F1 Manufacturing makes strides in sustainable production
A manufacturer in the Midlands, UK, is leading the way in sustainable production having installed Biomass heating and solar panels at its Leicester site.
F1 Manufacturing designs and manufactures components for a range of industries including electrical, architectural and lighting. The company has recently invested in two renewable energy sources as part of a commitment to reducing its carbon footprint in 2016.
The changes to the 36,000 square foot site is set to save the company over £170,000 whilst making their large production levels more sustainable. The 28.5kWp Solar PV array will generate over 24,000 kWh annually, saving an estimated 243 tonnes of carbon during their 20 year life span. F1 Manufacturing made further strides by fitting a Biomass system which is a more efficient way of heating the premises including both production and office space.
Scott Kirkpatrick, F1 Manufacturing’s MD, commented: “In this industry especially, we feel strongly about the importance of monitoring our carbon footprint. These changes have already made a very positive impact in the short space of time that they have been installed.”
Advances in technology have resulted in renewable energy options becoming a more viable option for businesses looking for an alternative to conventional energy sources. Using the Biomass system, the company will create a 90% carbon reduction in comparison to using an oil powered heating system. The system is also cheaper to run than conventional systems.
“Many organisations are put off by the initial expense of installing such equipment. However, within a short space of time we’re now realising that they pay for themselves very quickly. As part of our ongoing sustainability drive we will keep up to date on ways to reduce our carbon footprint and act accordingly,” added Kirkpatrick.
The British Government has strict EU targets to meet by 2020, including a reduction of 20 percent in energy consumption as well as a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gases along with a 20 percent increase in the use of renewable energy. Key to meeting these targets is helping and encouraging industries such as manufacturing, a high energy consumer, to look at alternative sources of energy.
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.