Ford Vegetable-based Metalworking Fluids
Move to a single, sustainable metal-working fluid.
Ford Motor Company uses between 20-30 million litres of soluble metal cutting fluid globally every year, primarily in the manufacture of engines and transmissions.
Until 1999, more than 99% of this fluid was based on mineral oil technology, and there were more than 25 suppliers of fluids to Ford Powertrain Operations providing over 200 different products worldwide. There were few common products or management systems. This represented a major chemicals and waste management problem.
The challenge was to dramatically reduce the complexity of the operations while meeting all the complex technical requirements for metal-working fluids including:
- Surface finish/quality
- Environmental impact
- Compatibility with work environment
- Operating concentrations/toxicology
Working with established Tier 1 supplier Houghton International, Ford selected a two-phase metal-working lubricant /coolant based on vegetable oil.