To ensure the future sustainability of society, our product life cycle is of the utmost importance. Manufacturing should have the least possible an impact on the environment and our products should have long useful lives.
This has been our thinking since the company was founded in 1974. For us, our work on sustainability has always been based on common sense. If high quality is better for customers, the environment and the business, there is no reason to produce products that have to be replaced. If cutting oil can be kept within a closed system as part of our efforts to create a waste-free industry, as well as help to provide underfloor heating in the canteen, then it’s really daft not to do so. And when we discovered that the brass rods we were using were 12mm in diameter when 11.5mm was enough, it went without saying to make them 0.5mm smaller and save hundreds of kilos of brass.
Furthermore, all the electricity we use comes from solar, wind and hydroelectric sources. We’ve invested in geothermal heat, wind turbines and solar panels on the roof. Thanks to long-term investment in renewable energy sources, an ongoing process to reduce our energy needs and research collaborations in areas such as lead-free metal and the replacement of mineral oils with vegetable oil, we are taking responsibility for ensuring a sustainable Swedish metal industry.
Perhaps our perspective is because the third generation of the Fransson family is already part of the factory and out playing just around the corner. This puts a whole new spin on sustainability for us.
Let’s not complicate things. Obviously a lot of cutting oil is used when turning complex metal mechanical precision components like we do. So we killed two birds with one stone when we built a closed system for cutting oil, which not only brings us one step closer to achieving a waste-free industry, but also provides underfloor heating in our canteen.
Geothermal heat against all odds
“No, you’d have to have far too many boreholes.” The experts were unanimous. They shook their heads at our ideas for geothermal heat. But we calculated everything ourselves. Our investment paid for itself in four years versus the 20 years the experts had predicted. And the number of boreholes was half the recommended number. It’s not that we’re stingy. But if clean and free energy exists around us, it’s better to spend the money on more efficient production. This benefits us and our customers.
Cutting down on brass
Improvements often come about by daring to question habitual patterns. So when Olle discovered that the brass rods we were using were 12mm in diameter when 11.5mm was enough, he of course asked the question: Why? “It’s always been like this,” was the answer. But not any more. By reducing the diameter by 0.5mm, we’re now saving several hundred kilos of brass. In addition, transport costs and waste volumes have fallen. It’s as easy as that.
Lead-free in the long term
For a specialist in turning complex components that require the utmost in precision, tolerance levels are incredibly low in terms of any type of waste and swarf. This means that lead-based metals are best, but unfortunately lead-free metals result in a high degree of wear on tools and give rise to cutting damage. For now. Together with other companies, universities and research institutes, we’re involved in a project to develop tools and machinery that are capable of processing lead-free metal while maintaining quality and efficiency. And we’re well on our way.
6S’s are better than 5
Ok, we know that it’s usually called the 5S method – Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. But we’ve added an extra S – Search. Our business is based on procedures, as well as on everyone actively looking for improvements in production. Essentially, this is about how we manage and use resources in the best possible way. And we all have a responsibility for keeping our eyes and ears open to new ideas.
45 proposals for improvement
Everyone here has their own points of view and ideas. But it’s not always possible to communicate these to others or to develop them. So we brought all our staff together for a workshop. The result was a list of 45 proposals for everything from car-sharing to new services. Perhaps we’ll implement them all and perhaps some of the proposals will change along the way. But if we are to improve, we must have goals and visions. Large and small. For the short and long term.
Diversity which unites and develops
Skills, knowledge and professional pride are key elements in our sustainability work. Consequently, the company has a diverse workforce consisting of men and women of all ages, from all over the world. This diversity provides a stimulating work environment and paves the way for exciting exchanges of experiences that help both the company and the individuals who we work with to evolve. Virtually everyone has CNC Technology Green Certificates. This means that we have a high level of competence within 14 knowledge modules including quality, the environment, safety and measurement techniques.