The automaker has installed the production line at its Dagenham factory, its largest diesel engine production facility globally. The state-of-the-art facility will initially produce 350,000 engines per year, slashing water consumption by 17.5 million litres – enough water to fill seven Olympic size swimming pools.

The 2.0 litre Ford EcoBlue engine – which utilises a clean-burning combustion system – is expected to reduce water and energy consumption by 50% in comparison to the previous 1.8-litre TDCi diesel engine.

Ford’s vice president of manufacturing for Europe Linda Cash said: “Ever since Henry Ford first introduced the moving assembly line Ford has been at the forefront of manufacturing innovation, and our new Dagenham, UK, facility is no exception,”

“Ford is using the latest technologies to ensure our all-new EcoBlue diesel engine production meets the highest standards for sustainability and makes a significant contribution to our global environmental targets.”

The engine production line is one of many green initiatives set at Ford’s Dagenham centre. The centre operates on a zero waste-to-landfill mantra, which has been met globally. Cold testing technology, where engines can be tested without being turned, also saves 50,000 litres of diesel annually. Milling machines are also used to cut rejection rates of products to ‘almost 0%’ for some parts and three wind turbines are used to power the final assembly.

Global innovation

The production line is set to make a significant contribution to Ford’s global target of a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) per vehicle produced between 2010 and 2025. The company is also looking to further reduce the amount of water used per vehicle despite already achieving the goal of a 30% water reduction between 2009 to 2015.

Ford’s recent focus on innovative methods of energy and emission reductions is part of a sustainability push by the car manufacturer that has resulted in a greener production as outlined in its annual report released earlier this year.

There is a track record of research into sustainable innovations at Ford. Since 2000, it has been researching biomaterials and now incorporates soy foam, castor oil and wood coconut fibre amongst others into its manufacturing process. Additionally, Ford has developed a recycling technique that gives a new lease of life to worn out engine blocks, delivering a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to producing a brand new engine.

Alex Baldwin

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