The automotive sector is in dire need of change. The proposals for possible solutions are manifold and diverse: from electric to hydrogen and everybody is wondering what solution is the most effective way forward. But they forget that a solution already exists and there’s no need to look for it somewhere else. SAPA talked about this in Zurich.
We’ve run out of time.
This is something that we are hearing quite frequently in recent times, don’t you agree?
We hear this sentence particularly in relation with climate change, and actually it also pertains our sector and the new requirements that are imposed on us.
I’m sure that you’ll agree that we can no longer ignore this issue.
The target set by Horizon 2020 – which is approaching, made business activities hectic but also had us all ask ourselves questions on the future of cars. And it forced us to think about product optimisation and about energy sources. But this is not exhaustive.
The need to research new solutions is a given that no-one can ignore or bypass. But the point is that once you are clear about your objective, what path do you choose to reach it? Please follow me in this analysis: you will not regret it.
I’ll try to explain myself. If the objective behind your efforts in the past months was, for example, to reduce emissions, did you look carefully at all the solutions that allow you to reach this goal? If the common goal is to reduce waste, are we sure that pushing towards electric cars will bring about the desired results? This topic was addressed at the 6th International Conference and Exhibition on Automobile and Mechanical Engineering, an important event that took place in Zurich last week.
Engineer Mr Alfonso Molaro was a guest at the event and held a speech with the title: “One-Shot® Method and low density bio-composite for automotive components“.
His presentation laid out the solutions that SAPA has been implementing and applying for some time now and that rest on two main ideas:
- The optimisation of the production process
- The use of bio-composites
Hereafter you will find the video of the presentation, which I am happy to share.
As a matter of fact, the One-Shot® Method is a production system for car parts that is not only patented pending for being the fastest method in the world but also aims at reducing the number of production phases.
What does this imply?
- Less time
- Less weight
- Less waste
- Certified quality
The goal behind the application of this method is namely to produce more lightweight parts, already from the designing phase, and to do so by using highly innovative machines that cater for an absolute process optimisation. In some cases, we were able to reduce the production phases to one single press stroke.
It sounds incredible, and – believe me, it is.
You can easily imagine the consequences of this revolution:
- The parts are more lightweight and do not require additional changes – so you have your peace of mind.
- Moulding in just one shot massively reduces the amount of scraps and at the same time reduces production and delivery times – so you will no longer have to tell your boss about delays, and you will no longer suffer from production downtime.
- Quality remains the same that you are used to – you can request the certifications you wish to receive for complete peace of mind.
But this is not all.
Precisely, because SAPA is also carrying out research on the types of advanced polymers used. You know better than me that the phrase: “Plastics is polluting” is a generalisation that does not make justice to the research that many businesses like SAPA have been carrying out for years.
With the LIFE – BIOBCOMPO project, which we carried out together with SOPHIA, FCA and CRF we aimed at reducing CO2 emissions by 8% by 2021. How? By studying, applying and using low thermoplastic density bio-composites. It is an important project, and it is supported by the European Union.
True: it is a very ambitious project. But it is also true that it is not that different from what you are doing now. And it is something that already exists and does not need to be invented.
The One-Shot® Method as a matter of fact, was already presented on several occasions and was met with interest and curiosity, for example at the IZB in 2018, and what is more, five products that are produced in this way are already in use.
The fact that this method is viable is certain, what remains to be seen is whether there is a will to change the mindset of “we’ve always done it this way” and open up to change.
The idea that solutions are not necessarily found elsewhere, but that doing better is possible by bringing about small revolutions to our usual way of working – I believe that is the foundation of change.
As I said earlier, I will share the link to the video of the speech held by Engineer Mr Alfonso Molaro so that you can find out more about all this.
Enjoy watching the video.
Executive Director and Member of the Board of Directors
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