy Efficiency: Energy consumption is a significant aspect of manufacturing processes. To reduce
their carbon footprint, precision machining companies are implementing energy-efficient
technologies and optimizing their production processes. This includes using advanced machinery and
adopting practices such as energy recovery systems and LED lighting in their facilities. Increasing
efficiency of machining has become critical. Machine shops are now calculating air cutting time in
CNC machining, meaning running the machine without cutting metal. Air cutting time it the time
when the cutter isn’t cutting anything, moving to the next position or moving ofc the part
after it’s finished to its safe position. Productivity and energy efficiency can improve greatly if
this area is improved.

Waste Reduction and Recycling: Another important trend is the implementation of waste reduction
and recycling programs. Precision machining companies are investing in technologies that enable
them to recycle metal chips, coolant fluids, and other by-products generated during the
manufacturing process. By doing so, they reduce waste disposal and conserve resources.

Water Conservation: Water scarcity is a growing concern, and precision machining companies are
taking steps to conserve water in their operations. They are implementing measures such as water
recycling systems, closed-loop coolant systems, coolant recycling and optimizing water usage
through process control and monitoring. Coolant recycling systems are used to skim reusable
coolants and machining fluids from wastewater in metalworking facilities. They help to reduce the
cost of waste disposal and equipment replacement while increasing the life of machinery and tools.
Coolant filtration is the first step in a coolant recycling system.

Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) in machining: Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is a
measure of how well you are utilizing your manufacturing capabilities on your machine shop floor.  It
combines measures of machine run time, how fast parts are being processed, and the time lost to
producing scrapped parts.

Autonomous Maintenance: Autonomous maintenance is a manufacturing strategy that places the
responsibility for basic maintenance upkeep on the primary equipment user: the machine operator.
It’s meant to prevent equipment deterioration by keeping it in like new condition. MTBF is a
measure of how long a system or product is expected to operate before it fails, and it is used to plan
for maintenance or replacement. MTTR is a measure of how long it takes to repair a system or
product after it fails, and it is used to minimize downtime and reduce repair costs
All these would help greatly improvement machining effiencies.

Challenges Faced by Precision Machining Companies:

Cost Implications: Implementing sustainable practices often requires significant investments in
technologies and infrastructure upgrades. Precision machining companies face the challenge of
balancing the cost of sustainability initiatives with the competitive pricing demands of their
customers. However, it’s important to recognize that sustainable practices can lead to long-term
cost savings through improved efficiency and reduced waste.

Supply Chain Complexity: The precision machining industry relies heavily on a complex global supply
chain. Ensuring sustainability across the entire supply chain can be challenging, as it involves
monitoring and managing the practices of multiple suppliers. Collaborative efforts and transparent
communication are essential for driving sustainability throughout the supply chain.

Regulatory Compliance: Adhering to stringent environmental regulations adds an additional layer of
complexity to sustainable sourcing and manufacturing. Precision machining companies must stay up-
to-date with evolving environmental regulations and invest in compliance measures to ensure they
meet the required standards. Non-compliance can lead to reputational damage and legal
consequences. Meeting international regulations for materials meeting RoHS, REACH and NSF
standards. Both the EU REACH Regulation and EU RoHS Directive aim to reduce and restrict
substances that can be deemed harmful to humans and the environment. NSF looks at

materials and process for food and sanitation. NSF/ANSI 2 establishes minimum food
protection and sanitation requirements for the materials, design, fabrication, construction
and performance of food handling and processing equipment (such as bakery, cafeteria,
kitchen and pantry units) and other food handling and processing equipment. Any
machined parts supplied to these industries must meet these requirements and materials
used must be compliant to NSF, RoHS, REACH and other region specific standards.

Synergy as a supplier of Precision Machined components:

Synergy plays a crucial role in driving sustainable practices within the precision machining industry.
As a sourcing company, it acts as a bridge between manufacturers and suppliers, facilitating the
adoption of sustainable practices at every stage of the supply chain. Here’s how synergy contributes
to sustainability:

Supplier Collaboration: Synergy works closely with suppliers to promote sustainable sourcing
practices. It conducts thorough assessments to evaluate suppliers’ sustainability initiatives, including
their environmental management systems, waste management, and social responsibility policies. By
partnering with suppliers committed to sustainability, synergy ensures that manufacturers receive
materials and components from ethical and eco-friendly sources.

International Regulations: Synergy ensures that all parts are sourced from machine shops and
materials used are NSF, RoHS & REACH compliant and gudies its suppliers and conduct required
testing to ensure the regulations are met.

Knowledge Sharing: Synergy shares knowledge and best practices with precision machining
manufacturers, helping them identify and implement sustainable solutions. This includes providing
guidance on material selection, energy-efficient technologies, waste reduction strategies, and water
conservation methods, Lean manufacturing, 5S techniques, Autonomous maintenance TPM, Kaizen
etc. By leveraging its expertise, Synergy assists manufacturers in integrating sustainability into their

Supply Chain Transparency: Synergy enhances supply chain transparency by implementing rigorous
traceability systems by ensuring end-to-end traceability of materials with heat codes, batch number,
machining batch codes, surface finishing traceability and documentation of all reports, tests and
inspection records for upto 8 years.

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