There are many objectives of the organisation operating in the modern market framework. While one of them is undoubtedly the profit, the other one is the sustainability as each of the organisation wants to be in the market for a long period of time. Operating for a longer period of time also brings many of the advantages to the company. Customers are often influenced by the history and the legacy of the organisation. Therefore sustainability is the next big objective of the organisations. The aim of the paper is to discuss the process of imputing sustainability in the products of an organisation. As a sustainability manager of an electric mobility scooter for disabled, this paper furnishes the process of inclusion of recycling in order to make the production more sustainable following the theory of circular economy.
Different types of components used for the production of the company:
There are three different types of components that are used in the production of the electric mobility scooters. This part of the study goes through the each component and discusses the process to implement recycling in these components.
One of the most important structural components of the electric mobility scooter is the chassis. This part of the product is made of either carbon steel or aluminium in order to make the scooter lightweight. This aluminium and carbon steel is very strong and hence can be reused upon proper processes of the recycling sector. Chen et al. (2017) commented that the chassis is often the most common automobile part that is reused for development of many other similar products. Apart from that, wheels can also be recycled to a great extent as they are made of alloy like the combination of the aluminium and the magnesium. These two metals have a long use life and hence provide incentives to the producers to recollect it from the users so that they can be used again for the production of the next lot. Tyre is a component which is used around the wheels of the product and it’s made of rubber, carbon and other chemical compounds. Tyre recycling is a common process followed by many of the automobile organisation of the world. Faludi et al. (2015) stated that the reuse of the tyres of the automobile is important as tyres are not biodegradable and hence becomes problems for environment and the capacity. One of the best ways to reuse the tyres of the products of the company is by tyre pyrolysis wherein the old tyres are heated to an extent that they melt (Song et al. 2017). This matter tyre can then be used again as per the needs of the producers.
Electronic parts of the mobility scooters are very important as they make the basic value for the product. Motor which is the most important part of the overall scooter can be easily reused if the company can use Electronic Data Log (EDL) in each of the new motors of the company. Rahimian et al. (2017) stated that this is a circuit that provides the producers an insight regarding the performance and the status of the motor during and after the use of the motor. Another electronic part that can be reused to a large extent is the wires which involve mainly the copper wires. Copper wires are the most effective corrosion resistant wires which are less susceptive to damage and can be used for a long period of time. However, there are few of the electronic parts of the products which cannot be reused again (Zhang and Haapala, 2015). These involve the switches and the batteries. During the use of the mobility scooters, switches are used very roughly and they are mainly made of plastics or fibres. Reusing these parts of the product can reduce the quality of the mobility scooter. In the case of the circuit board of the product, the board can be reused again removing all the existing prints and the wires of the boards. There has been a new technology of ecocycle cube which prints new printings and plants new filaments on the old boards. Carbonell et al. (2015) highlighted that, the filaments itself can be replaced by materials which are made from used cola bottles. Therefore, this way most of the electronic parts of the products can be reused for the sake of the cost of the company and the general welfare of the environment.
Some of the other parts of the mobility scooter can also be reused again in the future products of the company. Robayo-Salazar et al. (2017) highlighted that mechanical transmitters, if maintained properly can be reused in the next products without any problem. However the extent to which the bodywork and the upholstery of the product can be used for the next production depends on the market the product is being sold. Generally in developed economies with low level of pollution allows these to be used again as dust particle generally remains very low. On the other hand, underdeveloped or developing economies lack the system to reduce and manage the pollution of the environment and hence damages the external parts of the products such as the upholstery and the bodywork and hence cannot be reused. Although, Ghani et al. (2016) stated that melting the bodywork at certain temperature, the producers can utilise the bodywork in some way, however, it can pollute the environment and go against the ethical principles of the organisations.
Description of the future sustainable industrial system:
The modern style of the operation for the private corporations and the organisations compels them to work in collaboration with the other stakeholders such as suppliers and vendors. Therefore the key to the future sustainable operation for any kinds of product needs to be undertaken in collaboration with them. Joseph et al. (2016) stated that there are few of the stages that the management and the production units needs to keep in mind in order to implement sustainability strategies given that apart the resource flow of the production has been made circular. The stages for the future sustainability of the industry are presented below:
Stage one- understanding of the sustainability trend and the impacts
The first stage for the production of the mobility scooter should be the research by the production department of the company. In this research the production department with collaboration with the other department of the company would discuss how the reusability of the resources for the product development would impact the business and the goals of the organisation in terms of environmental commitments and ethics. Arora et al. (2016) stated that, this step usually presents blueprint of the plan and maps the involvement of different stakeholders of the organisation.
Stage two- Priority articulation
This is the next stage towards the sustainability of the production process for the mobility scooters where the stakeholders agree on the decision to improve the CSR activity of the organization and accepts the responsibilities of each of the member. For the mobility scooter, the manufacturing assigns responsibility to different stakeholders such as it asks the supplier of rubber to collect used tires of the customers and melt it for the purpose of the production.
Stage three- development of the mission
In this stage, the management of the company sets an overall vision for the sustainability strategies that are being taken in case of the production of mobility scooters. Each of the stakeholders in the production such as the vendor of electrical devices, the supplier of chemicals, rubbers, copper wires are given short term and long-term goals. Absil et al. (2015) commented that the effectiveness of the strategies and its effects on the performances of the company highly depends on the production manager. The manager needs to make sure that overall organizational goal in terms of sustainability and the reusability needs to be properly adopted by each of the stakeholders of the production.
Stage four- internal strategy execution
This is the fourth stage of the process where the management uses the internal process and practices to make sure the performances and the activities of each of the stakeholders and the members can be properly monitored for the sake of the overall performances of the project.
Stage five- Development of the tools and education programmes for the member
This is the most important stage of the production where the management of the company uses its learning curve to collect knowledge regarding the reusability of resources in order to further enhance the suitability in the production process of the company. Alujas et al. (2015) highlighted that in this case, a research and development unit helps each of the stakeholders and members of production eventually resulting in reduced cost and lesser environmental impacts of the sustainability programme.
Stage six- Development of the performance evaluation
The production manager of the mobility scooter in this stage develops the metrics, plan, and target for each of the members and the stakeholders so that their relative performances can be measured and can be rewarded in a gesture to appreciate the members. Yazdani et al. (2016) highlighted that, in this case, the views and the feedback from the customers' needs to be processed in order to understand pros and the cons of reused components in the mobility scooters.
Stage seven- Development of the industry code of practices
Development of the code of practices for the reusability of the components in the mobility scooter is an important to stage if the aim of the management of the company is suitability. The management in this process makes sure that reusability techniques used by each of the members of the association adhere to the environmental policies. The tire pyrolysis is a process where chemicals of higher concentration are required and hence proper licensing needs to be done. In this context, Carbone and Brown (2017) commented that use of concentrated chemicals for the purpose of reusability also pose threats for the workers as well and hence calls for strengthened safety and security policies of the company if it wants to make it sustainable.
Stage eight- Analysis of the process
In the third stage of the reusability programme, the management of the manufacturing unit set visions for each of the members or the stakeholders. In this stage the production manager analyses the performance indicators for each of the groups in order to find out challenges that each of the members facing. For example, in the production of the mobility scooter, the electronic supplier can face obstacles regarding the use of state of the art 3D printer in order to reuse a circuit board. De Stefano et al. (2016) stated that cost of using 3D printer is very high and the management can thus, either come up with a new solution or it can devote more money to this stakeholder in order to get the job done properly.
Stage nine- Report and result of the sectors
The next stage of the reusability sustainable production process is the reporting of the results and the performances of each sector relative to their goals. Zhu et al. (2015) noted that the objective of the reporting and analysis of the result is that it allows the management an insight regarding the effectiveness of the production process and the necessity of further performance improvement of each of the sectors.
Stage ten- Contribution to the government and public policies
With a sustainable operation and the experience of the producers in terms of reusability of the resources for production, they can become assisting agents for the public policy makers in terms of environment and impacts of production on the environment. The leaders of the association such as the manager of the manufacturing units can provide valuable insights of the industry to the government so that accurate policy is articulated that further improves the sustainability of the production and the quality of the environment. However, Pavlínek (2015) stated that there is a great apprehension regarding this stage as most of the organization in this stage becomes complacent and engages in lobbying with the policy makers for financial benefits of the organization ignoring its corporate responsibilities towards the environment for sustainability.
Short run and long run steps for each of the components in order to implement the sustainable system:
The management in the short run can carry out research studies regarding the characteristics of raw materials used in the production of structural body parts such as wheels, chassis and many more. Volkswagen is a global automobile maker that carries out regular researchers of the resources used in the production in order to decide if they can reuse the resource in the production of new automobiles again. In the long run, the management needs to establish its own research and analysis wings for the purpose of innovation and knowledge.
The technological advancement in the electronic parts sector which is used for the production of the mobility scooter is characterized by rapid changes. For example, electronic switches have changed from bipolar transistors to power diode MOSFET in a matter of 3 years. Therefore it is mandatory for the management of the company to keep itself updated with the industry and technology standard in order to make the reusability and production more sustainable. Kong et al. (2016) pointed out that, due to the fact that each of the members or stakeholder must be delegated respective goals, performance monitoring and evaluation of each of the member becomes important in the longer term.
In the short term, the management of the manufacturing unit of the company can carry out an experiment with the use of different types of upholstery, tires and many more in order to see what works well in favor of the goal. For example, the tire can be burnt in order to turn it into a molten rubber so that it can be used again. Vinodh et al. (2016) pointed out that, in the short run this can provide a support to the production to the manager. However, in the long run, the manager of manufacturing units needs to make sure the reusability modifications processes like these matches with the policies of the government (Wassmann et al. 2016). Stakeholder evaluation matrix can also be used in the long run to check whether the members or the stakeholders are in line with their respective responsibilities and goals.
Thus, this paper shows the production of the mobility scooter for the disabled can be made more circular as per the theory of circular economy of production economics. The main objective of using the circular economic principles in the production is that it will save some of the pressures on the environment of the world. The paper discusses to what extent each of the parts of the mobility scooter can be reused again in the production. Apart from that, the paper also presents the stages important for the future sustainability of organization and the industry as a whole. Lastly, the paper has concluded with the discussion of how the management can take short and long-term actions on each of the components of the productions in order to make the production sustainable.
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