Thursday, 31 January 2013

HP helps car manufacturers avoid hazardous substances and reduce waste

HPHewlett Packard in Germany has announced that it will be hosting the International Material Data System (IMDS) for the next five years, helping 34 car manufacturers eliminate harmful substances from their automotive supply chains.

The IMDS is a shared service that supplies more than 40 million data sheets to car manufacturers and more than 100,000 companies in their supply chains detailing every substance involved in the manufacture of car components. It helps users meet regulations on hazardous substances and ensures that reportable substances are declared for recycling.

Originally developed in response to the European Union’s End-Of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive, the IMDS has been adopted as the global standard for reporting material content in the automotive industry. More companies have joined the original sponsors - BMW, Daimler, Ford, Opel, Porsche, Volvo and VW - as new legislation has been introduced around the world.

Material information on parts is delivered from the OEMs to dismantler companies in order to achieve the goals of the ELV Directive. So the IMDS will help car manufacturers meet their commitment to recycle 95% of the mass of each vehicle sold by 2015.

“Previously, OEMs all had their own lists of prohibited and reportable substances, which made it difficult to identify them in the supply chain,” said Matthew Griffin, representative, Jaguar Land Rover, and speaker, IMDS Steering Committee. “The IMDS provides a standardised format for exchanging material information throughout the manufacturing process, making it easier for the automotive industry to comply with legal requirements in a cost-efficient manner.”


Review:  It’s a fairly simple application of green IT, but demonstrates how technology can be used to enable greater sustainability across industry sectors. It’s obviously an enormous help to recyclers to be able to quickly and easily check what materials have been used in a whole range of components.

(The people I know in the recycling industry would argue that it would be better if all manufactured products were labelled with details of the materials from which they are made, but I guess that’s not possible, or practical, for every component for a variety of reasons. Where possible it would be a real step forward, though, and will surely come). 

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