SAPA will conduct a European research project, in collaboration with CRF, FCA and SOPHIA aiming at reducing CO2 emissions by 1.23 KG per KM by 2021, by producing low-density composites.
Today I am going to tell you about an incredible project.
Trust me: I have thought long and hard before writing the word “incredible”, but it is the best one to express a range of aspects that I am going to tell you about.
I am sure that you will find all of this innovative and original, even though – I must admit, for me it is not exactly that way.
I’ll try to explain myself.
I’m sure you know Lego, those colourful little bricks of different shapes and sizes that we all played with as children.
Sometimes I would look at the final constructions and would only concentrate on the bricks of the same colour, so as to spot a new shape or an unexpected pattern: I was looking for that famous “red thread” capable of tracing a path.
When I found out that the European Union would finance our project LIFE BIOBCOMPO, I was enthusiastic and very proud that our firm is fully embracing the European development objectives.
Yet the principles behind the project documents are the same that have been guiding my family in running SAPA for many years.
It is the same principles that led to the creation of the One-Shot® method.
The One-Shot® method, that was created and patented pending by our “Innovation Engineering” department, is the fastest method in the world to produce car parts with:
– Less weight
– Less costs
– More productivity
The One-Shot® process is fully optimized and it differs from traditional methods substantially because it reduces the number of work phases.
How does this relate to the LIFE BIOBCOMPO project? I will tell you immediately.
The LIFE BIOBCOMPO project aims at reducing CO2 emissions by reducing the weight of internal and external thermoplastic parts by 8%.
Therefore, we’re talking of the same guiding principle.
Think back again to those colourful little bricks and imagine building something only with the lightest ones.
The car, the plane or the tower that you have now built will fly in your small child hands much more easily.
What would happen if those colourful bricks were to be substituted by environmentally friendly materials?
What would be the consequences if those very light-weight components could also avoid waste and be hence environmentally friendly?
This is the amazing innovativeness of this project: the results are in line with your original goals but the process has also improved performance and given you extra benefits.
I guess you are wondering what the project is about practically….
Between the 1st of July 2018 and the 30th of June 2021, SAPA will reduce CO2 emissions by 1.23 kg thanks to use of new composites.
Several changes will be made to the materials used, for example:
- Lower density
- Substitution of traditional blends with traditional fibres (bio-based filler).
- Use of chemical or physical blowing agents.
In our sector, we often talk of innovation. The automotive sector is indeed naturally open to change and evolution.
Yet the tendency is to concentrate solely on the process and not on the materials needed to accomplish the process.
The project LIFE BIOBCOMPO allowed us to look even further ahead. SAPA, together with its partners in the project, namely CRF, FCA and SOPHIA, decided to think big.
The use of innovative and more sustainable materials rather than the traditional ones will have widespread positive impact:
- It will improve the processability of the new compounds while the cycle time and the process waste will not be higher than in the current production methods;
- It will improve the aesthetics by optimizing the blending process and the moulding phases.
- It will improve the mechanical properties by choosing fillers that guarantee higher performance levels than the traditional ones.
All of this in line with the objectives of Horizon 2020.
By carrying out and financing research on more environmentally friendly solutions that avoid waste, we implement a principle that is very dear to our company, namely that research is essential to a modern development.
LIFE BIOBCOMPO will be led by both the R&D department and by the Innovation Engineering department within SAPA – this further demonstrates that these two departments go hand in hand.
After all, if you know us a little, you know how fundamental this aspect is for us.
The Angelo Affinita Prize, which is awarded every year to the top three graduates or doctors who write their final dissertations on this topic, is a further demonstration of the importance we attach to this aspect.
And so is the very fact that SAPA has an internal R&D department.
The LIFE BIOBCOMPO project will be presented in Brussels on 2-3 October, in the occasion of the “LIFE 17 – Climate Action Kick-off Meeting”.
We are very thrilled to be an Italian participant in an event that is also very important for the development of our company.
You can follow this work-in-progress both via the dedicated website (currently under construction) and via the updates that we will send you: sharing updates of the progress of our work with you is of the utmost importance to us.
I’m sure it will be useful information for those who are on the lookout for innovative solutions for their work every day.
Chief Sales Strategist and member of the Board of Directors