Process Material Efficiency

A process designed to use material in the most efficient manner reduces both material input and waste. For example, new paint equipment can reduce overspray, which contains VOCs.

Environmental strategies for product design are also applicable to facilities and equipment. Designers can extend the useful life of facilities and processes by making them appropriately durable. Flexible manufacturing can be an effective life extension for facilities. Through its Green Light Program, the EPA educates companies about new lighting techniques and helps them conserve energy.

For example, a large American electronics company designed a flux dispensing machine for use on printed circuit boards. This low solid flux (LSF) produces virtually no excess residue when it is applied, thus eliminating a cleaning step with CFCs and simplifying operations. Performance of the boards produced with the new LSF was maintained, and the LSF helped this manufacturer reduce CFC emissions by 50% (Guth 1990).

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