This Is How Ford Recycles Approximately 5 Million Pounds Of Aluminum Per Week

As we all know, resources are limited. Distributing those resources is even harder than some folks think, chiefly because of the limited quantity and because the environmental impact is a bit of a problem. But year by year, we’re getting better at it. A particularly good case in point is how Ford recycles aluminum.
Ford aluminum recycling 11 photos
Photo: screenshot from YouTube
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Even though it’s the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon, aluminum poses a challenge in the world of manufacturing. You see, most companies recycle the silvery-white ductile metal, but the challenge in question is how much of the aluminum scrap gets recycled properly. For the Ford Motor Company, the solution comes in the form of a comprehensive closed-loop system developed with the help of a man called Chip Conrad.

Conrad, who is a stamping engineer at FoMoCo, designed the system. Ford currently uses it a three of its factories (Dearborn Stamping, Kentucky Truck, and Buffalo Stamping), and it produces sizable savings. The scrap material created as a result of stamping body panels into shape gets shredded into chips, then Conrad’s system sucks the scrap aluminum through a series of computer-controlled gates. The journey comes to an end in the back of a semi, and the system knows how to differentiate the aluminum’s grade.

“Our ability to recycle leads to improved fuel economy and capability for our truck customers,” explained Chip Conrad. “And it helps us build more affordable, high-performing, efficient trucks.” Bearing in mind that Ford leads the way in this domain thanks to its EcoBoost-branded offerings in the thirteenth-generation F-Series, reprocessing scrap aluminum is in keeping with one of the biggest selling points of FoMoCo's workhorse lineup.

Just about 5 million pounds of high-strength military-grade aluminum is recovered per week from scrap. Over the period of a month, the recycled material amounts to building 51 commercial jetliners or just over 37,000 F-Series truck bodies. “Not only does this make sound business sense,” Chip points out, but “it’s helping Ford reduce its environmental impact.”

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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