Toyota Environmental Sustainability: Solvent Waste Solution for Automotive Paint

Toyota Environmental Sustainability: Solvent Waste Solution for Automotive Paint


(Narrator) The Toyota facility
in Cambridge Ontario
employs more than 5,000
diverse team members
all working together
to manufacture
some of North America’s
most popular vehicles.
But sometimes one
individual can come up
with an idea that makes
a huge difference.
Meet Dawn Ng.
A few years ago
Dawn was a student
at the University of
Waterloo, and a co-op at TMMC.
As she studied and learned
the painting process.
She noticed every
time a new color
was applied to a bumper a
solvent-based chemical was
used to clean the nozzles
of the high-tech robots.
And Toyota was using an
excess of that solvent.
(Dawn) My manager Ryan Slute asked
me if I had any suggestions
to improve cleaning efficiency.
As I watched the robots use
the solvent and water mixture
to clean between colors
I wondered a couple of things.
First, was the solvent
mixture actually
designed to clean our new paints?
And secondly, how much solvent is
really needed in the mixture
to do the cleaning
off the nozzles?
(Narrator) Turns out not nearly as much.
With the help of the University
of Waterloo, and other Toyota
team members Dawn did the
research, analysis and testing.
And the result was amazing.
A reduction in solvent by
80% and a total cost savings
of almost $600,000 every year.
(Leonardo) Our lab was able to utilize
a sophisticated approach
combining experiments
and modelling of
the Toyota paint
booth environment.
It was real exciting to see
the amount of solvent reduction
that was possible.
This is real world
application of our curriculum
that would not be possible
without Toyota’s partnership.
(Narrator) Dawn’s approach in
material savings
also had a positive
effect on quality.
Reducing the number of
defective bumpers by over 50%.
(Ryan) We are super proud of
Dawn’s accomplishments
and it’s so great to see
a group of young students
who epitomize the Toyota culture
of continuous improvement
and are able to see very real
world results. Not only do Dawn’s
activities
save materials,
but it helps lower costs
and improves our quality.
(Dawn) And it makes me feel great,
because now as a full time
engineering specialist
I’m helping other students
on their co-op terms
and I’m helping Toyota make a
better planet.
Want to know more about Toyota’s
ongoing efforts to reduce waste
while helping Toyota establish
a recycling based society?
Visit Toyota’s Environmental
Ideas & Action page.

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