The role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained respect and support from top leaders at a number of major corporations. Last week, AMR Research reported on the presentations delivered at the Stanford Conference on Social and Environmentally Responsible Supply Chains. In attendance were senior operations executives from CSR leaders such as Cisco, HP and Microsoft.
Presenters highlighted these recent initiatives:
In 2007, HP will eliminate 30,000 cubic feet of polystyrene computer packaging and more than six million pounds of PVC packaging from its inkjet printer business. The company will also reduce its carbon footprint by 20 percent by 2010.
A panel with representation from HP, Cisco, Microsoft and Solectron spoke of creating an “Electronic Industry Code of Conduct” to achieve shared CSR objectives. The program has worked well, but sensitivity to cost information on shared components has at times hindered collaboration.
Those who organized the conference acknowledged that senior management commitment to green supply chains remains a scarce commodity. Stanford hand-picked its conference presenters from among the rare groups of visionaries.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.