Tuğba Okay from MultiCycle end user FCA Tofaş recently shared some perspectives from the automotive sector early in the project. Tofaş, Turkey’s only automotive manufacturer, is a partnership between Koç Holding and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), and produces both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
What were your main reasons for getting involved in the project?
FCA Tofaş has been motivated by the potential for beneficial ‘green’ effects; reductions in waste to landfills and release of pollution, and energy and cost savings compared to the manufacture of new materials. On the technical side, the MultiCycle project opens up a new area in the polymers industry. Currently recycled materials cannot be used in critical parts because their properties are downgraded during mechanical recycling. Multicycle-recovered materials hold out the promise of recovered polymer materials usage in critical parts in the automotive industry due to retention of virgin quality material properties.
What could be the benefits for your value chain from the results of MultiCycle?
The key business benefits for us are positive environmental effects and the potential for new materials. The first translates into measurable reduction in wasteful consumption after production scale up and according to related company forecasts in a specific area on the map. Thinking about automotive manufacturing, post-industrial wastes can be formed in Tier 1 companies during production of plastic parts. Considering the high volume of production, this equates to a huge amount of material. The use of plastics in automotive parts has increased substantially, and still does more or less day by day, so secondary raw material usage will certainly be increasingly under consideration due to resource management and cost advantages.
The second aspect relates to material property and cost advantage. If material physical, thermal and mechanical properties are close or equal to virgin ones those will be high value added results, enhanced by cost advantage in the material price per kg. Considering the value chain, I look initially at evaluating raw material performance. With the right materials performance, our material portfolio is enhanced with the cost savings of MultiCycle materials; this is the heart of the challenge for value optimization and ecological target setting. In addition, a successful MultiCycle will mean the gain of a new process type in the polymer production industry. This in turn opens up all sorts of new opportunities and possibilities in manufacturing and recycling of polymer materials more broadly.
What aspects of the project are you most particularly looking forward to seeing come to fruition?
For me, the fruition of a project like MultiCycle lies in seeing the technology in a state of readiness approaching industrial manufacture, and ultimately in increased usage of high quality, secondary materials in different production industries.