Towards a Greener Tomorrow with "GREEN" Parts Manufacturing Delve Deeper into Sustainable Manufacturing Innovations that Resulted in a Massive 515-Ton Reduction in CO2 Emissions at OMRON窶冱 Factory in Malaysia

As climate change threatens the world more and more, the idea of a society that does not emit carbon becomes a source of optimism. This vision is now inspiring a worldwide movement towards sustainability, where carbon emissions are reduced, renewable energy sources dominate, and inventive technologies create a better, greener future. It's this vision that goes beyond boundaries, bringing together people, groups, businesses, and countries in a common pledge to protect the planet for future generations by fixing all the actions that affect their respective domains. Of all the mentioned stakeholders, it is businesses that have significant role to shape the society and environment, by following corporate trends, changing policies, and affecting the state of global economy.

By embracing sustainable practices, and prioritizing eco-friendly initiatives, businesses can drastically reduce their carbon footprint, thereby creating a wide-scale ripple effect. These practices fall under various labels or categories, such as corporate social responsibility, changing human resource policy, adjusting the product offerings to meet sustainable demand, or green procurement which is a way of acquiring resources more sustainably.

OMRON Malaysia's Commitment to Environmental Stewardship through Green Parts Manufacturing

Green Parts Manufacturing entails a manufacturing approach that involves modernizing outdated production methods and embracing sustainable manufacturing practices to minimize waste generation. It embodies a paradigm shift in the way one conceptualizes and executes industrial manufacturing processes. At its core, this vision revolves around the idea of creating a manufacturing sector that operates in harmony with the environment, rather than at its expense.

The vision of green parts manufacturing aligns perfectly with OMRON's long-term vision Shaping the Future 2030 (SF2030), which aims to achieve carbon neutrality among other goals. One of OMRON's manufacturing units in Malaysia (officially called OMRON Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.) demonstrates how Green Parts Manufacturing can take a positive and proactive stance on environmental issues.
OMRON Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. is focused on sustainability and has a goal to reduce their carbon emissions. They understand the responsibilities that a manufacturing factory has towards the environment and have taken actions accordingly. These actions include the use of the Eco-Hot Runner System, the Auto Recycle System, and the lowering of VOC emissions. Through these measures, OMRON Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. is demonstrating their dedication to creating a more sustainable future by practicing Green Parts Manufacturing.

Here is their story.

Innovative Changes that Bolstered the Carbon Reduction

Over a period of 12 months, OMRON Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. successfully reduced its carbon emissions by 515 tons, exceeding their target of 500 tons. This achievement was made possible through the implementation of several innovative initiatives:


Innovation 1: The journey began with a prime focus on minimizing plastic waste. This was achieved by bringing innovative changes to the Runnerless Molding and adopting the Auto Recycle System. The team started by using the Eco Hot Runner System in Runnerless Molding, which cuts down on waste and improves design structures to make it easier to use recycled materials with less energy use. Concurrently, the adoption of an Auto Recycle System automates the handling of recycled plastic materials to maintain the material quality. The recycled plastic materials churned out from this are then mixed automatically & supplied to several units of injection moulding machines simultaneously to maximize the plastic recycling efforts & production productivity. This new method resulted in an impressive 151-ton decrease in plastic waste.

1427_1.jpgSource: Presentation at The OMRON Global Awards FY22

Innovation 2: The second innovation aimed to reduce VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds, which are chemicals that evaporate easily and disperse into the environment). The team started this reduction by replacing the original chemical used for washing with Air Blow Cleaning. Even though they encountered many challenges during the post-COVID period, such as global supply chain disruptions and tight installation schedules, the team managed to build, install, and test three units of Air Blow Cleaning machines within six months.

This transformation not only required overcoming technical hurdles but also navigating unfamiliar territory, leading to prolonged approval procedures due to inexperience in the matter. Nevertheless, the team's perseverance paid off! They received an approval for six-reel parts which resulted in reducing 717 liters of chemical that is equivalent to 1.85 tons of CO2 in FY22.

Moving ahead, OMRON Malaysia aims to continue their journey towards environmental sustainability by collaborating with the Production Engineering Center to fully eliminate chemical by FY25 across an additional 23 parts, further contributing to their vision of a greener future.

1427_2.jpgSource: Presentation at The OMRON Global Awards FY22

Overcoming Obstacles and Difficulties

The ambitious pursuit to mitigate CO2 emissions was met with obstacles, particularly worsened by the global pandemic. One such challenge loomed large as the team grappled with the procurement of standard machine parts, besieged by lead times stretching up to a year.

1427_3.jpg"In response to the obstacle, the team orchestrated a meticulous strategy, fostering close intra-company communication channels to pinpoint available parts and exploring substitution of original components with suitable equivalents. These skills of resourcefulness and adaptability were essential to completing project tasks on time despite supply chain problems." says Kim Fai Yap, Project Manager, OMRON Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

Moreover, the theme of VOC reduction, initially given by headquarters in Japan, posed a unique trial for the production team in Malaysia, who initially lacked technical expertise in this domain. However, the team assembled a diverse cohort comprising members from various departments, each contributing indispensable skills. This collaborative strategy became the basis for productive discussions, inventive thinking, thorough research, and careful data analysis.

1427_4.jpg"Regular meetings also helped progress, allowing easy sharing of updates, solving of problems, and improvement of strategic methods. Through joint innovation and a variety of skill sets, including technical expertise, problem-solving ability, and effective communication, the team successfully overcame these challenges, reaching another achievement in their path toward sustainability and efficiency." Nur-Atiqah-Izzaty Mohd-Jat, PMF Procurement Junior Officer, OMRON Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

Exceeding Expectations and Pursuing New Aspirations

Even after achieving its target, OMRON Malaysia's commitment to fighting global warming remains strong as they plan. They aim to continue working towards the corporate long-term vision SF2030 with an ambitious goal of reaching a remarkable 1,020 tons of CO2 reduction by FY30.

"This ambitious goal shows our consistent commitment to making "a better world for all" through environmental sustainability and its active stance in tackling the urgent issue of climate change, strengthening its pledge to make a positive impact on the world." concluded Kim Fai.

1427_5.jpgTeam OMB responsible for implementing the changes with the Gold Award at TOGA APAC round

Internally, the team's outstanding efforts are rewarded with a gold medal at the APAC round of the - The OMRON Global Awards (TOGA FY2021-2022), showcasing their dedication and innovation within the organization. Externally, their accomplishments were further affirmed by winning the prestigious "Team of the Year - Electronic Manufacturing" award at the Malaysia Management Excellence Awards 2023, by The Asian Business Review.

1427_6.jpgMembers of the Malaysia Plant that won the Malaysia Management Excellence Awards 2023