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13 December 2012 | Adam Leach
A new resin developed by BASF has cut the overall cost of the window trim for the Ford Fusion car in half.
The development of the resin means the window trim - plastic pieces that seal the space between the window and door - no longer need to be sent to a factory and painted before being returned and fitted to the car. By removing this step in the manufacturing process, the overall cost of the window trim has been cut in half, and carbon emissions and diesel usage has been reduced while the removal of the painting process has stopped volatile organic compounds (VOCs) being released.
Robert Bedard, body interior core engineer at Ford, said: “This improved resin saves Ford significant dollars, but it also helps eliminate VOC from being released into the atmosphere, since the application of clear-coat paint is no longer required. We cut fuel usage, VOC and carbon emissions, and we save 50 per cent on these parts alone.”
The slimmed-down process has cut out 2,700 gallons of diesel fuel and 60,000 pounds of carbon dioxide by removing 19,200 truck miles to transport the window-trim parts between factories.
In October, Ford announced it is to shut down operations at two of its UK facilities as part of its plan to cut costs by $450-$500 million (£270-£310 million) a year.