Ford’s "Model T" revolutionized output efficiencies in the manufacturing processes of the Industrial Revolution. Presently, another car company may help to redefine the way we make things, measured with a more encompassing "output" co-efficient.
Subaru of Indiana Automotive’s manufacturing (SIA) plant is recreating the way that cars are manufactured. The plant is so efficient that nothing from the manufacturing process ever enters a landfill. Subaru says that 97 percent of all excess or leftover materials like steel, plastic, wood, paper and glass go to recycling outlets. The other 3 percent is sent to incinerators in Indianapolis and helps generate steam. Some of the highlights of their process include:
"SIA’s wheel supplier uses brass lug nuts to hold wheels in place during shipping. Previously, these were thrown away – 33,000 pounds of brass per year. They are now reused until they’re no longer serviceable, then they’re recycled. This is an example of recycling helping to reduce costs rather than raising them.
Paint sludge formerly thrown away is dried to a powder, then shipped to a plastics manufacturer that mixes the dried sludge with other plastic compounds. The manufacturer’s end products are useful devices such as parking-lot bumpers and guardrail safety blocks that absorb impact when struck by a vehicle.
Solvents used in the painting process are cleaned and recovered through SIA’s on-site recovery system. The paint shop then reuses the solvent."