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Megatrend: scarcity of resources
On account of the growth in world population and global economic prosperity, the availability of natural resources such as metals and industrial materials is reaching critical levels. It is essential that manufacturing companies work efficiently and sustainably with these resources in order to reduce environmental pollution and remain competitive over the long term.
Scarcity of resources due to rising demand
There are limited supplies of minerals, metals and fossil resources on our planet and these cannot be renewed. Given rising populations and a growing demand worldwide for industrial and consumer goods, the availability of these natural resources is dwindling.
The quality of other natural resources such as water, air and soil may become permanently impaired as a result of commercial utilization. Even the availability of these resources, in their original high-quality form, is dwindling to an ever greater extent due to increased and often unsustainably managed levels of consumption.
In addition to critical and, to a certain extent, irreversible environmental damage, this increase in the consumpton of resources is also causing market prices to rise. Manufacturing companies with high energy and material requirements feel the effects of this rise in prices more than anyone else.
For this very reason, it is becoming increasingly important that companies work with resources in an efficient and sustainable manner and use alternative energy sources and materials in order to remain competitive on the global market.
Modern technologies and innovations promote resource efficiency
Modern technologies and the strategic integration of sustainability and future-oriented approaches are making it possible for industrial companies to make use of natural resources in a more efficient and sustainable manner – from the procurement and production stages right through to distribution, disposal and recycling.
By optimizing process sequences and the flow of materials, it is possible, for example, to lower material, energy and water costs while reducing waste and the number of reject parts. Smart factories and the Industrial Internet of Things enable companies to establish highly efficient production processes that are optimized in real time and based firmly on the principle of using resources in a sparing and purposeful manner.
Furthermore, innovation in the field of product design and the development of alternative materials are helping to alleviate the competition for limited resources and generate commercial and ecological added value.
Resource efficiency by KUKA
On a daily basis, KUKA strives to develop and implement intelligent automation solutions that help companies around the world to optimize their value creation processes, thus enabling them to increase economic efficiency while using resources in a responsible manner.
Examples here are energy-efficient products which can also be deployed flexibly such as the KR QUANTEC industrial robot, or intelligent software solutions for production and energy optimization purposes such as KUKA Connect. KUKA also offers services relating to the sustainable disposal and recycling of products.
Sustainably structured environmental and energy programs have been implemented at our own sites to enable us to meet or even surpass the requirements of resource-conserving standards along our own production and delivery chain.