Method increases the reuse of industrial waste

Biomass & Bioenergy – The systematization of information on waste from production companies through the use of the Kanban concept, which encourages the recycling process, is the work proposed “Eco-Kanban: Systematic Reuse in Industrial Waste.
The research is part of the doctoral thesis of Miroslava Hamzagic, PhD in Production Engineering from the Polytechnic School (Poli) and USP professor of undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Taubaté (São Paulo). The study won the 2011 Engineering Award of Brazil (Category Solid Waste – PhD).
Some domestic companies claim that they are reusing their industrial waste, but often this is done informally, without a policy or a methodology definite. For this reason, we do not know the precise amount of waste generated in the production process, how much can be reused and what the economy that this practice provides. The teacher explains that the study used a concept already settled in the industrial environment, in order to facilitate the understanding and practice of model reuse of waste: the kanban. The model seeks to encourage the recycling of waste production, through the automatic message “start” a new production he provides. Hence the name “Eco-Kanban”.
It was five years of research, which began in 2005. Twelve companies were contacted, but only four agreed to participate in the work, providing the necessary information and testing the proposed methodology. “A major obstacle was the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, because some companies had agreed to participate in the study dropped out, since there were layoffs, cuts of cost and several projects were canceled,” says Miroslava. The four participating companies are located in the Paraíba Valley, São Paulo, producing, respectively, flat glass, vehicles, engines / reactors / engines and blending for cement kilns.
After defining the participating companies in the study, the next step was to analyze the production process of each one and how the solid waste was recycled. It was found that at that time, there was little initiative in recycling industrial waste. Some companies, although wanted a cost reduction in the disposal of waste that went to landfills, little was done. “Companies, especially automakers and parts manufacturers, have not yet glimpsed the gains with this practice. The reverse logistics was still seen only as the return of bottles, packages or defective finished products,” says the researcher.
Earnings – As a conclusion of the work, Miroslava says that in all the four companies that participated in the study, the results were positive with the application of Eco-kanban. In some cases, there was significant financial gains with the decrease in cost of raw materials, release of spaces in the areas of storage rooms and a decrease the waste amounts within the company.
“The information systematization is essential for the planning of waste reutilization, because the generation is unavoidable, their disposal will need all kinds of resources, for the reuse be done properly,” says the researcher.
The award of Engineering Brazil is one of the most important of the country and aims to encourage scientific thinking and technological innovation in production nationally. According to Professor Miroslava, virtually all the industry’s efforts in terms of management and logistics are directed only to the production, and very little for the recycling of waste, which often become a major problem for the company and also the environment.

Source and Photo: Biomass & Bioenergy, February 13rd, 2012
Click here to read the Portuguese version
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