FTS Technologies, a surface treatment company based in Whitmore Lake, Mich., received the General Motors Environmental Excellence Award for introducing an energy-efficient technology that lets paint stick to plastic vehicle parts without using traditional chemical adhesion systems. The innovation helps GM’s supply base—including its Tier One suppliers—reduce waste and emissions.
“FTS is committed to helping the auto industry green its operations,” said John Bradburn, manager of GM’s waste-reduction efforts. “Their technology reduces the impact of the vehicle painting process by dramatically reducing waste and emissions. We’re quickly integrating it throughout our supply chain due to the improved quality and throughput it provides.”
The flame-treatment technology creates a molecular change to the surface of the plastic, making it bond with the paint. It’s being used on the Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic, and Volt.
By using the new process on the Cruze, for example, GM suppliers:
- Reduced solid and liquid waste (filters, cleaners, solvents and coatings) from 48 tons a year to less than 1 ton.
- Decreased air pollutants from 810 tons a year to 80 tons a year.
- Eliminated landfill waste like paint sludge and painted scrap material from 25 tons to nearly zero.
GM learned about this technology through Suppliers Partnership for the Environment, a working group of U.S. automakers, their suppliers and the Environmental Protection Agency. FTS is a long-time member, actively participating in forums for the past six years.
“It was our collaboration with GM and Suppliers Partnership that helped us to convey the benefits and get connected with the right people so this technology could make a broader impact within the industry,” said Russell Brynolf, CEO of FTS Technologies.
FTS is the seventh supplier recognized with GM’s annual Environmental Excellence Award.