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Moving Towards Low-Carbon Manufacturing

Rising carbon prices will have a significant impact on business growth and will increase viability of low-carbon development pathways. In the panel chaired by ITRI Senior Vice President Jwu-Sheng Hu, representatives from four major industry associations in Taiwan shared their insights on the manufacturing sector’s transition from decarbonization to low-carbon production.

ITRI Senior Vice President Jwu-Sheng Hu pointed out that empowering small-and medium-sized enterprises to take greater action on net zero is critical.

ITRI Senior Vice President Jwu-Sheng Hu pointed out that empowering small-and medium-sized enterprises to take greater action on net zero is critical.

Inspired by the business thinking of corporate shared value (CSV) proposed by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, Hu believes that sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand for corporates and that Taiwan’s manufacturing industries have no reason not to shift towards low-carbon developments. To give an example, equipment suppliers that incorporate low-carbon procedures to produce low-carbon equipment will bring value not only for themselves but also for their clients. Hu also pointed out that since small-and medium-sized enterprises are a pillar of Taiwan’s economy, empowering them to take greater action on net zero becomes critical.

“Sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand for corporates.”
Jwu-Sheng Hu, ITRI Senior Vice President

Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (TEEMA) Vice Chairman Fu-Hsiong Cheng in the session expressed that essential components in automation such as inverters, sensors, and controllers can be effective key players in energy conservation and carbon reduction. “30% of energy can be saved if all motors in one plant are switched to inverters,” he said. “TEEMA will continue to work with ITRI and encourage its members to develop carbon-negative products and equipment.”

Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI) Chairman Larry T. W. Wei said that machinery equipment suppliers are optimizing their products to reduce energy consumption via smart machinery and smart manufacturing. His own company Fong Kee International Machinery, for example, had already developed all-electric equipment and replaced its oil hydraulic motors ten years ago. This successfully resolved noise and pollution issues while also reducing electricity consumption by 20-40%.

Taiwan Printed Circuit Association (TPCA) is also actively promoting green factories by establishing certifications for clean production and green factories for the printed circuit industry. With the assistance of ITRI, the Association conducted a thorough analysis of the manufacturing process of circuit boards and released the Circular Economy Roadmap of Taiwan PCB Industry in 2019. “TPCA continues to upgrade process technologies and develop smart energy-saving equipment with suppliers as well as negotiate better procurement conditions for green energy on behalf of our members,” said TPCA Environmental Safety Committee Convener Tenfens Huang.

Automation and smart manufacturing technologies are important means to reduce carbon emissions. Dr. Kou-I Szu, Chairman of TAIROA (Taiwan Automation Intelligence and Robotics Association), suggested the following areas to work on which can help reduce carbon emissions: (1) adapt advanced manufacturing processes, such as 3D printing and dry machining, to reduce wastes; (2) apply hybrid multi-axes machine tools to reduce footprint and to increase flexibility; (3) integrate all-electrical actuators in production equipment to increase productivity as well as energy efficiency; (4) apply smart motion control with high speed network to monitor manufacturing processes and to increase system availability.

The manufacturing industry has a variety of options and different requirements for achieving net zero carbon emissions. The challenges facing manufacturers have presented new opportunities towards low carbon manufacturing. Through collaborations with various parties, ITRI will consolidate multidisciplinary resources and provide solutions and support to businesses.