Find out How Ford’s Aluminum Recycling System Works
You can recycle a can, but can you recycle truck scraps? Ford thinks so.
When it comes to recycling in the US, municipal services make it easier and sometimes even mandatory to do so. That being said, how does a major manufacturer like Ford do it, when they go through tons of aluminum every single day?
Streamlining, automation, and innovation help Ford lead the way in aluminum recycling. Like most operational issues, they’re hard to solve without key innovative people, people like Chip Conrad — the Ford stamping engineer who created this process.
This video shows how aluminum is recycled by Ford at the Dearborn, Kentucky Truck, and Buffalo Stamping Plants. It begins by showing the aluminum-alloy scrap being picked up and taken away, and wraps up at the end of the process when the chopped-up scrap is dropped into trucks and taken to be recycled.
“The system automatically knows which of the four different grades of alloy is being stamped at a given time, then it routes the material into one of four trucks standing by to send it back for reprocessing,” says Conrad. The amount of aluminum recovered from every plant is estimated by Ford to build thirty-seven-thousand F-Series truck bodies, or 51 commercial jet liners, per month.
We estimate that it would be a lot of beer cans, too!