Repurposing is another way to introduce green practices into a factory. It is like recycling, but object
being reused doesn’t become another thing. Repurposed machines, for example, are used to produce
more than one product—products outside of its normal usage criteria. The concept of repurposing is
already taking hold in the manufacturing industry in the form of materials repurposing. Plants reuse the
metal usually lost during casting, for example. There are also ways to incorporate repurposing in the
machinery and equipment area as well.
Buy Multipurpose Machines
Think about repurposing when you purchase a new machine. More and more industrial machinery
manufacturers are creating machines that can be used in more than one process. They can also produce
more than one type of product. The cost of such equipment and machinery is often higher than the
single use. However, companies will realize the savings from buying one machine as opposed to two
or more. The energy savings from repurposing are also notable as many of the machines are designed
to be more energy efficient.
Repurposing has a second definition. It also means to upgrade the machine with small modifications
or a complete overhaul. The upgrades can be aimed at making tan old machine more energy and cost
efficient. It can also work to make a single use machine into a multi-use one. The amount of repair
doesn’t matter, as the original machine still exists under the upgrades. Consider upgrading the machine
before going out to purchase something new.
Look around the plant carefully to see which machines or equipment can be repurposed. Good
candidates are old machines or those in need of more than minor repairs. Machines that can handle
multiple production lines and those with discontinued parts are also good candidates. If any of the
machines need to be replaced, remember to look for newer multipurpose models. When you are done,
the savings in cost and your contribution to the green movement will be noticed.