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AI: Key to sustainable manufacturing

A discussion on sustainable manufacturing is the need of the hour – technology like AI is set to drive it. The focus needs to be on the action plan required to refresh processes, how we plan on instructing organizations to design first, and how all of this is set to come together, contributing towards the cause of transformation.  

We need to first discuss innovation – how the correct technologies can put us on the path towards sustainable manufacturing. Researchers from Purdue University have come up with a new procedure for automatic creation of physical input-output tables to trace flows in production networks. 

AI is obviously a major part of this, as algorithms based on this bottom-up modular system enables us to map resource flows with improved accuracy and integrity as information can be reconciled on the basis of mechanistic models through this approach. 

This development is cloud-based. It is targeted at mapping inter-industry dependent network for resources and waste output across manufacturers from a wide range of sectors. The tech enables meeting a production target that assists in determining economic and environments results for several production pathways based on resource necessities. 

This depiction of innovation impresses on the basis of two reasons: 1) the technology is being used in the pursuit of good. There is another aspect of this story that impresses: now young innovators are meeting the challenge to find answers for long-term issues. 

You may be aware of Greta Thunberg and her campaigning towards the cause of global climate changes, but it is to be noted that she is just a single individual in a long list of youngsters who are helming the reigns in the cause of change. 

Gitanjoli Rao, Time’s Magazine’s 2020 Kid of the Year, is a prime example. 

At the tender age of 15, she is an inventor, writer, and scientist, with an interest in STEM. She has come up with various tech including Tethys, which is a carbon-nanotube based sensor device to identify lead contaminated water.  

It is of paramount importance that we provide the next generation of youngsters with the resources they require as well as collaborate with them. The requirement is to enable the next generation of skilled workers to contribute to the industry and produce the technologies we require for sustainable manufacturing.  

The upcoming ten years will serve as a turning point in initiating changes to the world for promoting like-mindedness and forging new roots to address environmental shifts through a mutual sustainable and circular economy. 

Global debate needs to cater around a lot of pressing matters. Are our cities energy compliant? How do we modify our constructions and other metropolitan cities – and the way they use energy? It is a behemoth of an issue. Can we work together and realize a more sustainable future for our children, their children, and beyond? Only time will tell. 



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