Energy use halved at Ford’s new Dagenham production line

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Ford’s Diesel Centre in Dagenham has been fitted with a state-of-the-art eco-friendly production line for the company’s 2.0-litre EcoBlue engine.

The line, which will be running at an initial capacity of 350,000 engines per year, is designed to reduce water and energy consumption by over 50% per engine produced compared to the previous production line. The company estimates that the water saving per year will be in the region of 17.5 million litres compared to 2011. This is enough to fill seven Olympic-sized swimming pools, and makes Dagenham the most water-efficient Ford plant in the world.

The savings are possible thanks largely to the use of minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) machining tools, which use 99.8% less water than the machining tools they replace. MQL tools work by using fine mists of oil to cool, lubricate and clean during the metal-working process, instead of the traditional high volumes of coolant. This change alone is expected to account for almost 16 million litres of water saved per year.

With less coolant in the plant, Ford are able to save energy by installing smaller coolant systems, which require 70% less energy. They have also installed a new LED lighting system that has reduced energy consumption by about 750,000 kWh per year – enough to power 7,500 homes for a week.

Globally, Ford are looking to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas per vehicle produced by 30% between 2010 and 2025. The company has already reduced the water used per vehicle produced by 30% between 2009 and 2015. Ford have also announced recently that all 12 of its European manufacturing sites, including Dagenham, now send zero waste to landfill.

Linda Cash, vice president of manufacturing at Ford of Europe, said: “Ford is using the latest technologies to ensure our all-new EcoBlue diesel engine production meets the highest standards for sustainability and makes a significant contribution to our global environmental targets.”