As part of what it describes as its commitment to sustainability, Ford has added near-dry machining capability to six plants globally – a number that will almost double in the next few years.
Near-dry machining, also known as Minimum Quantity Lubrication or MQL, is a process that lubricates cutting tools with a fine spray of oil exactly when and where it is needed. For a typical production line, MQL can save more than 280,000 gallons of water per year. Cologne Engine Plant in Germany decreased water use per engine by 50% from 2011 to 2012 by switching to the MQL process.
“MQL technology will also be incorporated into future engine and transmission plants, underscoring our commitment to advanced manufacturing processes that reduce water and resource requirements,” said Bill Russo, director of manufacturing for Ford powertrain operations. Ford continues to work toward cutting water use by 30% per vehicle by 2015.