Tamil Nadu

IIT professor’s research shows ways of reducing waste in factories

A faculty member at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras has suggested ways of using minimal resources and reducing cost without compromising on functionality.

Balkrishna C. Rao, associate professor in the Department of Engineering Design, has developed the concept of ‘frugal manufacturing’ for sustainable development in factories. By adopting frugal manufacturing practises, Indian manufacturers can lead the race of next-generation manufacturing processes and machine tool systems, according to the researcher.

Frugal manufacturing also supports unusual applications, an example being items such as face shields, hand-wash stations, testing equipment and respiratory support equipment that used minimal resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Rao, whose article in the peer-reviewed journal Royal Society Open Science explains the concept, says the conventional way of staying profitable is to increase the scale of production.

“With the irreversible interrelated phenomena of climate change, the decline in biodiversity and population growth facing the world, there has also been awareness of the need for frugal ways of consumption. Accordingly, there is now a shift in manufacturing philosophy from bigger-is-better to frugal-is-better, and zero waste products and processes have been increasingly gaining attention in recent years.” Frugal manufacturing, as part of frugal engineering, aims for zero waste while fabricating quality parts through fewer low-cost processes.

According to the professor, frugality can be quantified in all aspects of product development, including manufacturing.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2022 1:27:10 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/iit-professors-research-shows-ways-of-reducing-waste-in-factories/article38367108.ece