Even with great changes and innovations experienced during the last years in the automotive industry, parts for vehicles continue to be items with a significant level of demand, both for the production of new vehicles, as well as for spare parts.
Ford recently announced that it has entered into an alliance with HP to manufacture certain types of auto parts using 3D printer waste as raw materials, such as 3D printed powders and spent parts.
Auto parts, 3D printed with recycled material
In these times, sustainability is a subject that more and more industries. In the case of this particular recycling initiative, your ad was featured by the auto company as an industry first.
Many companies are finding great uses for 3D printing technologies, but, together with HP, we are the first to find a high-value application for waste powder that probably would have gone to landfill, transforming it into functional and durable auto parts.said Debbie Mielewski, Ford Technical Fellow in Sustainability.
The recycled materials are destined for the manufacture of injection molded fuel line clamps, which were first tested and installed on Super Duty F-250 trucks. Currently, 10 other types of clamps are under observation that could benefit from this material.
Agree with what Ford commented Through a statement related to this matter, the pieces molded during this recycling process comply with the quality standards of the company and its customers. In support, the public note also notes that the HP 3D printers used in this process have the technology required to take advantage of their functions without generating waste in the production process.
Ellen Jackowski, director of sustainability and social impact, HP, commented that With 3D you get more sustainable manufacturing processes, but we always strive to do more, driving our industry forward to find new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle powders and parts, adding that the collaboration between the company he represents and the classic car manufacturer further expands the environmental benefits of 3D printing, showing how we are bringing together completely different industries to make better use of spent manufacturing materials, enabling a new circular economy.
The Ford representative pointed out that a primary objective for her company is to ensure the use of fully sustainable materials in its vehicles, this being her first concrete approach, after less than a year of research. A key to achieving our sustainability goals and solving the broader problems of society is working with other like-minded companies; we can’t do it alone, Mielewski commented on the collaboration with HP.
At first glance, this advance may not seem so significant. However, the matter goes beyond the mere commented piece. The approach presented by Ford and HP for the future of the automotive industry could set an important precedent for the emergence of more similar initiatives.